"And I want to look you in the eye, I will not raise your taxes nor support a tax increase. I will not do it." [CNN Live Feed, Employee Town Hall (Aurora, CO), 7/30/08]
Senator McCain’s Big Tax Hike, by Dean Baker: There is nothing intrinsically bad about raising taxes if the money is used for important public services. However for an important segment within the population, tax increases of any sort are sacrilegious. Senator McCain has sought the support of this group, pledging that he would never raise taxes.
This is why it is striking that the media has not paid more attention to Senator McCain’s health care plan. For a substantial segment of the population, this plan is likely to lead to an increase in taxes.
You see, the 140 million of us who get health care for ourselves and our families through our jobs do not pay taxes, either income or payroll, on this part of our compensation. The McCain plan ends that exclusion, and thus becomes a $3.6 trillion tax increase over 10 years on workers. What was a tax-free part of your compensation is now taxable income. You'll pay income tax on it and you'll pay payroll taxes on it.
Once that happens, your employer's incentive to offer coverage is diminished, and experts estimate that around 20 million people will lose employer coverage.
McCain... is actually proposing a tax increase on health care benefits for American workers.
From Time's Blog
The Republican candidate would essentially destroy the foundation on which the current health insurance system is based and replace it with a dubious plan to let the marketplace work its magic.
He wants to eliminate the tax exemption workers get for the health benefits their employers provide.
From McCain's health care plan risky
He wants voters to think he is going after health care cost inflation. In reality, he wants to dismantle the employer-provided system that now covers over 60 percent (or about 158 million) of non-elderly Americans, forcing millions of us who now get fairly decent health insurance on the job to instead buy whatever they can find on the individual market controlled by unregulated and predatory insurance companies. And he would drive health care costs upward, not downward.
The McCain Health Plan: Millions Lose Coverage, Health Costs Worsen, and Insurance and Drug Industries Win