EPI Policy Center

October 3, 2008 | Policy Memorandum #130

The Protections Americans Stand to Lose Under the McCain Health Care Plan

by Alexander Hertel-Fernandez

In Thursday's vice presidential debate, Governor Palin claimed that Senator McCain's plan to broaden competition among insurers would benefit consumers by allowing them to purchase coverage across state lines. What she did not explain — and what a new analysis from the EPI Policy Center does explain — is that the McCain plan would amount to a sweeping deregulation of the health insurance industry. By allowing insurers to operate from anywhere and provide services across state lines, the McCain plan would give companies an incentive to move out of states that provide the strongest protection to insurance customers and relocate in states where the rules are more lax. Unless new national regulations were added, which McCain's plan does not include, the quality and amount of coverage would decline sharply.

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The EPI Policy Center is a nonpartisan advocacy and education organization, which does not support or oppose candidates. This analysis should not be read to imply approval or disapproval of any candidacy.