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. kaz

    People just please take the time to read the bill.!! Whether you are Republican Democrat. Your taxes are going up. They cant' pay for this by taxing the top 2%. A person living in NY will be paying 57% of there income in taxes. Is that fair? that includes small business that we are counting on to create jobs. Don't keep your blinders on just because of party. I want Helathcare reform. I just can't afford to pay anymore taxes and I don't want to have to choose the Public option just because my employer decides he can't afford to keep private insurance.

    August 2, 2009 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  2. Drew, FL

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

    Does this mean you will give up your current public health insurance? Put your money where your mouth is.

    Will you vote to rescind Medicare too? I'm sure Arizona retirees would just love that Senator.

    These inconsistencies and political posturing just confirms "Country First" was never the agenda.

    August 2, 2009 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  3. roger

    And just when has he been off of the federal gov't. health care. Born, raised,and retired navy, and now in the senate, when has he ever been off the federal gov't health care?

    August 2, 2009 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  4. Disgusted with corporate media

    OK, that's five pieces in the "Political Ticker" quoting McCain on one Sunday morning. Five. Guess John King and Lou "Tinfoil Helmet" Snobbs are choosing the pieces today.

    August 2, 2009 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  5. kaz

    Wether you like Mccain or not he deserves respect. He does have alot of good Healthcare ideas, take the time to read. Has anyone read the republican bill??? Id doubt it. You just like to be angry because Obama isn't getting his way and you can't handle it.

    August 2, 2009 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  6. 60's survivor

    American voters are awake and they are listening very carefully. and there are younger voters with new concepts and a world view. they aren't tied to the lies of the past. decisions will be made. politition BEWARE!!

    August 2, 2009 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  7. JT from MO

    All the government officials including senators and congressmen and women have a government run health care system. So why is John McCain against his own health care system? If he has a better idea, we need to here it from him. It is okay to critisize if you offer up a better idea, but if you just complain just to complain, you are wasting your energy.

    August 2, 2009 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  8. big papa

    This health care debate and the accompanying media narrative of the alleged toll it's supposed to be taking on the President's approval ratings...

    ...illustrates several salient points:

    Conservatives will lie,cheat, steal, and frighten in order to manipulate their intellectually retarded, racist inbred base...

    ...who really have no business voting...

    ...the media is their co-conspirator, because they allow the right wing to get away with blatant lies:


    1) "America has the best health care in the world"

    ...No we don't...we pay wayyy more for a wayyy less effective system...

    ...I've personally known doctors who go to other countries to have their catastrophic illnesses treated, and India is one of the leading providers of hip (and other joint) replacement procedures...

    2) "This (health care reform) is a gov't takeover of health care."

    No it isn't...

    President Obama: "If you like your current health care plan, you can keep it!"

    ...and finally, the "Senior euthanasia" conspiracy theory (talking point)... appropriate for flat earth, Palin-Limbaugh ditto head, "birthers" to swallow something so absurd...

    ...but they have...

    August 2, 2009 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  9. kaz

    This bill is NOT going to help the middle-class what are you thinking. You are drinking the kool-aid..You are kidding yourselves, you are not listening to the details. you think it is as simple as everyone who doen'st have Healthcare is going to get it? This is a boldface lie. half of the people who don't have Health Insurance now are not going to have it if this bill is passed. This is a FACT. For the rest like me who are lower middle class and contibute to my Healthcare monthly, I could lose my option and have to take the Public Option which is going to be a socialized system and strung out by red tape. We will not get the same care we have now.

    August 2, 2009 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  10. Dave IowaLib

    Note to John McCain and CNN.

    The republicans lost the election in 2008. It is time to move forward. You are irrelevant. Please just go away.

    August 2, 2009 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  11. Rita OHIO

    August 2nd, 2009 11:49 am ET

    Wether you like Mccain or not he deserves respect. He does have alot of good Healthcare ideas, take the time to read. Has anyone read the republican bill??? Id doubt it. You just like to be angry because Obama isn't getting his way and you can't handle it.

    Yes I have read their farce of a bill. The same old the workers benefits and give tax credits to the rich. How original.....

    August 2, 2009 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  12. arlene,CA

    Of course McCain does not want a public option for millions of Americans that would be too much of puting the American people first. He is the party of "no", unless it will benefit the big oil, or big corporations, then he will be "yes" to giving them all the tax breaks he can. McCain has not changed, he is still the party of "no" & puts his own political agenda first.

    August 2, 2009 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  13. kaz

    READ THE REPUBLICAN BILL. How can you make an informed statement when some of you are saying the republicans have no alternative. Geithner said this a.m. they are not ruling out a middle class tax hike to pay for the deficit as it is. 1 trillion dollars. throwing more and more money at problems is not a solution. You have to fix what is broken with inovative ideas.

    August 2, 2009 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  14. Janis Vilums, Jr

    McCain is discusting and lays. He does not need Public Option, because he has been covered by the Public Option all his life as a member of Congress and the military establishment. He has been getting paid by the Government all his life. Now he is on the payroll of the insurance lobby, people who skim off the American public. What has he done for Arizona, veterans and the country? NOTHING He a ego maniac who's only interest is himself. He is not woried about anyone. It is all a con game. All Rebublicans are driven by self interest, greed not common good for Americans. That is why they are against anything positive, fair and they love war.

    August 2, 2009 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  15. kaz

    I guess It would be fair to say that those of you who are for the bill as it is are not for a free market. You will just allow the government to push insurance companies out of business. so we can look forward to more unemployment along with the new taxes that will be imposed on the small business's that are in the top 2% of earners and job creators in this country. We are saying Healthcare Reform is necessary but not at the cost of losing jobs and increased taxes

    August 2, 2009 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  16. Joanna in PA

    well them lets give the insurance companies more money to keep us sick. We certainly do not want them to loose on dollar of profit. Why can't they keep there monopoly? They should not have to provide good care to sick people. this is America, we are capitalist, a government plan would mean they would have to get a bite honest, hat if the public plan is better? nope, we need to stay sick and broke, right? i like being 37th in the world and i like that we spend the most and get the least! i like having an insurance companing telling me what i can and can not do! I like that i already payu for the millions that do not have coverage! if we have a public plan, more people would pay into the system. bah hum bug. i want to pay for them like i have been all these years with the private insurance.

    August 2, 2009 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  17. Nancy G

    I could lose my option and have to take the Public Option which is going to be a socialized system and strung out by red tape.

    What do you think insurance is.."share the risk"....socialism

    August 2, 2009 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  18. kaz

    Don't let the term Public Option fool you. It could not be further from the truth. It is not going to be an "Option" for some of us. We are going to be forced into a government plan and we will have no say. This bill will help the very poor only. It screws the middle class and screws small business and the weathly who pay 95% that is 95% .450 billion a year in taxes more than the rest of the 5% of americans who combined pay 439 billion in taxes.

    August 2, 2009 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  19. kaz

    So most of you don't think insurance companies should make money? H,mm how do they pay the millions they employee? Oh I guess we can just afford to let them go under. don't understand why people hate to see companies earn money. If they don't earn money they don't pay taxes that is what a free market system is. Don't hate on the very people who contibute the most in taxes. Inclluding the small business companies that are getting screwed big time

    August 2, 2009 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  20. Patricia T.

    I'm not sure how credible John McCain's voice is in this whole health care issue. First of all, he's wealthy beyond belief, so he has no financial problems. (How many houses does he own?)

    Also, he has been the recipient of "government" health care his entire life. He speaks out against the very program that protects him? He comes from a Navy family, went to the Naval Academy, served in the military, and is now in the U.S. Senate - receiving first-class "government" health care all the way. And he probably has never had to answer any questions about any pre-existing health issues - something the average citizen has to deal with.

    So until he can speak, dare I say with some empathy, and some compassion and some knowledge, about the crises some American families are facing, I don't see where he has much to contribute to this discussion. On the other hand, if he wishes to relinquish his medical care and step into the shoes of the uninsured, with his age and medical history, and try to find affordable health care . . . then he might have a fresh viewpoint.

    August 2, 2009 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  21. D. Tree

    What a Jerk, does he even realize he has a Public Option?

    All we want is access to the same choice our Senators like Mr. McCain get.

    He seems to like his health insurance but he's siding with the Big Insurance companies to keep the rest of us from having the same choice!

    August 2, 2009 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  22. kaz

    Let me see if i have this correct. John McCain should not have government Healthcare? He not ony served this country, was a prisoner of war and has been in the senate for years. How immature an partisan can you get.? Are you serious? If you think because he is wealthy he shouldn't have Healthcare then you are right. You deserve a socialized healthcare sysem and government takeover of the Helathcare system. Enjoy

    August 2, 2009 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  23. john mcnobrain

    Why is this loser on CNN? who care what he says or thinks. oh, he enjoys socialist medicine himself as a SENATOR.

    August 2, 2009 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |


    We can't let the REPUBLICANS do it again. They killed Health Care Reform before but this time we must get it done the cost of the current system is out of controle, and only the rich enjoy good health care.

    August 2, 2009 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  25. kaz

    Read the Repulican Plan. Don't just say NO all of you who haven'ttake the time to read anything but Obamas karan on Healthcare. You deserve Pelosi and Barney and Dodd. And you have the nerve to belittle McCain. Hah!! there is no getting through to those of you who don't see the forest for the trees. You are the sheep in a herd that have no minds of your own you just go on Pelosi's talking points and you swallow everything she tells you. She had to hand out talkingpoints on healthcare to the dems to take home with them so she doesn't lose any ground during vacation. That alone should tell u something.

    August 2, 2009 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
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