“At the present time, Senator McCain enjoys excellent health and displays extraordinary energy.” – John D. Eckstein, MD Internal Medicine, Mayo Clinic and one of Senator McCain’s physicians
While Dr. Eckstein might believe his patient is in excellent health, no health insurance company would agree to issue an individual medically underwritten health insurance policy to Senator John McCain. The reason? The Senator’s high cholesterol.
Let’s set aside the rest of the Republican presidential nominee’s medical historyfor now as well as the fact that at 71, Senator McCain would be covered by Medicare. Senator McCain is proposing a healthcare plan that would encourage people to obtain individual health insurance policies. To this end, he proposes a refundable tax credit ($2,500 for individuals; $5,000 for families) to offset the cost of purchasing a policy. McCain proposes that individuals could purchase policies in another state for cost benefit flexibility.
All of these proposals are totally meaningless unless Congress and the President pass a federal law that requires health insurance companies to sell guaranteed issue, community-rated policies to individuals. It’s that simple. The McCain campaign cites the Senator’s support of the 1996 Health Insurance Portability And Accountability Act (HIPAA) as “providing some protection against exclusion of pre-existing conditions.” “Some” obviously does not cover ALL conditions. McCain and most Republicans want States to be free to find their own solutions. That result has amounted to rules so complex that it is impossible for an individual with even the most minute health issue to acquire insurance. Individual insurance plans offered in “guaranteed issue” states (NY, NJ, ME, MA, VT) have their own level of complexity. The plans are also expensive because the risk pool is not spread across all 50 states. Allowing the States to decide about health insurance denies people the freedom to live wherever they choose.
For Senator McCain to reveal his medical conditions and be against guaranteed issue community-rated healthcare for ALL Americans is not only hypocritical but unpatriotic. For a medical doctor to state that a 71 year old on multiple medications (Simvastatin*, Hydrochlorothiazide, Amiloride, Aspirin, Zyrtec, Ambien CR**, and a Multivitamin) defines “excellent health”, shows that when it comes to healthcare, America is very, very, ill.
*McCain was taking Vytorin until studies presented earlier this year show it can increase plaque in the arteries.
**”Sleeping Pills That Don’t Let You Sleep”