April 29th, 2008
11:50 AM ET
8 years ago

McCain health care plan emphasizes personal responsibility

Preventive care is a key part of the McCain health care plan.

Preventive care is a key part of the McCain health care plan.

TAMPA, Florida (CNN) - Perhaps taking a cue from his former Republican rival Mike Huckabee - a re-born health nut who spent much of his presidential campaign promoting healthy lifestyles - John McCain on Monday emphasized the role personal responsibility will play in reforming America's health care system.

Before McCain's speech, a top policy adviser had said that a significant chunk of the presumptive Republican nominee's health care plan relied on encouraging people to make their own healthy choices, like maintaining a healthy diet and getting regular exercise.

"But many of us never quite get around to it, and the wake-up call doesn't come until the ambulance arrives or we're facing a tough diagnosis," said McCain at the University of South Florida's Moffitt Cancer Center Tuesday.

McCain called for a "next generation" of chronic disease prevention, with a focus on early intervention, new treatment models and public health education and infrastructure. He also argued for financial incentives that would promote good health habits and discourage high-risk behaviors like smoking.

The comments were part of a high-profile health care policy rollout by the Arizona senator, in which he called for greater national competition among private insurance providers and derided the "nationalized health care" plans of his Democratic rivals.

Both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama also emphasize prevention in their health care plans.

McCain's policy director Douglas Holtz-Eakin told reporters Monday night that as president, McCain would fund public education programs and use "the bully pulpit" to encourage health attitudes among children and adults.

He said a major plank of McCain's health care plan is simply "a focus on personal responsibility, and the kinds of things that can help you get better outcomes just by taking care of yourself."


Filed under: John McCain
soundoff (135 Responses)
  1. fred

    Ok, so let's tax fatty and sugary foods. How about an annual tax based on BMI? Or a $500 tax rebate for those who can jog a mile in less than 15 minutes.

    April 29, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  2. Sam, Muncie, Ind.

    Whoops … I mean I love OLD people and own several. Eeek!

    April 29, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  3. alice2

    McBush you haven't got a clue how to help the average American, your FEEBLE attempt is just that FEEBLE , LAME. People want & expect REAL CHANGE, REAL HELP. Your Just Too Far Out of touch. BARACK OBAMA FOR PRESIDENT. CHANGE WE CAN BELIEVE IN.

    April 29, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  4. Svetlana

    At a time when people are working multiple jobs just to make ends meet and food costs more than it has in memory, I don't think this is the time for McCain to be pulling back government responsibility. In an ideal world, everyone would have the time and money to sign up for gym memberships and shop organic. If McCain's idea of government is so into taking responsibility for what's going on overseas, they should be more than willing to do it here as well. Talk about being "out of touch."

    April 29, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  5. Amy

    Senator McCain's healthcare plan would also make it very, very difficult for people born with disease (such as my son, who was born with heart defects) to afford and maintain healthcare coverage.

    I don't disagree that prevention is important, but 'personal responsibility' cannot prevent everything, and to think so is short-sighted.

    April 29, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  6. David in Dallas

    I hope Senator McCain encourages everyone to wear sunscreen everytime they leave the house as well. He has had melanoma, and I don't think diet or exercise had anything to do with that. Of course he is right when he says that all Americans should adopt a more healthy lifestyle; however, that will not prevent all disease. Our air is so polluted, largely due to inaction on the environment by his party, that many people are sickened by it. The same thing applies to our water and food supply. We continue to import tainted food and lead-filled toys from China that make people in the US sick. McCain still supports most favored nation status for China. Our country would be so much better off if we would stop pouring money into Iraq and spend it on disease prevention and health care for people in our own country. Of course if McCain gets elected, we will have 100 more years of throwing away our money on a foreign country to the detriment of the health of our own citizens.

    April 29, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  7. Grif

    After watching the Video. Here's a Guy that did/doe's his Homework..

    April 29, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  8. Kevin

    Finally someone in the government that believes in personal responsibility. This is a free country after all. The Democrats seem to have forgotten that and instead would rather have the government run every aspect of our lives because they feel that we are too stupid to do it ourselves.

    April 29, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  9. HiFi

    How ironic that he gets most of his money from his wife, who is Chairman of the Board of a beer distributor...Anhauser-Busch is a huge proponent of youthful consumption of their alco-pop and calorie laden products. Except Bud Lite, of course.

    April 29, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  10. Henry Miller, Cary, NC

    Personal responsibility??!! Are you crazy, Senator? Americans don't want "personal responsibility," they want government to be responsible–for paying their medical bills, for bailing them out when they do stupid things with mortgages, for having babies they can't afford to raise, for being unemployable because they couldn't be bothered to take advantage if the education they were offered, and on and on.

    America has become a country of shiftless whiners, forever demanding by ballot that someone, anyone, else pay their bills and make their decisions for them. And there's no end of politicians forever eager to buy votes by promising to do just that for the country's losers.

    It's refreshing to hear a politician repudiate the Mama State, but don't you know, Senator, that Americans always vote for the politician who promises them the most "free"–those nasty "rich" people can pay for it–stuff?

    April 29, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  11. EntitlementTom

    Personal responsibility? Whats that...??

    April 29, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  12. stag

    Turn all of your money over to Hussain or Rodam or Johnny M....they will take care of all your needs.

    God, were you all born this stupid or did you work at it. There are lots of places in the world that already have this. Find one you like and go live there.

    April 29, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  13. Phil in KC

    So, if I get sick, it's my fault? So, now, employers and insurance companies will have an excuse to shift even more of the burden to me? (As if they needed one.)
    We see where you're headed John. Typical Republican. Rob from the poor and give to the rich.

    April 29, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  14. Henry Miller, Cary, NC

    Personal responsibility??!! Are you crazy, Senator? Americans don't want "personal responsibility," they want government to be responsible–for paying their medical bills, for bailing them out when they do stupid things with mortgages, for having babies they can't afford to raise, for being unemployable because they couldn't be bothered to take advantage if the education they were offered, and on and on.

    America has become a country of shiftless whiners, forever demanding by ballot that someone, anyone, else pay their bills and make their decisions for them. And there's no end of politicians forever eager to buy votes by promising to do just that for the country's losers.

    It's refreshing to hear a politician repudiate the Mama State, but don't you know, Senator, that Americans always vote for the politician who promises them the most "free"–those nasty "rich" people can pay for it–stuff?

    April 29, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  15. Just another American

    McCain's healtcare plan is to help companies get out of the commitment of providing "some" coverage to their workers.

    The gap between the Rich and distitude would be enormous. Has anyone watched Frontline's special called " Sick In America"? Other countries do NOT let their citizens loose everything they have just because they got sick.

    If actually does what he says there will be more poor people in America and more suicides.

    Control the drug costs and other costs and maybe the overall cost of healtcare will go down.

    Why is it that a great guy ( how McCain was) is now a Republican Wonk who talks like them. Guess you drank the " Republican for Rich people only " juice.

    April 29, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  16. SimonSays

    Can John McCaihn give me access to the healthcare plan that he is on?

    April 29, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  17. Stacy Clarks

    So his plan is "play God and commadn your body not to get sick?"

    PLEASE, DO NOT TORTURE US WITH ANOTHER 4 YEARS OR REPUBLICAN MESS!!!!

    DEMOCRATS IN 08!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 29, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  18. Jack Jodell, Minneapolis, MN

    McCain speaks like a comfortable rich man (which he is) completely out of touch with regular working people ((which the overwhelming majority of US are). Healthy eating and regular exercise are good and desirable goals, McCain. But they do NOTHING to alleviate the huge and unaffordable costs of sudden surgeries (as from appendectomies or car accidents) or the prohibitively high cost of cancer treatment. So, Mr. McCain, please get your head out and realize that our current situation of ever rising pharmaceutical costs caused by the price gouging drug companies, skyrocketing physician and hospital costs, and 47% of the country underinsured or not able to afford insurance at all are proof positive of a terribly broken system which needs IMMEDIATE change! Typical selfish Republican thinking: "If it's not a problem for me, it's not a problem, and don't involve the government." Get a CLUE, McCain!!!

    April 29, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  19. samantha

    I used to think it would be beneficial for a candidate to visit my work place, and support our goal of curing cancer. But all McCain’s visit in Tampa brought was an inconvenience at work. Now, it may be government policy to shut down a building that a candidate visits, deny us access to our laboratories, and in effect delay our experiments for a day, but if McCain supports appearances and speeches at the expense of allowing scientists to do their work, he doesn’t have my support.

    April 29, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  20. Dem

    Breaking News, McCain is Bush Senior Brother. So whats the difference? oh differrent mama. Let give Clinton the way.

    Hillary 08

    April 29, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  21. Dem

    Does McCain have a health Policy apart from the one from the congress. Can someobody tell these people to stop lying for God Sake.

    April 29, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  22. b black

    I LOOK FORWARD TO NOT VOTING FOR hil"lie"ry and so do millions of other blacks. ha/ha

    April 29, 2008 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  23. youngerthanmccain

    Eat right and exercise? Why didn't I think of that?

    This will surely solve all of our issues now. Thank you for your wisdom Senator McCain.

    I am going to take a little PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY and not vote for McCain this fall.

    April 29, 2008 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  24. christi

    Basically his "health care plan" is "I HAVE NO PLAN"

    April 29, 2008 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  25. Veterans For Obama

    Veterans do not support John McCain. Even right wing Republican Veterans are coming out against this insensitive political tool. Check out the Vietnam Veterans against mccain website.

    April 29, 2008 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
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