From CBS News' Andante Higgins:
John McCain continues his health care tour today in Florida, Pennsylvania, and Ohio, explaining the difference between his plan and those of his Democratic rivals. McCain proposes tax credits of $2500 for individuals and $5000 for families to choose their health own health plan, which would not necessarily be associated with an employer. He supports health savings accounts, which are tax preferred accounts used to pay insurance premiums and other health costs. McCain said yesterday that these incentives and reform would cause greater competition among insurance companies. "It would help change the whole dynamic of the current system, putting individuals and families back in charge, and forcing companies to respond with better service at lower cost," he said.
The Democratic National Committee has criticized McCain's proposals, arguing that McCain's plan won't take care of the 47 million Americans who are uninsured. "John McCain's health care proposals are a prescription for more of the same failed Bush policies, not the change America's working families are looking for," said DNC chairman Howard Dean. "As usual, McCain was short on details, but where he did outline a plan for the future he relied on recycled Bush proposals and flawed ideas have done nothing to reduce the ranks of the uninsured or help America's working families find quality, affordable health care."
Elizabeth Edwards has hosted conference calls two days in a row to attack McCain's health care plan. Yesterday, John Edwards's wife said we are seeing a new McCain, one who is working with insurance companies instead of the one many praised in the past for standing up to them. She also says there is no evidence that moving health care to the individual market will make costs lower or make health care more accessible.
The Service Employees International Union is also criticizing the Republican candidate, launching an anti-McCain television ad which will air in Ohio and Washington, D.C. The ad says McCain won't bring health care costs down and says McCain voted against common sense proposals like not allowing senior citizens to buy prescriptions through Medicare. The ad also says McCain joined Bush in opposing healthcare for children. The SEIU represents 1.5 million public service workers, nurses, hospital staff, and nursing home care providers.
On a conference call yesterday, McCain advisor's Carly Fiorina and Doug Holtz-Eakin defended his plan. They insisted his plan will drive health care costs down and said that it will not abolish the current system as Americans will still have employer based health care if they choose it.