Oct 6, 2008

ACTION ALERT: IS HEALTH CARE THE NEXT MORTGAGE CRISIS?

Yesterday, Paul Krugman of the New York Times wrote a great editorial reflecting on the devastating effect McCain’s proposed changes to our health care system would have on working people.

Currently, companies don’t have to pay taxes on the money they spend on employee health care plans. McCain wants to change that. Basically, he wants to take away the tax breaks given to employers and offer much smaller breaks to individuals.

This might sound good at first. After all, your employer has more money than you do, right? So why do they need a break?

But health care costs have already gone up so much that many companies are scaling back their health benefits as it is. Without the tax breaks they currently receive, many companies are going to start dropping plans altogether.

The McCain camp has spun the plan to sound like you’ve now got the right to choose your own coverage. That his plan will fix our nation’s health care crisis by putting it in the hands of American families.

What American families will really have in their hands is a stack of bills they may not be able to pay and plans, like HSAs, that don’t offer real coverage. The $2,500-$5,000 tax break McCain is offering just isn’t going to pay for the over $12,000 that the average family plan actually costs.

You’d think with the U.S. market a state of crisis and families losing their homes because they can’t pay their mortgages, McCain would have learned a thing or two about what happens when you deregulate and leave the well-being of the country up to the whims of the free market.

The health insurance industry is already one of the least regulated businesses in America today. What other service do you pay for when you don't need it, and then get denied the service when you do? At least personal savings accounts at the banks are insured by the FDIC, but where do you go when your insurance company denies care due to a pre-existing condition?

Today, Senator Barack Obama announced his support for Health Care for America Now, a coalition the UFCW joined to fight for quality, affordable health care for everyone. He’s pledged to fight on the side of the American people--not big business.

Tomorrow, we need your help. We’ve got Obama’s support, but we need to know where the rest of Congress stands. Are they with the American people or are they going to leave us on our own until the health care crisis explodes into a catastrophe?

We mobilize tomorrow. If you read this, we need you to be a part of the solution and make the call to hold Congress accountable. So tell your friends and tell your family. Call your representatives and ask them: which side are you on?

Learn more at www.healthcareforamericanow.org

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