Cost and coverage implications of the McCain plan to restructure health insurance

Thomas Buchmueller, Sharon Glied, Anne Royalty, Katherine Swartz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Senator John McCain's (R-AZ) health plan would eliminate the current tax exclusion of employer payments for health coverage, replace the exclusion with a refundable tax credit for those who purchase coverage, and encourage Americans to move to a national market for nongroup insurance. Middle-range estimates suggest that initially this change will have little impact on the number of uninsured people, although within five years this number will likely grow as the value of the tax credit falls relative to rising health care costs. Moving toward a relatively unregulated nongroup market will tend to raise costs, reduce the generosity of benefits, and leave people with fewer consumer protections.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalHealth Affairs
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2008


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy

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