This is going to be a relatively short post, based on my normal standards. Of course we have an election coming up here in America, and one topic that's big on the list is health care. Since I'm a health care finance consultant, I have to give my little audit on what each candidate wants to do with it, and how they want to pay for it. There's a lot of spin that everyone has probably heard; here's the truth.

The John McCain plan calls for tax cuts for individuals and families so they can purchase their own health care plans that will always follow them around. However, you only get the tax break if you purchase health care coverage. To pay for it, he's going to tax employers who presently pay something for health care coverage for their employees, as they've been getting tax exemption on that piece for, well, decades. At the same time, he expects that tax to be alleviated by the tax breaks he's going to give to businesses and wealthy business owners. He expects his plan will give everyone an equal opportunity.

The Barack Obama plan calls for mandatory health care coverage for every child in the nation, and an expansion of health care benefits of some type for individuals that don't have insurance now. To pay for it, he's going to increase the taxes on individuals and businesses that make more than $250,000 a year, with a bigger hit on the super wealthy. Obama's plan does not plan on taxing small businesses to pay for it, as it's been announced, but it does call for tax credits to be issued to those companies that pay for better health benefits for their employees.

What's my general take on this? Both plans are deficient for different reasons.

McCain's plan is deficient because most people aren't going to use the tax credit to purchase their own health coverage, and it's unfair to tax businesses that provide health care coverage to their employees. If I'm the companies, I stop coverage the day McCain takes office, I'm under no obligation to increase the salaries of any of my employees, and I don't have to worry about those taxes one bit.

With Obama's plan, there's just not enough money that's going to come from the rich to fund this plan as he believes. There's child health programs provided by Medicaid in each state now, as well as Federally Qualified Health Centers in every state, that helps to cover people who can't afford alternative health care. We already know that taxes are going to have to go up, and they do, because we have a massive deficit in this country now, and it's got to come down. Higher taxes create their own problems for some businesses, and may trigger more companies moving parts of their businesses out of the country again. If that happens, there's fewer dollars to be taxed, which means less money.

Still, if I had to choose one over the other, I'd choose Obama's plan, mainly because of the caveat of taxing businesses that provide health care coverage. I like much better the encouragement of asking business to not only pay for health care coverage for their employees, but good plans. Medical debt is dragging this country down, and even Suze Orman stated on Oprah a couple of weeks ago that she'd rather people drink water and live on bread than give up health care coverage. In my mind, more people will be covered in some capacity under Obama than under McCain; history has already proven that with individual medical savings plans.

This isn't a political position I'm taking; it's a purely health care financial position.