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. Chris, Middletown, CT

    This will be rejected by Democrats everywhere....everyone knows that Hillary was right on when she embraced Marxist Saul Alinskys plan to government to control every aspect of your life....personal responsibility – fooey on that....Marxism baby....its the Hillary way (what a group of dopes)

    April 29, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  2. Eric

    Here's what you do, raise everyone's taxes 4% or 5%, hell 10% would be fine with me if it meant everyone in this country is able to see a doctor when they need to. I don't know about you but if you're making under 50k you're probably paying more then that for your health insurance, as it is now 12% of my check goes to health insurance for my wife and I not to mention another 6% goes to fill 3 prescriptions and that's with drug coverage (and i work for a fortune 20 company) So I'm spending 18% of my pay just for health care.

    Access to health care should be a right, not a privilege. I don't want to hear another story about someone dying because they were denied care that would have saved their life. I don't want to hear another story about someone being in an accident and the hospital not reattaching a limb because they couldn't pay for it.

    To help get people into healthier life styles you give bonuses to doctors who get their clients to lose weight, quit smoking, coming in annually for check ups and CURING someones illness not just treating the symptoms. Just getting people to come in annually would greatly reduce over all costs if things get caught early and if people actually go to the doctor if they're sick. When was the last time you went to the doctor when you were sick? Last time I did that was 10 years ago when I was in high school when I didn't have to pay for it. I've been sick many times since then but haven't gone.

    April 29, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  3. Hec in SA

    Since when did the Constitution promise to safeguard the God-given rights of life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness, and a good "single payer" health plan?

    And why is it now my responsibility as a tax payer to provide free medical coverage for anyone else OTHER THAN my own family? And where does it all end? Free government healthcare, followed by free government food, clothing, automobiles and housing? And what will happen when tax payers decide to revolt and shelter their money from the government? Will it spark a war pitting those who pay all the taxes yet receive no benefits, against those who pay no taxes yet reap the rewards of someone else's labor?

    A free republic will exist only up to the point when the populace realizes it can vote itself a piece of the treasury. THIS is why the Founders included the Second Amendment in the Bill of Rights... to ensure the people have the freedom to defend themselves against a belligerant government that seeks to deprive people of fruit of their toils.

    April 29, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  4. Mike, Kalamazoo, MI

    McCain on personal responsibility:

    If everyone would just have the personal responsibility to marry a MILLIONAIRE, they wouldn't need to worry about the government providing health care!

    April 29, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  5. Veterans Against McCain

    Carol, you are right, nothing is free, that's why we pay taxes....Police, Fire, Dept. of Transportation, Parks, schools, etc.

    These things will be covered just like healthcare.....what's the problem?

    Should we privatize the fire department and just tell people to be careful and use "common sense". No that's just ridiculous!

    April 29, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  6. CB in CANADA

    CANADA's HEALTH CARE SYSTEM is AWESOME!!!!!!!!! I have gone to my doctor, to emergency, myself, my parents, my daughter, my husband – all of us. AND NONE OF US EVER HAD TO PAY A DIME!!!!!!!

    All of us are working, we all pay taxes. I actually never mind paying taxes because I know what I get back in health care and good roads and schools is WAAAAAAAAAAAAY more than I could afford on my own. If I had to buy health insurance, I couldn't afford it and would probably have let a lot of health problems fester as a result.

    My grandmother had cancer, my had breast cancer, my grandfather had a heart condition, my other aunt had a stroke....all normal old-age stuff. And none of us have had to pay anything, we didn't lose our house, we were never denied health care – NO PAPER WORK NOTHING!!!!!!

    Anyone who says "socialized" medicine doesn't work is an idiot. Our health care system was the result of a politician who was tired of seeing people lose their farms and their homes because if someone got sick in their family, they couldn't afford it.

    April 29, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  7. Jessica

    Why is it that all other industrial nations have successfully implemented universal healthcare programs but I keep hearing how "complex" it would be to do so in the United States? What, specifically, makes it so hard for the Americans?

    April 29, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  8. Concerned Voter

    This is the worst I have heard yet. Where is McCain the moderate who I have been admiring for years ?

    April 29, 2008 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  9. Amanda

    I think what people miss about the health care debate is that socioeconomic status plays a HUGE role in this issue. Being able to afford insurance for health care, access to a place to exercise perhaps, being able to have the time to exercise (i.e. not working say, 4 or 5 jobs).

    April 29, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  10. Mike, Travis AFB, CA


    April 29, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  11. Political Junkie

    After a great deal of soul searching, I have come to the conclusion that Senator Obama is no longer abel to be elected. Every week there is something new. Obama supporters, and I was one, be objective and starting asking what he is up to. He says "He is not the man met 20 years ago," but how about the main he was so close to up to a few weeks ago. Senator Obama survived so long because, I am now sorry to say, he was the darling of the press. Now he is flip flopping more than John Kerry did in 2004. I am afraid that he has hurt himself badly.

    April 29, 2008 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  12. Jean Mc

    Does this man and the Republican party talking heads have a clue how life is out here in the real world USA? Anybody that agrees with him is either extremely self absorbed, rich or just plain stupid – the working poor cannot afford health care and there are millions of them – people who work hard in minimum wage jobs or slightly above and have not the education or talents to make "big bucks" to afford cost restrictive health care. People aren't either lazy or hard working – there are a lot of gray areas to many lives and to sit in judgement of those who are struggling daily just to survive, is ignorant. I have worked in human services for years and there you come face to face with real people with real issues and real heartaches. Not the selfish, self-centered black and white issue world the Republicans politicians and talking heads live in. How would he and his billionaire wife have a clue what is going on? And why did he even apply for and get social security!! Why do people who are worth billions care about a thousand or so a month more!?

    April 29, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  13. ABG

    Senator McCain, you are more out of touch than I thought!

    What does diet and excercise have to do with not being able to get health insurance to do preventative screenings like mammograms, bone density scans, a colonoscopy, etc.?

    You do not deserve to be President if you will not help hard working Americans receive affordable health care insurance.

    You would not be a President who represents ALL of us! More of the same Bush years.

    April 29, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  14. McCain Is Too Old!

    The funny thing is the dribbling morons who will vote for McCain are the same slurpee guzzling, Nascar watching, Wonder bread and Velveta eating, inbreds that will need public healthcare to fix whatever self inflicted affliction they've developed. The rest of us(with a brain) will do the common sense things to stay healthy, but unfortunately some will still fall victim to cancer, accidents, etc....

    This guy is out of touch!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 29, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  15. mitch from ark.

    he has good health care.ha has always had good health care.he has all the money he needs.he has his wife's jet.he knows nothing about the troubles of the poor.

    April 29, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  16. TRW

    Senator McCain gets the best health care available. Maybe he should try health care that most of us have, or no health care, like millions of people.

    April 29, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  17. Bukky

    Oh.. all he is saying is that "you people should be responsible enough not the get cancer" and "when you do get bone cancer, your insuance company can drop you becuase clearly YOU brough it on yourself... and after one company drops you, another one can deny you coverage because you should have avoided getting cancer"


    April 29, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  18. zivo24

    McCain's health care plan in a nutshell:

    "Dont get sick with anything that you can't afford".

    April 29, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  19. Nora, FLORIDA

    Thats it McCain. Just throw the American people under the Straight Way Express!!!! The government can't control and get a grip on Insurance companies so you will just let the American people continue to suffer. I am a highly educated individual who have had to tackle and face Blue Cross/Blue Shield and came close to hiring an attorney.....so question is, what about those who are illiterate and who have no one to advocate for them because that is what they are trusting our government to do since We The People are the ones who elect you politicians. It appears that the only requirement for politician is INCOMPETENCE!!!

    April 29, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  20. Bonkin

    Typical Republican, blame the victim, blame sick people for being ill. So my nephew got childhood diabetes because he was irresponsible when he was 8 years old? Did my father give himself leukemia? No, I think the radiation he was exposed to in the military was the cause! While we are on the subject of personal responsibility, how about Bear Stears being responsible for their own demise? How about Iraq taking responsibility to stop killing each other so we can stop spending $12 BILLION a month on them and take care of America? Speaking of personal responsibility John boy, since your wife is worth $150 million, why are you collecting government benefits per your tax returns, which you obviously don't need? According to George W. Bush, we could all have health care if we just set up savings accounts for it. Let them eat cake John boy McSame!

    April 29, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  21. Danny

    Good for you Barack, throw that albatross away and move on. Who cares about McCain and Hillary, they will tell us anything to move in the White House, and forget about the people.

    McCain will wake up everyday thinking about war, and Hillary will wake up everyday thinking about Hillary.


    April 29, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  22. Carrie Good Eagle Hayden, Idaho

    We have a right, and I emphasize RIGHT, to have healthcare for every person in this country. We need a one payor plan, like other Civilized countrides, (notice the emphasis on civilized). We deserve the same healthcare that McCain has and all the other politicians. I would rather pay for healthcare than WAR. And guess what all you greedy republicans, I pay 25% income tax, and I would be willing to pay more if we could guarantee a decent healthcare plan for all our citizens, rich and poor. Jesus never charged a dime to heal anyone, so practice what you preach, You are your brother's keeper.

    April 29, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  23. GT

    mc cain is bad news. period.

    April 29, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  24. Carrie Good Eagle Hayden, Idaho

    We have a right, and I emphasize RIGHT, to have healthcare for every person in this country. We need a one payor plan, like other Civilized countries , (notice the emphasis on civilized). We deserve the same healthcare that McCain has and all the other politicians. I would rather pay for healthcare than WAR. And guess what all you greedy republicans, I pay 25% income tax, and I would be willing to pay more if we could guarantee a decent healthcare plan for all our citizens, rich and poor. Jesus never charged a dime to heal anyone, so practice what you preach, You are your brother's keeper.

    April 29, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  25. Chad, FL

    This guy will go charging up the hill with Cindy behind him. He's a flake.

    Move on to a better America, vote for Barack.


    April 29, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
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