The Spectacle Blog

John McCain: (Not So) Big Spender

By on 5.20.08 | 1:29PM

The Center for American Progress's policy blog, The Wonk Room, is touting a new CAP study on costs associated with John McCain's health care plan. What's the big deal? His plan, they argue, would raise the administrative costs of health insurance. "The study flips McCain’s small government rhetoric on its head," the post's author writes. 

Well, no. It just doesn't, and it's not even confusing either. Administrative costs in private health insurance don't count as big government, mainly because they… aren't government.

Okay, but what about those higher administrative costs? They're going to make health insurance more expensive, right? Ah, see, but, yeah, they're not.


What the CAP study is talking about isn't a rise in the cost of an insurance policy, but instead, a rise in the number of policies with high administrative costs.

What's going to happen is that, under McCain's plan, more people will make the switch to the individual market, which has cheaper plans but higher administrative costs. According to the numbers CAP cites in its own study, individual market plans are far less expensive than those purchased through the group/employer market. Their figures indicate that the average employer-provided family plan runs about $12,100, while the average non-group purchased family plan runs about $5,800. 

So the real message here is that John McCain wants to promote health insurance plans that cost less money.

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