Double Team: The John McCain camp is bucking traditional strategy of splitting the president and vice president into separate appearances on the campaign trail with the premise it reaches more voters. Instead, McCain and vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin will appear together in most of the remaining stops through the Nov. 4 election. The reason is simple. Palin has star power and her mere presense more than doubles attendance at McCain voter rallies. This deference to the No. 2 person on the ticket is a brilliant strategy as long as Palin's star shines. The polls aready prove that. Since she was tapped out of the unknown, McCain has charged ahead in key battleground states and narrowed the national Electoral College race making the race a toss-up less than two months before election day.
Not So Fast My Friends: The Alaskan governor remains an unproven commodity not much unlike Barack Obama's meteroic rise after winning the Iowa caucuses. Yet, it disguises McCain's policies on two critical issues -- how to address the subprime mortgage collapse and how to repair our health care system. Both issues are today's news. The Wall Street collapse of Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch and AIG is well known. A report released today by a group of university health experts deserves more attention than it probably will receive. More on that later. McCain's comment that the economy is fundamentally sound is questionable even for the most optimistic. He advocates tighter government oversight of Wall Street broker and investment houses to fix the problem. Yet, in his 26 years in Congress, he has staunchly supported deregulation. McCain is an advocate of allowing market conditions to freely work out its excesses. Is this empty political campaign promises or has he altered a fundamental, ideological approach to the market place? His record shows not.
Lost Coverage?: The McCain health plan would dismantle employer-based coverage for as many as 20 million families. according to the Health Affairs journal website posted Tuesday. The McCain plan would tax as income benefits employers provide in family health insurance coverage. McCain would offset the increases with credits of $2,500 for single persons and $5,000 for families. The net effect is twofold the report says. It woulld cost families more for health insurance by either seeking comparable insurance in the non-group market or for younger employees dropping coverage all together. With healthy young employees abandoning the group coverage -- perhaps 20 million -- the cost to employers for older and health riskier employees would increase to a point forcing them to abandon the coverage. The report also debunks McCain's plan to strip state health insurance regulations and allow consumers to seek coverage from out-of-state companies. This would prevent states from imposing preventive medicine requirements for patients unless covered by the out-of-state carriers. It also would exempt states from examining the financial resources and medical coverage practices of the outside carriers. We hope Health Affairs digs into Obama's healthcare proposals and report on that in the near future.