McCain Health Plan Would Shrink Medicare, Medicaid

Cuts would help fund tax credits for buying care on open market
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Oct 6, 2008 12:05 PM CDT
At an Asheville, NC rally, Obama called McCain's plan a "shell game."   (AP Photo/Jason E. Miczek)
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(Newser) – John McCain’s health care plan, based on tax credits, would be funded by cuts to Medicare and Medicaid, which analysts say could amount to some $1.3 trillion over a decade. The move would allow McCain to uphold his pledge of a “budget neutral” health strategy, the Wall Street Journal reports, but the cuts appear to run counter to campaign statements that suggest tax increases would pay for the plan.

An adviser said McCain’s health plan always called for the Medicare and Medicaid reductions. The plan would offer tax credits to buy health care on the open market while taxing workers on health care provided by employers. Barack Obama says McCain “gives you a tax credit with one hand" and "raises your taxes with the other”—but most people would see lower taxes under the plan, the Journal notes.