October 15, 2008 3:14PM

Not a Cost‐​Shift, but a Control‐​Shift

I’m reading left‐​wing critiques of John McCain’s health plan and coming across doozies like this one from the Center for American Progress and Planned Parenthood:

Finally, the McCain plan would result in a greater proportion of health care costs being born by individuals and families. Because policies sold in the individual market typically feature less comprehensive benefits and higher cost‐​sharing requirements than policies sold in the large‐​group market, individuals and families who enroll in these plans will find themselves paying a greater share of their overall health care spending.

Wildly wrong. Individuals and families already pay 100 percent of health care costs. They don’t just pay for out‐​of‐​pocket spending and the “employee share” of their health‐​insurance premiums. They also pay for the cost of government spending through higher taxes. And they pay for the “employer contribution” to their health‐​insurance premiums because employers reduce workers’ wages.

The McCain plan would let individuals and families control a greater proportion of health‐​care spending — specifically, that “employer contribution,” which averages $9,000 for those with family coverage. For example, see this.

Perhaps that is what the Left fears?