April 29th, 2008
11:50 AM ET
11 years ago

McCain health care plan emphasizes personal responsibility

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/04/29/art.mccain0429.ap.jpg caption="Preventive care is a key part of the McCain health care plan."] TAMPA, Florida (CNN) - Perhaps taking a cue from his former Republican rival Mike Huckabee - a re-born health nut who spent much of his presidential campaign promoting healthy lifestyles - John McCain on Monday emphasized the role personal responsibility will play in reforming America's health care system.

Before McCain's speech, a top policy adviser had said that a significant chunk of the presumptive Republican nominee's health care plan relied on encouraging people to make their own healthy choices, like maintaining a healthy diet and getting regular exercise.

"But many of us never quite get around to it, and the wake-up call doesn't come until the ambulance arrives or we're facing a tough diagnosis," said McCain at the University of South Florida's Moffitt Cancer Center Tuesday.

McCain called for a "next generation" of chronic disease prevention, with a focus on early intervention, new treatment models and public health education and infrastructure. He also argued for financial incentives that would promote good health habits and discourage high-risk behaviors like smoking.

The comments were part of a high-profile health care policy rollout by the Arizona senator, in which he called for greater national competition among private insurance providers and derided the "nationalized health care" plans of his Democratic rivals.

Both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama also emphasize prevention in their health care plans.

McCain's policy director Douglas Holtz-Eakin told reporters Monday night that as president, McCain would fund public education programs and use "the bully pulpit" to encourage health attitudes among children and adults.

He said a major plank of McCain's health care plan is simply "a focus on personal responsibility, and the kinds of things that can help you get better outcomes just by taking care of yourself."

Filed under: John McCain
soundoff (135 Responses)
  1. Deborah

    McCain (Dr. Sominex) Please go home

    April 29, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  2. Jason from Chicago

    He's got a point there. People wait way to long to start doing things about their conditions. Be it eating unhealthy, not exercising or drinking and smoking, people need to start by taking better care of themselves.

    However, I will say that this is way easier said then done and to think that America is gonna be the one to change if he becomes President is a longshot at best.

    April 29, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  3. carolflowery

    Mr. McCain, maybe your plan just has too much common sense to it
    for most to understand, I think some only understand "free medicine"
    and nothing is free, nothing.

    April 29, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  4. I dont' have an anger problem I have an idiot problem

    now i see how we are going to be able to afforde keeping the medical industry in business we are going to pay them our premiums they will not give us anything in return and it will be our fault if we get sick because we should have quit one of our jobs so we can work out.. after all everyone knows that the wealthy are not as sick as the poor so it must be the poors fault well that and 41 double cheeseburgers and $1 coke or $1.29 water and $3.89 salads.....

    April 29, 2008 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  5. Jon

    What is this?? A candidate calling for Americans to take responsibility for our own actions? But I thought that the Government was created to bail me out whenever I buy too big a house or eat too many Big Macs.

    April 29, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  6. mimi de la cruz for OBAMA






    April 29, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  7. stephanie

    The United States is the only wealthy, industrialized nation that does not have universal healthcare. I absolutely advocate personal responsibility for living a healthy life, however that does not diminish the need for universal healthcare in this country. The only people that complain about "socialized medicine" being a failure in Canada and Europe, are here in the United States. As I have lived abroad, most people in those nations are very happy with their "socialized medicine."

    Moreover, Senator McCain voted against a measure that would give healthcare to poor children. And President Bush vetoed that bill. This is appalling. For the Christian Right, ask yourself, is this really what Jesus would do?

    The candidate that can deliver universal healthcare is Senator Clinton. She is the only candidate that has a plan that covers everyone.

    April 29, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  8. Seriously gross just ick

    And what about people who have a genetic health condition that has nothing to do with their lifestyle? Let's just blame the victim and forget those people, as they are obviously flawed members of the species. Idiot.

    April 29, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  9. Gorbashov, Long Beach, Ca.

    How about the "personal responsibilty" of providing access to health care to the 47 million that can't afford it, or who can't get a policy because of pre-existing conditions???

    Social Darwinism at it's finest!

    How do these snake-oil salesman get away with screwing the very people they say they are representing?

    How do you get to be so stupid that you vote against your own economic, and life interests?

    Lucky, for the Republicans, that "there is one born every day"...........................suckers that is!

    April 29, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  10. Blake

    "It seems hard for a bootless man to pull himself up by his own bootstraps." Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

    Personal responsibility really helped during the Great Depression didn't it my friend. I wonder where we would all be without the programs started to provide "boots" with "bootstraps" so people could pull themselves up.

    April 29, 2008 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  11. Alonzo Demetrius

    We need to bring down health care costs by competition between doctors and drug companies, even hospitals. This would be where responsibility for our own health would benefit us. We need a new medical theory that has been overlooked during the last generation: that doctors go into medicine to heal, not to "get rich quick" - same with makers of drugs and execs of hospitals.

    April 29, 2008 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  12. Pam

    McCain's healthcare plan...Don't get sick.

    April 29, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  13. xtina, chicago

    Do you wake up in the morning and think " gee, I wish Congress would be in charge of my health care"? we have to continue working on a free market solution. getting the federal government involved isn't the answer .

    April 29, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  14. Cody S. - Montgomery, AL

    A health care-for-profit system is corrupt at its most base levels. There is no fixing such a system.

    I am ashamed to live in a country that 1) doesn't cover its citizens with free universal health care and 2) brands all who advocate for such as a system as unpatriotic socialists.

    John Edwards was the only candidate that was going to make significant strides to rectify our situation and it's no wonder that he didn't last in the race.

    April 29, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  15. 58 old white wemen for OBAMA







    April 29, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  16. Insane the Mccain

    Mccain can actually win this election if he just......

    SHUTS UP!!!!!!!

    April 29, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  17. frank O

    but then why is the govt. giving all breaks to big corporations including oil companies and pharmaceuticals? with candidate like McCain we are heading towards an on-coming train wreck while we are already in a train wreck. god help US of A.

    April 29, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  18. John Smith

    Why is NO one with a brain bigger than a bird not focusing on the big issue for this NATION:

    How can America vote to return an "impeached family" (especially that the Clintons have and continue to lie to people in the nation) to that White House? Have we no shame, but rather more concerned with "wealth?"

    This is a land of "opportunity." Unless you, me, and everyone else is given that "opportunity", no one will ever have the experience needed to make this nation move forward. This is about this nation, not an individual– Only Obama holds the real "American Dream" and the opportunity to open the door for you, me, and our children. We do not need a dynasty in this nation; even the British people are getting tired of the monarchy!

    April 29, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  19. catknox

    This is an example of why the Republicans "just do not get it." Granting tax credits to people who do not need "credits" is a truly a Republican response, rather people need a reform of the system to drive their direct costs down. For the wealthy "credits" are fine, but for the average American a tax break is not what they need. The entire system is broken, feeding the beast with more money from tax credits is simply pandering to the health care industry and insurance companies that created this mess.

    April 29, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  20. Praetorian, Fort Myers

    If it's individual responsibility we're touting here John....

    Why is the government writing checks to individuals and insurance companies for healthcare under your plan"?

    Since when is the government responsible for providing anything to my family?

    I must have missed something!!

    April 29, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  21. David Goldman for OBAMA





    April 29, 2008 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  22. Sam, Muncie, Ind.

    McCain will be 72 in August.

    I love people … in fact, I own several. (just kidding for you who take things too seriously)

    Most people have their drivers license taken away by the time they're 72.

    April 29, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  23. Trevor McArthur

    Wait, wait, wait. All you people who agree with old man McCain need to remember HE'S A MULTI-MILLONAIRE who still gets his health care for free. He's got no problem with government healthcare, only a problem letting average people have it.

    So in his plan, if I get cancer its all because I was too stupid not to get sick and too stupid not to an extra 1/4 millon cash for the procedures? I'm for responsibility but the current republican leadership uses it as a code for "you're on your own!"

    No Democrat is proposing "free" healthcare, but to solve the healthcare crisis, even a CONSERVATIVE fix of it, will take more than this head in the sand approach.

    April 29, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  24. Praetorian, Fort Myers

    Healthy people don't need healthcare John.
    If we give up all of our vices what are all those doctors to do with themselves?

    April 29, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  25. TonyNJ

    Tell that to the parents of a ,God forbid , child born with illness or birth defects. They say a piece of paper in Washington D.C. states that all men are created equal. What happens now to those unfortunate ones born with illness. What will McCains healthcare plan do to benefit the unfortunate one's?

    April 29, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
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