August 2nd, 2009
09:57 AM ET
9 years ago

McCain: I'm not in favor of a public health insurance option

WASHINGTON (CNN) – As negotiations over a health care reform bill drag on in the Senate Finance Committee, Sen. John McCain says he is not in favor of the approach most likely to be put forward by a bipartisan group of six senators negotiating on the committee.

“I have not seen one,” McCain says in an interview airing on Sunday’s CNN State of the Union, when asked whether there is a viable public insurance option that could garner his vote.

McCain does not favor a pure public option run by the federal government and the Arizona Republican says he also does not favor insurance co-operatives – an alternative to government-run, single-payer insurance that has been proposed by North Dakota Democrat Sen. Kent Conrad who sits on the Senate Finance Committee.

“The co-ops remind us all of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac,” McCain says. “And so I have not seen a public option that, in my view, meets the test of what would really not eventually lead to a government takeover.”

Filed under: Health care • John McCain • State of the Union
soundoff (100 Responses)
  1. Why?

    Why do you'll continue to ask McCain's opinion about anything? Who cares? I do not recall you continuously asking President Clinton's opinions about Bushes awful policies.

    August 2, 2009 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  2. gwen

    Who cares if McCain isn't in favor, hasn't he heard that he is the minority? Most Americans WANT reform!!!

    August 2, 2009 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  3. The Unshrub

    He sound more and more like a grumpy old man every time he speaks.

    August 2, 2009 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  4. Lumberjack

    As usual, the repulicans are the party of "NO". No solutions, No workable ideas. Just business as usual catering to the big corporations and not the interests of We, The People.

    August 2, 2009 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  5. SWR

    Instead of continually saying, "This won't work", "that won't work", "the Democrats are wrong". Why not come up with a plan of your own? It's just another example of the mental midgets in Washington acting like 2 year olds. OOPS! That gives 2 year olds a bad name. That's not politically correct.

    August 2, 2009 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  6. Lets move forward

    When offering a critique wouldn't it be beneficial to offer an alternative solution? I have not seen any solutions offered from Republicans, only why something can't, won't or should not work.

    August 2, 2009 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  7. 60's survivor

    and pray tell John McCain what kind of health insurance do you carry. it's not that new fangled gov employee health insurance is it?? like the one I have as a retired federal employee is it? I find it good and affordable. and was able to detect cancer early and beat it too I couldn't help but wonder what would have happened to me without it. I'm guessing I may not be commenting on this blog now!! so shut up McCain and think about something besides your ego. you lost the election McCain. most of us know that by now.

    August 2, 2009 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  8. Mike in Nashville

    Of course he doesn't favor a public option. McCain is wealthy beyond belief. He doesn't know what it is like to not be able to buy medication or have to choose between your mortgage payment and food vs. paying for your COBRA that month so you won't have a break in coverage and lose your insurance due to pre-existing conditions (which can be ANYTHING). He loves that your health is a commodity to be bought, sold and made a profit from, and he takes money hand over first from insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies and others with a dollar bill doggy in this fight. John McCain doesn't favor a public option, wow, this is news like "Dog Bites Man." So glad he didn't win.

    August 2, 2009 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  9. Candy Wilson

    I think the private sector insurance is too expensive for most.. But why do some people get medicaid which gives more than Medicare.. Melt those 2 programs together and it might help some.. I would have more on Medicaid than I do on Medicaire.. why is this right? I worked over 30 yrs as an RN and have less now insurance wise than the guy who was lazy all his life. I am not for socialism but I am for universal health care.. Because the Insurance companies have ruined things...

    August 2, 2009 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  10. Ted van Tol

    America is becoming an old fashion country.
    First they mist the boat by mobile telefoon in the 70ts.
    Now so many countrys have healthcare for low costs for years.
    On clean energy America is again missing the boat.
    Only your President is working on it but all his plans are
    blocked by Rep. and some of his own Dems.
    America is a big country but lost his greatnes under the
    former governement in many ways.

    August 2, 2009 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  11. dj

    No not everyone wants health reform from the government. I see no reason to for my taxdollars to be wasted.

    August 2, 2009 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  12. Steve

    This is pretty typical of both McCain and the media. The person rejected by a large majority of Americans in November is somehow seen as a relevant source of opinion on an issue he has done nothing to help resolve.

    Why does the media keep asking those whom the voters rejected what they think of the policies those losers fought - unsuccessfully - to prevent? What kind of response do you expect? McCain (and Palin and other Republicans) are *obviously* going to disagree with Obama's efforts. Where exactly is the news value in that?

    August 2, 2009 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  13. Beau Ned Hicks

    John McCain is a Republican. The Republican Party is the security detail for America's ultra-wealthy, Permanent Ruling Class (The PRC).
    The health care industry, which has functioned for the past 25 years as government sanctioned extortion and the cash cow of the PRC, has overstepped reality. Our country can no longer afford to remain at the mercy of these legislated thieves and even the least among us has come to know this. Hence, the clamor for change.

    John McCain has never demonstrated any particular acuity in areas of finance, aside from having married a wealthy woman, and should be ignored when he offers opinions on the topic. The mere fact that someone is able to get elected does not confer on them any skills that they did not possess before the vote was counted.

    August 2, 2009 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  14. lovable liberal

    Republicans object to a public option because the experience of other western democracies shows that the people will *like* the public option and that will damage the profits of the small wealthy minority that Republicans actually represent.

    August 2, 2009 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  15. susan langley

    People like McCaine just do not understand that many average citizens cannot afford their medicines or the doctor visits. Even a person with no health problems who goes for a checkup twice a year is going to pay a couple hundred dollars. And I won't even begin to comment on going to the dentist!

    \My husband and I are on fixed incomes. He was working and got laid off after 27 years from the welding shop.I waitressed for 42 years but have Rheumatoid arthritis and asthma.
    I applied for my SS and am receiving it.I did not apply for SSI as I feel I can still do some sort of work such as housekeeping. I am 64 and my husband is 67. He can get medicare I cannot for another year. We are both looking for work of any kind.We have 5 years left on our 20 year mortgage.

    My medicines are very high.Right now we still have insurance but pay a big price every month. Even with the co payment(which is quite small) out of pocket for my Medicines are close to $400 a month.

    We neither smoke nor drink and it is a struggle every month for us. No credit cards or anything like that. But daily and monthly expenses makes it hard.A break in insurance would be wonderful for us. No more juggling what bills to pay on time and what bills to pay late so I can get my asthma and RA medicines.

    August 2, 2009 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  16. George Guadiane - Austerlitz, NY

    What do you say "yes" to? More of the same? GREAT!
    The way to lead is to reject anything that Democrats put forward? The way to find compromise, to be bi-partisan is to reject anything that might actually help working, middle class America?
    I thought you were the maverick, I thought you were going to bring change... Your idea of change is "Business As Usual?"
    It SEEMS like you are the biggest cheerleader for the party of "NO".

    August 2, 2009 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  17. Linda in Maryland

    Very interesting comments by McCain, a recipient of VA and Federal health care benefits and so darn wealthy that he will never, ever have to worry about his medical bills. Would that the rest of us could have those same benefits...

    August 2, 2009 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  18. Nadeem

    And his alternative is? Just being against everything is not helpfull

    August 2, 2009 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  19. bob in LA

    When I am sitting in a steak house, I don;t think about the hungry people outside either.
    McCain sits with one of the best healthcare plans anyone could want and its free to him. He is one of the Americans that could, if need be, afford the best health care available,
    To sit a criticize ANY effort or discussion to me is hypocritical.
    Marie Antoinette did know how bad things were outside her palace walls and look where that got her and the King!
    Pull the plug on Congressional healthcare, make them live under the voted plan and see how great a plan we all get.

    August 2, 2009 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  20. REAL reform

    right. as long as he gets what he needs, who cares about anyone who may have less than him? that's the way he's always rolled. typical elitist republican.

    August 2, 2009 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  21. Cybersport

    I'm self-employed and don't have health insurance. Why? It simply isn't affordable. Those who oppose health-care reform are simply out of touch with those of us who have the same medical needs as everyone else, but not only can't afford care but have no access to care—Most medical practices won't treat anyone who doesn't have insurance.

    The present system is broken for a number of reasons and there need to be changes.

    Every American should have access to basic health care; a checkup, prescription renewal, blood pressure tests, etc. without having to go deep into debt.

    And for those who complain about rationing.. rationing already exists; it's done by the insurance companies. which have bureaucrats and administrative assistants making medical decisions.. I've experienced this first hand.

    There are going to be disagreements on this issue, but those who claim we have the finest health care system in the worldare out of touch with reality

    August 2, 2009 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  22. michael

    Lets remember that majority of Americans voted for Obama who ran on a universal health care platform. Regardless of McCain's preferences, America wants this. America is tired of the Republican's failed leadership. This is why McCain is still in the Senate and the Republican party is feeling ever so marginalized with Democratic Supermajorities in both Houses. To Senator McCain and the Republican Party: the election is over, America has decided, honor our decision and do what we have asked.

    August 2, 2009 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  23. Lynne

    The irony: If Senator McCain had to go out into the "free market" insurance world that he supports, he would be turned down for pre existing diseases.

    I noticed he avoided answering the question about how he ran on taxing health care benefits in his issue, once again that John King did not press him on. CNN has become a fourum for people to spout off whatever they please with no accountability for the truth.

    August 2, 2009 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  24. Kent

    Soooooo glad John is not POTUS (and Sarh is not the VP).

    August 2, 2009 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  25. Fla.

    McCain has received over $8 million from the insurance/health/pharmacuetical industries. Of course, he is against reasonable competition with a majority-supported public option.

    Why does CNN not provide this vital information when any so-called "compassionate conservative" is representing insurance interst$$ over a public option for the American people?

    August 2, 2009 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
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