McCain Plan Calls for More Individual Control of Health Care Choices

October 11, 2007 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - John McCain laid out on Thursday his ideas for the U.S. health care system, which among other things calls for more individual control by allowing individuals to buy health insurance across state lines.

According to a press release , McCain is calling for families to have greater control of their health care dollars and the care they receive. He also suggests increasing the focus on preventative health care.

One of the proposal made by McCain is a reform of the tax code aimed at eliminating the emphasis on employer-sponsored health insurance; he proposes giving all individuals a $2,500 tax credit ($5,000 for families) to increase incentives for insurance coverage.

McCain proposes that individuals owning multi-year policies that cost less than the full credit can deposit the remainder in expanded health savings accounts.

According to the press release, individuals should also be able to purchase health insurance nationwide to maximize their choices and heighten competition for their business that will eliminate excess overhead, administrative, and compensation costs from the system.

Some of the other federal health care reforms he suggests include:

  • Making public more information on treatment options and require transparency by providers regarding medical outcomes, quality of care, costs, and prices;
  • Reforming the payment systems in Medicare to compensate providers for diagnosis, prevention, and care coordination. Medicare should not pay for preventable medical errors or mismanagement.
  • Giving states the flexibility to experiment with alternative forms of access; risk-adjusted payments per episode covered under Medicaid; use of private insurance in Medicaid; alternative insurance policies and insurance providers; and, different licensing schemes for medical providers.
  • Fostering the development of safe, cheaper generic versions of drugs and biologic pharmaceuticals. Develop safety protocols that permit reimportation to improve competition.

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