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. Gerry

    Well at least McCain is upfront when he says:


    April 29, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  2. Doug R.

    McCain is looking older and older these days and his rambles are making less sense each day. This guy is clueless about what he talking about. He's a scary man.

    April 29, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  3. Lynn

    you are a moron. Senator Clinton does NOT have a plan that "covers" everyone. She has a plan that forces everyone to buy health insurance. Big difference. The health insurance industry will jump for joy if she gets elected and raise their premiums dramatically.

    April 29, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  4. zivo24

    "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."

    Uh-huh...and how are people who don't have health care coverage going to get preventative care?

    That's the problem we have in this country – millions of people are not covered or undercovered and can't afford to get preventative care.

    So, they wait until they get sick and go to the emergency room.

    Then, the rest of us end up having to absorb the expenses of their treatment through higher medical costs and insurance premiums with less coverage.

    Other countries have health care for everyone and people get preventative care instead of waiting till they are sick.

    People who want to see their own doctors can still buy additional health coverage but it costs less than what we pay here because their medical costs are so much lower than ours.

    The only reason we haven't been able to make this sensible solution work here in America is that so many stupid idiots are so hung up on the "socialist" label.

    Eventually, they're going to have to wake up and reailze that even in our broken system, they're health care coverage and expenses are directly affected by everyone else's ability to pay.

    If we make it so everyone can get preventative care, we can lower costs for everyone, including those of us who have coverage.

    April 29, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  5. just plain tired

    Wow, how arrogant to imply that anyone who is in ill health is to blame for their illness.  This coming from someone who has had medical care at taxpayer expense for decades.  Wow, I wonder if his lifestyle choices caused his cancer....

    April 29, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  6. barackobama44thpresidentofusa.blogspot.com

    McCain is so out-of-touch with the needs of the American people. He would truly do the country a good service by removing himself from the whole 2008 election and just retire.

    It's time for REAL change in Washington, it's time for Barack Obama for president !

    April 29, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  7. Nobillary Andobama

    My suggestion to all you liberals who are looking at the government to provide you healthcare.....GET A JOB WITH HEALTH/DENTAL COVERAGE

    if you are incapable of doing that , my recommendation is to.....GET A JOB AND INSURE YOURSELF

    if you say your job doesn't pay you enough to afford healthcare insurance, my recommendation is to.....GET A BETTER PAYING JOB

    if you say you can't find a better paying job because you are unqualified, my recommendation is to....GET A COLLEGE LOAN AND GO TO SCHOOL





    April 29, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  8. Angie, PA

    *gasp* -personal responsibility? that's a hard concept for some people.

    April 29, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  9. An Agnostic Democrat

    It's a shame that he doesn't feel the same about war funding. Hey, McSame, what about the continuing cuts to veterans' benefits that you seem to always support in word only?

    April 29, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  10. Sean

    I actually agree with him on the personal responsibility statement. How come we can't have the best of both parties here?

    April 29, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  11. wd in calgary

    Insanity... Looks like McCain is looking to escape accountability as the President. Just like his current model.

    April 29, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  12. JMB

    McCain's "sorry about your luck" policy isn't doing anybody any favors. He looks at the pharma reps making more than some doctors and the downright criminals known as insurance companies and he sees capitalism just sorting everything out. What he's really saying is that health care is not a right afforded to the American individual. Is that how America will let itself be known? What happens to society when it has the opportunity and the ability to heal the sick, cure the diseased, come to the aid of the helpless...and turns away from the challenge? Sick...help. It's that simple, and we need a policy that can do that as effectively as possible.

    April 29, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  13. hrp

    God, I hope this is one more thing he flip flops on cause he's waaaay off on this policy.

    April 29, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  14. Kathy

    McCain's plan aims at eliminating "the bias toward employer-sponsored health insurance" by offering tax credits for individual plans, according to his campaign website. The credits would be $2,500 for individuals and $5,000 for families. Such write-offs have limited value because average family health care plans cost about $12,000 a year, says Ken Thorpe, a health policy professor at Emory University in Atlanta. Also, many insurers won't accept individuals with pre-existing medical problems, he says.

    So that is how McBush did the Keading 5 fiasco! I guess Economics is not his best subject!

    April 29, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  15. Stephan David

    So you are going to start paying for your healthcare John? Is that what I hear? If not... shut up.

    Wow. Talk about elitist and out of touch.

    April 29, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  16. Keith

    What an idiot! McCain has obviously never worked in health care, never worked with the poor and sick and never wanted for anything. I hope it is his age that makes him so out of touch and not his lack of intelligence.

    April 29, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  17. Hillary, it is your turn to be the uniter!

    Hillary can fight, but can she unite? She will promise you the world just like King George has done. But she will never be Queen except for in your small minds. Can she unite to get the job done? Has she given her race speech yet? Has she talked about why she gets over whelming support of white females? Does she get that support simply because she is a white female and white females want a Queen for a day?
    Come on Hillary. Earn my vote. Talk to me. Bring me in. Unite us.

    April 29, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  18. Edith, Raleigh, NC

    What a vision!!! This is a joke! McCain can't possibly believe that 'eating right' is the solution to the huge gap in healhcare coverage. Sure! we all need to eat healthy and excercize but people still need to be able to visit a doctor at least twice a year, and infants – from 5 to 10 times per year.

    I suppose McCain is unable to find a good proposal for a universal healhcare that can keep his right-ring supporters (Healthcare industry & big businesses) on his side and therefore revert to simplicy...LOL! I expect a little more... from a presidential candidate.

    April 29, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  19. James Littlejohn

    Oh yeah, I forgot, I can prevent Cancer by exercising...wow, who would have thought!

    April 29, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  20. Alberto

    You might get my vote Mr. McCain go and ask all irresponsible person to take responsibility for their accions, Hillary was my first choice but with people like Mr. Carville on her side she would not get my vote my vote will be either for Mr. Obama or Mr. McCain

    April 29, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  21. DAN

    Only Hillary has a real healthcare plan that will cover everybody. No beating around the bush on this one, She's got it, she's been fine tunning this policy for 15 years. Sen Edwards will endorse her shortly.
    Go Hillary!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!08

    April 29, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  22. Chance

    So if I understand the wisdom of JM: I won't get cancer if I eat right and exercise. So if I do get cancer, I didn't eat quite right or exercise enough. Right.....

    You can fool some of the people all of the time and all of the people some of the time. But you can't fool all of the people all of the time....I hope.

    April 29, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  23. buffy

    If McCain really believes that prevention is a key, then why aren't fees to a gym or health club tax deductable? Also, would he have everyone gentically tested so that people who are pre-disposed to diabtes, be charge more money for insurance if the indulge in the risk taking behavior of eating dessert?

    April 29, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  24. Heather

    When has a government run program actually worked??? Medicare is out of control, Medicaid is ridiculous! AND you actually want them to manage WHO YOU SEE??? or WHEN YOU GET SEEN?? Get real people. If you want socialized medicine by all means GO to Canada. Go to one of the countries that have it.

    April 29, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  25. The Corp

    Unfortunately, liberals ( I will not lump all Dems into this) have no concept of personal reasponsibility! A society run amock, looking for someone to guide them. Utterly pathetic!

    April 29, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6