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?