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. Ivan, Chicago, Illinois

    Since the United States of America's Government is a Representative Government, then it is only fitting that our Senators and Representaives should reflect the State of Health Care of the American People. Therefore the percentage of Americans that don't have Health Care should be applied to those elected to serve in Congress and their families, that selection should be by lottery.

    April 29, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  2. Darth Vadik, CA

    I am so sick of Republicans saying "personal responisbility" while at the same time their ultra rich buddies from the healthcare insurance to big oil ARE ROBBING US DRY.

    April 29, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  3. TONI

    Senator McCain has never had to pay for health care a day in his whole life! Its easy when your on the outside looking in! He has the best insurance the Government has to offer, and even if he didnt, His wife could afford it he got sick. You are out of touch sir. You cant even concieve of what is like to no be able to go to the Dr. because you dont have health care or cant afford the deductables when you do have it. Theres alot of people in this country one paycheck from being homeless, and they have prioritys like feeding their families and keeping a roof over their heads, Healthcare isnt even an option for most of us! Get a clue!

    April 29, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  4. Ken

    This personal accountability mantra we hear so often from the rightwing just drips with hypocrisy when you look at what the current [R] administration and its [R] cohorts in congress have done. And daily we hear them and their supporters continue to blame others for the problems they have created - or, just as bad, stick their head in the sand and proclaim "no problem".

    So now we hear from these same dimwits that we are to blame the sick and dieing for their condition, that we as a society should be so scared of the shrill cries from the right of "socialism" that our government for and of the people should sit stagnant and do nothing about our health care mess. What causes people to buy-in to this sort of regressive world-view? This borders on the same insanity that prevailed in the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections.

    April 29, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  5. David

    Unfortunately we have proven over the past 2 elections that any simpleton can vote and that most are republicans.

    The entire bunch has the comedic intellect of James Kilpatrick in the movie airplane "..they bought their ticket, they knew what they were getting into. I say let 'em crash"

    April 29, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  6. John Smith

    Let us wait untill the Republicans turn their attention on Hillary! Some dems are so ignorant they forget that the Clintons have made everlasting enemies with Republicans. Whatever is going on now with Obama will be small.

    Just think: If the dems are bashing Obama for being in church with a preacher, what will they say about a woman (Hillary) who continues to live with "an impeached president" over sexual scandals! This is just the start of the story. The Dems have started it, I hope they will continue when the Republicans take over!!! God Bless us all out of this mess.

    April 29, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  7. Ike DeLong

    Mc Cain is such an IDIOT!!!!

    April 29, 2008 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  8. M.S. Indiana

    Good idea McCain, think that was stolen out of Obama's health care plan....
    But yes we need to eat better, so why don't you ban some of the crap that is out there....

    How big a government are you planning on running ??

    April 29, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  9. mimi de la cruz for OBAMA



    April 29, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  10. Col Kilgore

    Funny to hear Americans rail against any sort of universal health care because they don't want tax dollars supporting a fellow sick American in need. Never hear them complain about their tax dollars being used to kill innocent Iraqis on a daily basis in a war based on lies. Always lots of money to kill folks but none to save fellow Americans. Kinda weird if you ask me.

    April 29, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  11. norb

    Let's see. Barrack shooting hoops, bowling. Hillary downing a shot and a beer. John McCain doing a commercial for dentures, laxatives, etc. You go John. McCain/Lieberman/Keating 08!

    April 29, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  12. equality

    Everyone should have the 'same' quality of health care as Senator McCain receives at the 'same' price he pays monthly. Those who cannot afford that very modest monthly payment should be subsidized by the government so they can achieve the same quality of health care as Senator McCain.

    Obviously, Senator McCain's medical care is efficacious as the Senator just keeps on going...and going...and going. Does the senator not want everyone to receive that same quality of care for the same price he pays?

    April 29, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  13. David

    Who is Rev. William Procanick ! Hillary's rev. who molested a 8 year old girl! Let's get this in the press!

    April 29, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  14. AZM

    We are the fattest country on Earth by far...

    There is a lot of truth to diet/excersise and health...

    It a good point... although most of America never wants to hear personal responsibility...

    I don't like McCain much... but he's got a point here... it's not a fix but would be a very good start...

    April 29, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  15. norb

    Some reporter needs to investigate what typr of insurance policy John's wife offers to her beer employees?

    April 29, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  16. carolflowery

    well, prevention is a start, to say the least, it is a known fact obesity is a problem here and around the world in some parts, it's time for everyone to share some responsiblitly for everything, and quit blaming government for all our troubles, we are the government, we send them there

    April 29, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  17. Jeremiah W.

    Sen. McCain is out of touch because he still believes in personal responsibility. That's so twentieth-century thinking!

    King Obama '08

    April 29, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  18. Xanadude of Velen

    McCain stole his health care plan from Tom Cruise!

    April 29, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  19. kim in portland, oregon

    jiminy frickin christmas, i just looked at that picture!!! healthcare should be McBush's NUMBER ONE PRIORITY, that is a VERY sick, unhealthy looking man!!! his skin is always gray, he has serious issues with anger and self-control...

    forget 3:00 a.m. phone calls, this guy should be sleeping in a frickin hyperbaric chamber!!!!!!!!!

    April 29, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  20. Dave C - NJ

    There are about a billion scenarios where McCain's "plan" won't work.

    It has nothing to do with "govt bailing peoploe out" it has to do with one thing: Insurance is too expensive.
    But the healthy and wealthy don't care, hey it's not their problem.
    They can still afford gas too, so why should they care about rising gas prices?

    Go after the insurance companies, McStain.

    April 29, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  21. JO

    Henry Miller of NC (above) is one of the few that makes REAL sense. Seems so many are looking for the government to bail them out .. whether it is health issues, mortgage problems and on and on. Obama promises 'hope and change' but he NEVER explains. Well, we hope too, for Nobama!

    Go McCain 2008 !!!

    April 29, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  22. Dave C - NJ

    Hey Nobilly, I did all of the above, and still can't afford coverage for my kids..employers are slashing benefits you elitist pig.

    April 29, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  23. Mireille, Charlotte


    April 29, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  24. Ken

    Hec in SA better go back and read the second amendment again. His interpretation is an "activist" one indeed. This, after his dooms-day rant about excessive government. Recognizing you as a voter who put the current disaster-in-charge in office, TWICE, your regressive approach to current problems does not surprise me. My government is there for me to direct, and I choose to direct it to ensure my life, liberty and happiness by building a more healthy society within which I live. I reject you, your politics, and your vision of American society which resembles the Dark Ages - and I urge you to stay away from my government.

    And be aware, I am benefiting from your version of the 2nd amendment too: my slant is that it ensures I have the freedom to defend myself against idiots who are belligerent to my government, who thereby seek to deprive me of the fruit of my toils.

    April 29, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  25. Benjamin Playfair

    Peoples right to health care is a matter of MORALITY, not POLITICS

    April 29, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
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