In Search Of An Honest Debate On Health Care

Our guest blogger is James Kvaal, a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress Action Fund.

How much will Sen. John McCain cut from Medicare and Medicaid to pay for his new tax credits? McCain advisor Douglas Holtz-Eakin said that our estimate of $1.3 trillion – based on the work of the Tax Policy Center – is “false.” But he has refused to provide his own number or to endorse any of the independent estimates.

Holtz-Eakin also claimed that he could save “on the order of $2.6 trillion over 10 years” by cutting wasteful Medicare spending, without affecting benefits at all. If that’s true, than Obama’s plan – which costs $1.6 trillion – could provide universal health care coverage while saving $1 trillion.

There are only 10 days until the election. If the McCain campaign successfully avoids all the difficult questions on who, exactly, is paying for its trillions in tax breaks, than no future presidential candidate will have any reason to be honest in their budgeting. And if McCain actually becomes president, then he will have learned that he can put out whatever numbers he wants, or not, and leave all of us guessing about his true policies.

For more on this, read the new analysis released yesterday by the Center for American Progress Action Fund.