Sen. McCain spoke about health care at a town-hall event in Arizona Tuesday. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
(CNN) – Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, said Tuesday that President Obama's efforts to reform health care have sparked "a peaceful revolt in America."
"I've seen involvement and engagement on the part of Americans that I have never seen the likes of which before," McCain said at a town hall in Phoenix, the first of eight such meetings he will hold around the state this week.
For more than an hour, the former GOP nominee alternated between cracking some well-worn jokes from his two presidential campaigns and listening to the concerns of his constituents, one of whom demanded that McCain "nuke" the health care plan entirely.
"No compromises, no comprises, no compromises," chanted one woman, a self-described former Democrat. "Senator, nuke it now!"
Though McCain firmly rejected the idea of a government-run insurance option, saying it would eventually drive private insurers out of business and lead to a full government takeover of health care, he echoed his 2008 campaign platform and said it would be irresponsible to simply "do nothing" - especially with the threat of Medicare and Social Security going broke.
"So let's go back with constructive, free-market incentives to improve the quality of health care and the affordability and availability," he said.
Later in the meeting, McCain was jeered when he insisted that Obama's views be respected despite his differing opinions on how to achieve reform.
"I am convinced the president is absolutely sincere in his beliefs," he said to groans. "Wait a minute. Wait a minute. He is sincere in his beliefs. We just happen to disagree. He is the president of the United States and let's be respectful."
But McCain made clear he is "unalterably opposed" to "reconciliation" - a Senate maneuver that would allow the White House to pass a bill with just 51 votes instead of a filibuster-proof majority.
"It would be a drastic change in the way that the United States Senate does business," he said. "And I hope that if you see something like that coming you would not allow it to happen."
I couldn't agree with you more, Mr. Real President. these jerks full of liberals just won't learn.
And this is coming from a liberal, black that is.
Apparently Senator McCain can't tell astro-turf from grass-roots. And I wonder how he feels about the government run health care he receive in the Navy, and the government provided health care coverage that he gets now?How about the government provided health care he'll soon be eligible for from medicare?
Free market incentives? If it needs incentives, its not free. The current free market system has bankrupted too many, killed to many from lack of care, and profited no one but insurance companies.
We spend more money on medicine than any developed nation, cover less people, and our life expectancy is no better. Our health and life expectancy at age 60 is in fact worse.
McCain keeps showing how he knows little about so much.
John McCain is absolutely right.
The GOP Party is known throughout the world for their peaceful agenda; overshadowed only, of course, by their honesty. Lastly, the peaceful loving Palin fringe is a shining example of Christianity.
Old Fool John McCain sounds like a man who just stepped out of his car and doesn't realize that he just drove through the plate glass window of a convenience store with an ATM machine wedged under his front bumper.
The revolt is caused by the poor education system in the USA.
Tell people there is "death panels" or "socialism" and they swallow it, Americans are very gullible people.
We have spawned a nation of people who know nothing but talks a lot about it.
Peaceful for now. :-(
Shouting down Congressmen and not letting people hear facts is anything but a peaceful revolt. The republican party should hang it's head in disgrace for hiring former HCA CEO Rick Scott to organize these debacles. After all, it was Bill Frist's HCA under Scott's leadership that cheated the federal government out of billions.
To all those who say there will be no death panels ( WRONG ) when they decide not to spend 10 or 20,000 to try and i do mean try to save granny and they say no. that panel has condemned her to death ( like it or not ) there is no possibly other way to put it denigh the care ,kill the senior. So yes there will be a death panel they will just decide before hand which to pay for and which to not. but you are right it wont be on a case by case decision they will just not pay to keep you alive. SO THERE WILL BE A DEATH PANEL but they will have a name like The medical aproperations commity nice name aint it but it still is a death panel.
Notice how slow this board got without the paid street teamers.They must have had a clan rally somewhere.
HEALTHCARE IS NOT A RIGHT!! It is something that is earned.
If you want A RIGHT to healthcare, MOVE TO CUBA!!
....And God help you if you ever need it.
Unbelievably delusional, McCain.
Bringing guns, hanging effigies, illegally defacing public/private property, unruly outbursts, etc. are hardly "peaceful revolt" from the right-wing fringe. Give me break!
Never has anything so "peaceful" given us such a collective headache.
Shut it McPampers. You and your clown car full of "free market" blathering trickle-down nincompoop demogogues are forgetting one thing: 50+ years of empirical evidence proving that the "free market" does not regulate itself, does not fix itself, and in the context of health care, does not provide services that are essential to the health and welfare of our society to approximately 15% of that society. Why doesn't 77% of that society want to rely solely upon the free market to suddenly, magically, miraculously decide to do it? BECAUSE WE'RE SICK OF WAITING.
Most of his base carry a gun in one hand and a bible in the other.I hope real christians know where they stand.
Fan of Common Sense...
Are you saying if a person is born retarded, and cannot earn anything, they have no right to health care?
Wise up folks if it was about the insureance companies they would just set limits on them, and amazingly the insurance companies are the biggest supporters of obamacare because just like all other government programs it will be ripe with over spending and waste. So why do you suppose the pharmacuticals companies are the 2nd biggest supports HMMMM DO THE MATH
Great Town Hall !!! We do need Healthcare reform, but not the kind the Dems are ramming!!! They don't care about the American people, Just want to pad their own nests. Bo is like a kid throwing a tantrum when he doesn't get his way. I agree, the Repubs should have done something about the problem before now, but they haven't been in complete control for years. They have some great ideas now and the Dems want to play hardball.