WASHINGTON, Sept. 12 The Tulsa World reports that President Bush will conduct a business roundtable in Oklahoma City today to promote his failed plan for health savings accounts before heading off to a private closed door fundraiser for John McCain's campaign. [Tulsa World, 9/12/08: http://www.tulsaworld.com/news/article.aspx?articleID=20080910_16_A4_hHepla243517]
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As part of his record of voting with President Bush more than 90 percent of the time, John McCain endorsed the Bush plan for health savings accounts even though the Wall Street Journal said it was "dead-on-arrival in Congress in early 2007." This plan is a radical new scheme to tax health insurance benefits for the first time in history, provide more power to insurance companies, and give families a tax credit that covers only a fraction of average health insurance costs.
"It should surprise no one that President Bush is raising money for the candidate who is promising more of the same failed Bush policies on everything from health care to the economy," said Democratic National Committee spokesman Damien LaVera. "While millions of Americans have lost their health insurance in the Bush-McCain era, John McCain says we're better off than we were eight years ago and that the fundamentals of our economy are strong. No wonder he's promising a warmed over version of the failed Bush plan that won't do anything to help Americans find health care."
Bush-McCain: More of the Same on Health Care
Under McCain's Plan, Health Insurance Benefits Would be Taxed For The First Time, Resulting In A $3.6 Trillion Tax Increase On Working Families. McCain's health care plan would eliminate the payroll deduction on health care benefits, which would have the effect of raising taxes on working families by $3.6 trillion. [New York Times, 5/1/08]
McCain Health Plan Just Like Bush Plan. "President Bush proposed a similar idea" to the tax credits in McCain's plan, which was dead-on-arrival in Congress in early 2007, because the plan only awarded those who purchased insurance in the private market. [Wall Street Journal, 10/11/2007]
McCain Would Expand Health Savings Accounts. McCain said, "We took an important step in this direction with the creation of Health Savings Accounts, tax-preferred accounts that are used to pay insurance premiums and other health costs. These accounts put the family in charge of what they pay for. And, as president, I would seek to encourage and expand the benefits of these accounts to more American families." [Congressional Quarterly Healthbeat, 4/29/2008]
McCain Supported Bush's Veto of SCHIP and Providing Insurance For Millions of Uninsured Children. McCain voted against reauthorizing the State Children's Health Insurance Program for five years, expanding the program by $35.2 billion. [Senate Vote #307, 8/2/07]
Arizona Republic Headline: "In Tight Senate Votes, McCain Not A Maverick. When It Matters The Most, He Seldom Bucks His Own Party." "Over the years, Sen. John McCain has publicly condemned Republican Party leaders and occasionally voted against the GOP on selected issues. But an Arizona Republic analysis of his Senate votes on the most divided issues in the past decade shows that McCain almost never thwarted his party's objectives." [Arizona Republic, 5/7/08]
McCain: On The "Most Important Issues Of Our Day, I Have Been Totally In Agreement And Support Of President Bush." In a June 2005 interview on NBC's "Meet The Press," John McCain stated that he was a strong supporter of President Bush: "I have agreed with President Bush far more than I have disagreed. And on the transcendent issues, the most important issues of our day, I have been totally in agreement and support of President Bush." [NBC,