UAW Voluntary Community Action Program (V-CAP)

Nicole Lowe ad
30 sec. TV ad run
in IN, MI, OH and PA, announced Oct. 7, 2008.


[Music] Nicole Lowe: My son Trevor has asthma.  Sometimes he can't breathe.   So health benefits are really important for us.

But John McCain, he's going to tax our health benefits.

We'd have to pay up to $2,800 a year.  That's gas money, grocery money.

My company could pay higher taxes too.  They could just walk away from health care.  We could lose our benefits.

We can't afford a health care tax.  We can't afford John McCain.

Male Announcer: UAW V-CAP is responsible for the content of this advertising.



Notes: This ad, the recent SEIU COPE ad "Worried Sick," , and an ad from Health Care for America Now ("Fighter") all echo recent ads that the Obama campaign has beein running on McCain's health care plan: "Coin," "One Word," "Can't Explain," an ad in Spanish (Carlos Sequeira) and a radio ad

Below is the fact sheet on the ad...

Nicole Lowe, 36, is a member of UAW Local 140 and an assembler at Chrysler’s Warren Truck plant in Warren, Michigan. Nicole and her husband Eric have two children:  Trevor, who is five going on six, and Celeste, who will turn 12 in October.

Trevor was diagnosed with asthma at the age of eighteen months.  “It was really scary,” recalls Nicole.  “He kept getting bronchitis.”

Union-negotiated health care benefits are critically important, says Nicole, when a member of your family has a chronic disease like asthma.  “We’ve had many scares, taking him to the hospital at two or three in the morning, because the medications at home just aren’t working, and he has to get a steroid shot.”

Nicole is never quite sure when Trevor will suffer an asthma attack and start coming up short of breath. “Allergies can set it off, if he has a cat.  If we go to a restaurant, dust can cause it. I’ve got to put his stuffed animals in the freezer, and change his bedding every other day.”

One thing Nicole is sure about:  John McCain’s plan to tax her health care benefits is a bad idea. “That was the very first thing that completely turned me off,” she says, “was the health care thing.  We get taxed enough, and a tax on health care on top of that just doesn’t make sense to me.”

According to an analysis by the Center for American Progress Action Fund,1 McCain’s new health care tax would cost a typical family earning between $40,000 and $60,000 a $1,119 in higher taxes by 2013 an $2,809 in higher taxes by 2018.   

More than 160 million Americans now receive insurance from an employer-sponsored health care plan, so McCain’s new health care tax would have a dramatic impact on the the entire present system of health care financing. Independent evaluations of the McCain plan have found that eliminating the tax incentives which now exist for providing health insurance would reduce the number of Americans who receive health care from their employers. 

An analysis published in Health Affairs magazine2 estimates that as many as 20 million Americans will lose employer-based health care coverage under the McCain plan, while a study by the Economic Policy Institute3 projects the number could be as high as 27 million.

Without employer-based coverage, families like the Lowes would have to buy an individual insurance policy, which could put them at risk of losing health insurance coverage altogether.  Insurance companies frequently deny coverage to anyone with a pre-existing chronic condition, such as the asthma suffered by Trevor Lowe.

If McCain’s health care tax were implemented, The Center for American Progress Action Fund has estimated that as many as 56 million people with chronic diseases could completely lose health care coverage.4

In addition, McCain’s top economic advisor recently told the Wall Street Journal that the proposal for a new health care tax on American workers would not be enough to finance the McCain plan.  Instead, the Journal reported, “John McCain would pay for his health plan with major reductions to Medicare and Medicaid.”5


1 “John McCain’s Radical Prescription for Health Care,” Center for American Progress Action Fund, July 2, 2008.

2 “Cost And Coverage Implications Of The McCain Plan To Restructure Health Insurance,” Health Affairs, Sept. 16, 2008.

3 “McCain Plan Accelerates Loss in Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance,” EPI Policy Center, Research Bulletin #100, Sept. 26, 2008.

4 “McCain’s Health Plan Puts at Least 56 Million People with Chronic Disease at Risk of Losing Health Coverage,” Center for American Progress Action Fund, July 2, 2008.

5 “McCain Plans Federal Health Cuts,” Wall Street Journal, October 6, 2008.