In the final days of the election, the McCain campaign has significantly altered its health care rhetoric. Initially arguing that McCain’s health care plan would allow voters to abandon their employer-based insurance plans for cheaper options on the individual market, the campaign is now emphasizing the importance of group coverage.
Senior McCain adviser and implosion watch subject Douglas-Holtz Eakin created a firestorm after effectively conceding the inferiority of individual health care plans on Tuesday, and Rep. Michael Burgess (R-TX) is all too eager to follow his lead.
While stumping for McCain’s health care plan, the three-term congressman attempted to combat critics who charge that McCain’s plan “basically blows up the current system“:
Burgess agreed that many workers wouldn’t initially drop employer-sponsored coverage. He said the cost of individual plans would drop if insurers were allowed to offer plans across state lines, as Mr. McCain favors.
“The price for the policy goes down if you increase the size of your pool,” he said.
Progressives have long argued that larger risk pools effectively spread both the risk and cost of health insurance across a wide spectrum of the population, allowing healthier people to subsidize the sick. McCain plan flips this principle on its head, breaking up employer-risk pools and shuttling everyone into an individual plan.
By Burgess’ own definition, if you adopt McCain’s health plan and decrease “the size of your pool,” “the price for the policy” goes up.