SEIU: John McCain's Health Care Proposals: Making a Bad Problem Worse

May 22, 2008
2:44 PM

Stephanie Mueller 202-256-0833

John McCain's Health Care Proposals: Making a Bad Problem Worse
Largest Health Care Union Details How McCain’s Plan Would Make It Harder for Americans to Get Coverage
WASHINGTON, DC - May 22 - As part of an extensive campaign to educate voters about where John McCain stands on the issues, SEIU today released a review of some of his disastrous health care proposals. The research will be shared with the more than 500,000 health care voters SEIU has identified through its Americans for Health Care campaign, as well as other voters, union members and community allies.

As the research shows, McCain’s latest ideas for health care would actually make obtaining coverage more difficult for the average working family and cause health care costs to go up for millions of hardworking Americans.

The full report can be read online as a PDF at

Deborah Roberson, a child care worker in Erie, PA, has diabetes and is currently uninsured. Under the McCain plan, she would not be guaranteed coverage because she has a pre-existing condition. Her net pay last year was $14,300 and her out of pocket health care costs were $3,000 – over 20 percent of her income.

“I live in fear of getting sick,” said Roberson. “I have to stretch my medication. Sometimes I take one diabetes pill instead of the two my doctor prescribed. God forbid I should have to go to the hospital. I need health insurance so that I can stay healthy and take care of myself, my family and these kids. John McCain has no plan to ensure that people like me get the care we need.”

“McCain’s plan is worse than doing nothing because it would actually make it harder to get coverage, jeopardize quality by eroding regulations and do nothing to stop the escalation of costs,” said Anna Burger, SEIU Secretary-Treasurer. “It’s not surprising that his health care ideas are so harmful to workers since his closest campaign advisers are the very insider lobbyists who are benefiting from our current broken system.”

The McCain plan would:

• Discourage employers from providing coverage and leave workers to fend for themselves in the individual market – resulting in more than 48 million uninsured Americans.

• Jeopardize quality care standards by allowing companies to bypass patient protections passed in other states.

• Do nothing to control escalating health care costs but would instead shift more costs onto families.

With 1.9 million members, SEIU is committed to finding a real solution to the health care crisis so working families have quality, affordable coverage and businesses can remain competitive in the global economy. SEIU has been a dominant force in making health care a central issue through strong grassroots activism and an aggressive political effort to hold elected officials accountable in their pledges to provide affordable health care and rebuild the middle class.

The 1.9 million member Service Employees International Union is united by the belief in the dignity and worth of workers and the services they provide and dedicated to improving the lives of workers and their families and creating a more just and humane society. SEIU members are winning better wages, health care, and more secure jobs for our communities, while uniting their strength with their counterparts around the world to help ensure that workers, not just corporations and CEOs, benefit from today's global economy.