August 25th, 2009
07:13 PM ET
9 years ago

McCain: Health care reform has sparked a 'peaceful revolt'


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."

Filed under: Arizona • Extra • Health care • John McCain • Popular Posts
soundoff (50 Responses)
  1. Aunt Bea and Opie

    It was almost always 51%and it should stay majority rules.

    August 25, 2009 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  2. GOPer

    Mccain supports Palin and her thesis of Death Panels and Death Books, he's a loon and a sell out!

    August 25, 2009 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  3. bill

    mccain you mean private insurance caint compete.well how about this you and all other 100 senators give back what they payed you hippricits.senator mccain.THEY DONT WANT TO COMPETE. GOT IT.YOU OLD FOSSIL.

    August 25, 2009 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  4. Zaley

    McCain still has no answers but he has plenty of criticisms to dish out. Moron.

    August 25, 2009 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  5. Shirley In California

    Yes McCain we all know you like ignorance at any level. I'm sure it reminds him of the hateful crowds he and his rat-faced running mate drew during the campaign. Why doesn't he just retire and go away with the wife and family he sold his soul for? The world would be a much better place without him, his hatred and the kinds of people he focuses on. The Bible speaks about (coveting) thy neighbor. It can be such a dangerous thing but then again we all know he's not religious.

    August 25, 2009 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  6. Janet

    To me striking contrast- John McCain discussing Health Care Reform with citizens, Mr. Obama playing golf with head of UBS...

    August 25, 2009 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  7. Texas Observer

    I am amazed that these Idiotic republicans have any time spouting off hate on these blogs. Shouldn’t they be spending their time developing a vaccine for the Swine flu, and other similar activities that they don’t want the socialistic government be part of. ‘We can take care of ourselves’….my foot. They will stand first in line to get these vaccines that the socialist govt. arranged for.

    When former president Reagen uttered that stupid comment about ‘Government is the problem’, I am sure he didn’t imagine how negatively that will affect our country for years to come. Our country is so backwards to entertain some of these Idiotic conservative ideas. Can’t wait for the next generation to get to Voting age!

    August 25, 2009 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  8. Farrell in Houston

    John McCain the man who left his sick and disabled wife and files for a marriage license in another state before he's divorced couldn't say boo to me about healthcare reform. If he didn't care about family how could he possibly care about me.

    August 25, 2009 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  9. Rosa Birmingham, AL

    Peaceful? We need health care reform NOW. It should be the people who are for reform that are screaming. IT is sad that the people who seem to be most afraid of it would benefit the most. They may think they have good insurance but they are only one lay off or one diagnosis from being dropped, then let's see what they are screaming about.

    August 25, 2009 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  10. P. D.

    Peaceful? Are you serious? These people show up with guns, anti-Obama litrerature and Hitler/Obama signs and you think that is peaceful? I guess McCain spent to much time on the Campaign Trail with Sarah Palin and her terrorist talk. inciting the crowds into a frenzy. Yeah, real Peaceful!

    August 25, 2009 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  11. Alfred E. Neumann

    Senator McCain, a step behind the times and that's the way voters in Arizona like it. A town hall meeting filled with old white people who find fear more comforting than knowledge.

    August 25, 2009 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  12. spenser M

    why does this feel like a campaign effort... oh wait.

    August 25, 2009 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  13. linda

    ""Peaceful Revolt: What movie is he watching? I must say, however, Republicans did a great job of staging the Town Hall meetings. It's all they have left. Now we can clearly see the truth that Republicans are not trying to embrace President Obama - let alone his policies.

    August 25, 2009 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  14. Keeth in California

    "So let's go back with constructive, free-market incentives to improve the quality of health care and the affordability and availability," he said.

    Ok, Mr. McCain, give us some examples of how the free market can improve health care, affordability, and availability. I want to hear specifics. Sure seems like this hasn't worked so far. Today I went to the doctor and found out my insurance does not cover preventative care, so I have to pay for my tetanus booster myself. I also have to see a specialist for a biopsy, but my insurance won't pay for either the visit or the lab work. All I can afford is basic catastrophic insurance. This is unacceptable in the world's supposedly richest country. Do something more than talk and pander. Do something real.

    August 25, 2009 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  15. JonDie

    "McCain: Health care reform has sparked a 'peaceful revolt'"

    Translation: Republicans like McCain have deliberately spread lies like "euthanasia boards" to stop health care reform, which means:

    1) Medicare will go broke,

    2) a large number of Americans will NOT receive health insurance and health care, and

    3) Americans will continue to lose their insurance by changing jobs.

    Good job, Sen. McCain! We can tell that YOU, a rich and privileged senator, will receive enough health care to equal the care of 100 uninsured persons.

    August 25, 2009 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  16. Dawn Ada, Ohio

    Please someone tell me how competition would drive insurance companies out of business??? I am so friggin confused!! If this were the case, then why hasn't the US Postal Service put UPS and FED X out of business yet? I think I heard it was the USPS who was going to cut back on deliveries and who doesn't have enough money. This theory doesn't fly and anyone who believes it is stupid and anyone who espouses it is a LIAR.

    August 25, 2009 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  17. phillip bias

    Peaceful for NOW... But let congress keep ignoring the electorate and all bets are off.

    August 25, 2009 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  18. jfs Memhis, Tn

    It certainly has.......and the NEW silent majority has awakened. We must have health care reform and a government option. The bulk of working Americans( Not the wealthy nor comfortably retired) will share our voices for All Americans in a fashion that is not acidic nor nasty. We will calmly persuade our fellow citizens the need to insure the welfare of Americans. The next several weeks will unvail the direction of this Country for many years to come. It will prove that yelling and stacking town hall meetings will convince few.

    August 25, 2009 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  19. Proud Member..Party of No

    My current healthcare is excellent. I have a great doctor. I have no trouble getting in to see him when I need to and my health insurance provider is excellent and easy to deal with and they generally pay about 80% of my healthcare costs. I couldn't be happier with my health care. If a democrat had the same plan they would be whining incessantly about the 20% that they are required to pay. Just one more reason people think democrats are loons.

    August 25, 2009 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  20. Voice of reason

    I love this one. The GOP's new strategy now is saying:
    "Obama has not read the health care plan"
    They are calling him clueless.

    Ok Dems! Here's your chance to stop a new lie before it catches on.

    You've done so poorly in dispelling "death panels" and "pulling the plug on grandma", let's see how you do with this new one. Please do not mess this one up.

    August 25, 2009 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  21. jinxie

    McCain conveniently forgets it was government negotiating free market incentives that got us to the point where 40 million have no insurance. Thousands die every year because of free market incentives.
    The public cry for reform is ignored for decades and replaced with government negotiated free market incentives.
    A third world relief organization lands in Los Angeles and treats thousands upon thousands of victims of government negotiated free market incentives.
    We are in a crisis. McCain can't see it from his elite position. He has healthcare whenever he wants it.
    We want the same. Not government negotiated free market incentives. The same plan he and Obama have.
    We need the government to take control because the free market incentives have proved to inspire nothing but greed and corruption.
    One Group. One Plan. One Payer. The American Plan.

    August 25, 2009 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  22. Joseph, Los Angeles

    What's so peaceful about it? The right wing supporters who are against health care for all is fighting tooth and nail to keep the insurance companies powerful... That doesn't make sense.

    August 25, 2009 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  23. calvin

    please stop going after the american who are trying to save you from a hostile person who would kill you and all your kids in a blink of an eye. now is not the time to kill the people who save you just by using words and loud sounds . stop with the bush hating. this man has given your leader the respect he has won. so you all do the same.

    August 25, 2009 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  24. Legna

    My friends, its time for a strong conservative to stand up and speak. Not a semi-liberal.

    August 25, 2009 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
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