October 11th, 2007
05:00 PM ET
15 years ago

McCain: Clinton's healthcare plan is 'still a pig'

Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, criticized New York Sen. Hillary Clinton's healthcare plan after unveiling his own Thursday in Des Moines.

DES MOINES, Iowa (CNN) - Drawing comparisons between New York Sen. Hillary Clinton's current healthcare plan and the one she championed in 1993, Arizona Sen. John McCain joked Thursday, "I think they put some lipstick on the pig, but it's still a pig."

"There are many things that concern me about [Clinton's plan]," the Republican presidential candidate said. "It's.... eerily reminiscent of what they tried back in 1993."

McCain also said he traveled around the country that year "trying to make people aware of the catastrophic consequences that would ensue if we had enacted that healthcare plan."

"It is the liberal outlook. Let government do it. That's the ultimate solution," McCain added. "I haven't examined all the details of the plan, but it is the big government system with mandates, eventual mandates, as I read it."

The presidential hopeful said the plan from 1993 was met with "a lot of support from big business." He argued that large businesses favor government-run healthcare because "they don't want to pay for it themselves."

Click here to see CNN's new political portal: CNNPolitics.com

-CNN Iowa Producer Chris Welch

Filed under: Iowa • John McCain
soundoff (50 Responses)
  1. James, Hollywood, CA

    And you are the real pig, Mr Rodney because either you are really fool like a pig that don't understand his comment or pretend to be fool. Either way you are the pig, sir.

    October 12, 2007 12:51 am at 12:51 am |
  2. M. Bryan, Taylor, AR

    Did John McCain actually find time to read Hillary's health plan? What's his?

    October 12, 2007 12:57 am at 12:57 am |
  3. John Q, Hartford Connecticut

    You're the Pig!! No No YOU'RE the pig!!
    Thanks guys. You're what makes America's two party system work so well. Good stuff. Thanks.

    October 12, 2007 01:15 am at 1:15 am |
  4. Robert, Jakarta

    In true CNN style, they "Iowa Producer", Chris Welch did not stress that McCain has no plan. The story only gives the impression that CNN agrees with McCain. McCain's plan, do nothing. Large corporations, who fund GOP candidates profit from our "private" healthcare system. He said that "large businesses favor government-run healthcare" when he knows that's a lie. Who were the one's screaming the loudest when Hillary tried to initiate a change in healthcare provisioning back in '93?

    October 12, 2007 02:07 am at 2:07 am |
  5. Steve, Lyons, CO

    "It is the liberal outlook. Let government do it. That's the ultimate solution," McCain added.

    No, John. It's the conservative outlook. Let the private health industry gouge citizens with the complicity of the current Repub admin.

    Now, go mow Bush's lawn, you stupid wimp. Mr. Vietnam Hero has turned into Political Wuss. What a coward. Why not attack more kids for wanting health insurance, you corporate butt crack licker.

    October 12, 2007 02:51 am at 2:51 am |
  6. Jim, Kansas

    It's really esay to be critical of someones ideas when you have none of your own.

    October 12, 2007 06:13 am at 6:13 am |
  7. Dan (Columbia, MD)

    I'm surprised the CNN moderators even allow distasteful comments like those from Mr Internet Tough Guy "Steve" on this blog. Oh wait, McCain's a Republican.

    Like it or not, McCain is right on this issue. You can't get blood from a stone and that's what Hillary will try to do with her healthcare program. What makes anyone thing the government can pay for all of this when they can even fix our social security, education, or immigration problems? Take a look at "model" socialist healthcare systems like Canada's. They have to deal with long waits for routine visits and procedures and even send their pregnant women to the United States to have their babies.

    Yeah, that what we all need. More layers ineffective "trust me, I'm with the government and I'm here to help."

    October 12, 2007 07:25 am at 7:25 am |
  8. Lakisha St.Louis, Mo.

    This woman doesn't understand truth.She called Barack naive and irresponsible about meetin with Iran w/o precondition hearings here is her quote on yesterday in NH


    Clinton Says She'd Negotiate With Iran
    By HOLLY RAMER – 7 hours ago

    CANTERBURY, N.H. (AP) — Hillary Rodham Clinton called Barack Obama naive when he said he'd meet with the leaders of Iran without precondition. Now she says she'd do the same thing, too.

    During a Democratic presidential debate in July, Obama said he would be willing to meet without precondition in the first year of his presidency with the leaders of Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba and North Korea.

    Standing with him on stage, Clinton said she would first send envoys to test the waters and called Obama's position irresponsible and naive.

    But asked about it Thursday by a voter, the New York senator said twice that she, too, would negotiate with Iran "with no conditions."

    "I would engage in negotiations with Iran, with no conditions, because we don't really understand how Iran works. We think we do, from the outside, but I think that is misleading," she said at an apple orchard.

    She characterized her recent vote to label Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps a terrorist organization as a way to gain leverage for those negotiations.

    Obama and other rivals for the Democratic presidential nomination have been criticizing Clinton's vote late last month in favor of the resolution, comparing it to her 2002 vote authorizing the war in Iraq.

    They have suggested that the Iran vote was the first step toward a military invasion there.

    Now you tell me Who is the Leader and the follower.

    Obama 08

    October 12, 2007 08:11 am at 8:11 am |
  9. Mary, Beaver, PA

    Government-run health care is a bad idea. There is no way I want my health care managed by government bureaucrats who are accountable to no one. If you don't believe that, try getting a government bureaucrat to correct a one-digit mistake (THEIR mistake) on a government document... and be prepared to wait AT LEAST half a year. What do you think will happen (or not happen) if you have a problem with your government-run health care? It's not like you'll be able to switch providers.

    Further, I don't want my employer providing my health care either. I deeply resent the "paternalism" of Corporate America (as if Corporate America really cared about its employees). JUST PAY ME FOR MY WORK and let me make my OWN choices from a wide variety of providers IN THE PRIVATE SECTOR.

    There is no doubt that rising health care costs are an issue. Was it an issue before the government got into the health care business in the mid-1960's?

    Just wondering.

    October 12, 2007 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  10. Tom - Dedham, Mass

    I am sure you are referring to the recent bill that Bush TOTALLY SUPPORTED until the Democrats for votes ONLY, started adding in 25 year olds and calling them "children" and then throwing in people that make way too much money that takes away the intent of the bill in the first place.

    If it is just about the children, why do the Democrats not want to compromise on this bill like BUSH ASKED?

    I quote Dumbya "Let's take care of the poor children first".

    Nah, your party is in election mode and if they can make political points (with the help of the lying MSM) bleep the children right?

    And NOBODY is more corporate than your beloved HILLARY and I quote "Lobbyists represent "real" American people".

    How much of the health care industries money has she taken? Millions.

    Think we will see this in an ad anytime down the road?

    Count on it.

    October 12, 2007 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  11. Ginger Lee, Northern Utah

    "I haven't examined all the details of the plan, but it is the big government system with mandates, eventual mandates, as I read it."

    Sounds to me like McCain has just contradicted himself.

    Typical Republican- the government doesn't pay for anything except war and prostitution.

    October 12, 2007 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  12. Rodney Dallas TX

    Calling me a pig and yet you don't know anything about me. Now who's the pig? I know all I need to know about McCain and he will NEVER receive a vote from me, my friends, my family, or my company. Actually, no one I know would even consider voting for him. I'm an attorney who works for a large law firm in Dallas so before you even start with some cheesy comeback of how I probably work in a McDonalds somewhere and my family is full of toothless hillbillies, I'll go ahead and lay that argument to rest. Living in Hollywood huh? You're probably some wannabe actor who works as a waiter till your "big" break comes. Your head is as much in the clouds about becoming famous as McCain's is to think he has a chance of becoming President.

    October 12, 2007 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  13. Chris, Middletown, CT

    Funny...McCain is right. The liberal left is jumping up and down at their socialist candidates proposal. The anger that they must feel is overwelming – their inability to ever win an argument based on the facts (not the rhetoric they spew) – when you corner one of them...they always say "but we spent billions in Iraq" – then you point out that Hillary voted for it....then they never respond...the thing is...America will not pay the 50% tax rate it will take to get the subpar goverment insurance (ask Canada) – can you name a goverment program that is cost effective and well run? me either. Ask yourself....why is insurance so expensive...Insurance companies...and profits (thats called capitalism...) – and why do insurance companies need to charge so much....they are daily targets for scumbag lawyers suing them....why not address the underlying issues first....?? yet...no discussions of tort reform....as the Bar association (along with unions and other entitlist entities) are pouring money to the Democrats) – the tax dollars are ours....Giuliani 08

    October 12, 2007 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  14. RightyTighty

    Hillary's healthcare plan is reflective of Hillary. A pig wearing lipstick.
    Sorry Hillary, that might work in Arkansas but it doesn't fly out here in the real world..

    October 12, 2007 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  15. H OP KS

    We spend over $700,000,000,000 dollars for defense. Actually a lot of it is waisted. They pay $1200 for a meal that shouldn't cost more than $25 and similar out of norm spending. They pay Halliburton billions, and Halliburtron pockets most of it. The military industrial machine is getting as rich as the oil companies at the expense of us. The tax payers who elect the officials who kiss the butts of these corporations and not ours!
    We can shave $200,000,000,000 a year from the $700B and I bet you all we won't sacrifice anything. We just cut the fat off the military spending. With that we can provide UNIVERSAL HEALTH for all Americans. We aleardy provide Medicare, Meidcade, and VA to a lot of Americans, this proves the government can manage it. The agrument that we don't want government to manage this is crazy! I rather government manage healtcare and we all have it than Blue Cross does it and we have a half A**ed coverage that gets more expensive each year and they don't even cover yearly check-up

    Its time for America to get what it deserves. Total health care like France
    If France, England, and Canada, 3 countries that are like ours, but are very limited in resoucres can provide healthcare to everyone, why can't we?
    Our healthcare is a national security issue.
    Don't vote for any presidential or poletition who is not willing to give us Universal Health

    I am sick and tired of people who say Free Market will handle your health care issues

    And furthermore, the tax insentives to provide healthcare through Insurance Industry is only good for the people who make money. Most of the people who don't have insurance 48,000,000 Americans don't have it because they can't afford it. A bit of tax cardit does nothing to bring them in Ms. Clinton!

    October 12, 2007 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  16. Mary, Beaver, PA

    H OP KS, I think I know a little about the English national health system because I have an English husband. Like all productive people in Britain, he paid 8% of his pay to fund this system. Despite that, he had to go to a private dentist because the wait for the NHS one was too long. His NHS doctor suggested that he commit suicide if he couldn't stand the pain of an injury he suffered. Incidently, the NHS doctors misdiagnosed his symptoms for 18 years, and he finally found relief at the hands of a chiropractor, which is "alternative medicine" that NHS doesn't cover. His cousin, who has frequent bouts of dangerous skin cancer on his face, has to go to a private doctor because the wait for the NHS one is too long. (The fact that there are private doctors and dentists in England should tell you something.) While I was in England, I heard news reports of red ink and layoffs within the NHS because it's running out of money.

    "The grass is always greener..." Maybe before we envy another country and the "benefits" that it gives its citizens, we better take a good look at "the pig in the poke."

    October 12, 2007 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  17. Mike, Atlanta, GA

    McCain and the other Republicans leaders fail to acknowledge that one way or the other, we ALL pay for the current healthcare crisis. They are fine with the status quo because they don't need the help. They have good coverage.

    America is supposed to be THE world leader – yet we can't seem to accomplish what almost all other industrialized nations have. We sold our national soul to profits and greed.

    October 12, 2007 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  18. James, Phoenix AZ

    "If France, England, and Canada, 3 countries that are like ours, but are very limited in resoucres can provide healthcare to everyone, why can't we?"


    The economic conditions of Europe currently are:

    $12 per gallon of gas ($3 here)
    9% Unemployment (Under 5% here)
    40-50% individual tax rate (0-30% depending on income here)

    Universal Healthcare is another brick in the golden path of Socialism. The Federal government is HORRIBLE at managing social programs. Perhaps the directors at FEMA will be as successful in running your healthcare as they were Katrina relief.

    October 12, 2007 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  19. pam, waveland , ms.

    there is alot of smart people in here. then again they are so stupid it scares me!!

    October 12, 2007 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  20. Terry, El Paso, TX

    "The liberal left is jumping up and down at their socialist candidates proposal." – Chris, Middletown CT

    No Democrat has proposed a socialist program of any kind. Our political debate does not need the adjectives "socialist," "fascist," "communist" etc unless someone actually IS a socialist, etc. Words have meaning. Don't use these words if you don't know what the word means or if the meaning doesn't apply to the subject at hand.

    I hope we don't hear any more logophobic rants from Chris.

    October 13, 2007 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  21. Chris, Middletown, CT

    Marxist – there was only one present candidate who sang the "benefits" of Saul Alinsky (a Marxist grassroots organizer) – that was Hillary – he liked his "student" so much that he asked her to join him in support of his radical leftist causes – read this quote and tell me if it doesn't remind you of someone
    "That of course is to get power any way you can, including lying, cheating and stealing. The ultimate rule is that the ends justify the means." – Hillary is the socialist....and I am comfortable defending that....you?

    October 13, 2007 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  22. Mary Caiazza

    If you have lived in a foreign country (like Britain) with universal health care you wouldn't be supporting it. You have to wait for months to see a dentist or medical doctor. If you want a specialist, forget it. Yes it's free but 'you get what you pay for'. The U.S. medical system has problems but you have no idea how lucky we are to be able to go to the doctor of our choice and seek medical treatment TODAY if we need it and be knowledgeable in the fact that our doctor knows what he's doing. People who work should have the option to have independent health insurance.

    January 15, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  23. Jordan Faith

    First of all, I'm not really inclined to respect a person who obviously didn't go through sixth grade grammar. If you're going to insult McCain, the GOP front-runner and the one most likely to beat Billary or Obama, at least do it correctly.
    ...Just for the record, not even Pelosi denies that the surge–the one he's advocated for years, mind you–is working wonders.
    Contrary to popular liberal belief, lowering troop levels before the war's over brings nothing but catastrophe and inevitable failure. That's one lesson we should learn from this and past conflicts.
    Good luck finding anything beyond the oft-quoted "liberal rhetoric" to deny these points.
    McCain, I wish you all the best! Here's one 18 year old who's got your back!

    January 29, 2008 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  24. Jordan Faith

    By the way, government mandated healthcare will spell ruin for America. Capitalism is definitely the way to go. I'd say more, but I'm pretty sure others before me have made a good case for privatized health care.

    January 29, 2008 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  25. Becca

    This will be my first time voting in a presidential election so I am desperately trying to pick the best candidate...I am not familiar with the healthcare plan introduced in 1993 discussed in this article. Anyone care to elaborate for me?
    My sister, who recently acquired her own health insurance for the first time discovered that she will not have coverage until she meets a $1000 or $2000 deductible for the month...this will never happen unless she needs some sort of procedure. She had trouble getting insurance in the first place just because she has a preexisting condition (migraines..come on!). I think the present state of our healthcare is absolutely ridiculous.

    February 5, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
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