July 17th, 2008
02:50 PM ET
12 years ago

McCain calls Obama health care plan 'HillaryCare'

McCain said Obama's health care plan amounts to a government takeover.

McCain said Obama's health care plan amounts to a government takeover.

KANSAS CITY, Missouri (CNN) - John McCain devoted a substantial chunk of his town hall meeting Thursday to drawing contrasts with Barack Obama on health care policy, stressing his opposition to the presumptive Democratic nominee's health care plan and noting the "great difference" between them on abortion.

McCain's strongest denunciation of Obama came when discussing the Democrat's health care plan, which would cost $50-65 billion per year but would not mandate insurance coverage for all adults, only children.

"My friends, we've seen this movie before," McCain said. "It was called 'HillaryCare' back in 1993, and we're not going to do it again. We're not going to have the government take over the health care system in America."

At a later moment in the town hall, when stressing his own bipartisan record, McCain accused Obama of generally having "the most extreme record of any member of the United States Senate."

McCain also went out of his way early in the event to trumpet his opposition to abortion rights and a called partial-birth abortion a "hideous procedure that should never be allowed anywhere on earth." He promised "active advocacy for the rights of the unborn."

McCain struck a more moderate tone when taking a question about federal funding for stem cell research, which he supports. The Arizona senator argued the government should fund research on stem cells - especially skin cells - because of their "incredible potential" to combat diseases. However, the presumptive Republican nominee avoided using the term "embryonic" when discussing the matter Thursday.


Filed under: John McCain
soundoff (309 Responses)
  1. Deb, Allentown, PA

    No matter whether you agree with O's plan for healthcare, I would hope that Hillary supporters who are threatening to vote for McCain now realize what a mistake that will be.

    In case you're not picking up on the nuance, his term "HillaryCare" is a slap in the face to your chosen candidate. Do you really want to give your vote to this man?

    If you can't, in good conscience and for whatever reason, vote for Obama, at least be somewhat loyal to your candidate and stay HOME on election day.

    And answer this question, please, in an honest manner. Wouldn't it be better to see Hillary in a position in Obama's cabinet, if not as VP, where she could be an effective, positive force in the direction of the country?

    July 17, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  2. Kris K from CA

    McCain thinks it is a good idea to tax health care benefits -does he mean premiums or the actual value of the benefits? That is scary.

    July 17, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  3. Sheri

    McCain: Please don't comment Sir your healthcare plan in no wise compares to Obama's or Hillary's. McCain your healthcare plan STINKS FOR EVERY AMERICAN.

    July 17, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  4. Louis

    He always talks like this when he misses his nap.

    July 17, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  5. j williamson

    It shows how much Republicans wanted to run against Hillary – she won't be the nomine but, what the heck, run against her anyway. Seems a little desperate to me.

    July 17, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  6. Typical White Person

    The YouTube video of the women writhing on the floor in New York that everyone has seen is a good preview of Obama's healthcare plan. King's County Hospital a public hospital run by the city of New York.

    Socialized medicine does not work. If it did, Canadians wouldn't be crossing over to the US to get medical treatment.

    July 17, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  7. Richard, St. Paul, MN

    Funny how he never says anything factual or cogent about what he plans to actually do. He just keep parroting the same ol' same ol' boring rhetoric we've been inundated with from FoxNoise. I'll bet McClone just cribs notes from Fox after he's had his Alzheimers medications....

    July 17, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  8. The Bu

    This from the man who is courting former Hillary supporters. Hhhhhmmmm!!!! So, maybe some of her former supporters who haven't backed Obama yet need to pay attention to this guy. He means you no good!

    To All Former Hillary Clinton Supporters:
    VOTE FOR BARACK OBAMA 2008

    His healthcare plan is a lot closer to Hillary's than John McCain's will ever be. At least birth control would be covered along with viagra!

    July 17, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  9. Ryan

    Guess what, mindless drones, neither are any good. And, PUMAs are not going along with the current stupidity of the Democratic Party.

    July 17, 2008 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  10. Anna, SW Missouri

    Does McCain mean now that it is more important to save the child instead of the mother? I agree that this is the only time it should be used, but the law needs that exception. I think the Catholic Church agrees that the doctor should save the mother, but I am not Catholic so someone please tell me if that is true.

    July 17, 2008 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  11. NOOBAMA

    I really like him, as well as everyone in my newspaper delivery job.

    Here is an economic fact under the McCain Health Plan:
    As more people try to purchase health insurance b/c their jobs will not do it, prices will increase (like oil b/c of demand). Prices will not decrease because everyone needs them and the supply is not there unless more health insurance companies go into the business. Hence, the market cannot take it. Would prices stabilize? Sure, but the costs will never be the same due to newborns and baby boomers getting older, because of the need for more medical treatments.

    July 17, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  12. Micah

    I thought he was trying to win over Hillary supporters? Way to go John.

    July 17, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  13. ProudToBeDemocrat

    Did you hear John Mccain Joke about the woman who is attacked on the street by a gorilla, beaten senseless, raped repeatedly and left to die? When she finally regains consciousness and tries to speak, her doctor leans over to hear her sigh contently and to feebly ask, 'Where is that marvelous ape?'"

    Mccain joke about waterboarding? How about the one about killing Iranians ? And why is Chelsea Clinton so ugly?

    His spokeswoman said at the time he didn't recall telling the joke, something his current spokesman, Brian Rogers, reiterated to Politico.

    The president of the National Organization for Women, Kim Gandy, however, suggested that a series of McCain jokes about women, the rest uncontested by the campaign, suggest a serious lack of respect.

    July 17, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  14. NickNas

    As I have said before ..everytime McCain says "My Friends" he is setting up a HUGE lie or holding back obvious barely controlled anger.

    His letter that fired his last staff started with "My Friends"

    July 17, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  15. HF in CA

    I think it's about time McCain took a stand for something...anything! Problem is that he's been so down-the-middle, so bi-partisan, he's alienated some GOP folks too. I'm glad he finally said something about abortion (why I'll NEVER vote Dem) and finally said something against ObamaCare/HillaryCare.

    Everybody seems to think they know everything Obama's planning, and I'm glad McCain offset himself from his opponent.

    July 17, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  16. BR

    We are going broke as a country, but let's add anywhere from $50-$100 billion in annual costs to the budget. Awesome. Maybe we should just make welfare a full time job.

    July 17, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  17. Tom

    Does McCain care about women's votes? First the viagra moment and now this. He's destroying whatever small chance he had to get the remaining 10% of HRC voters. He's a disaster!

    July 17, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  18. Patrick Henry

    Clearly the details and impact to the millions of health insurance employees and the beneficiaries are just as important as the tax issues.

    I'm not convinced any politician has the answer.

    But it should not limit choice (even if you choose not to have insurance), and premiums should be based on income–then subsidized by the government (if the government is to be involved at all) to make up for the difference.

    This would be much more practical than universal single payor–and not destroy a very important industry that employees millions of Americans at home and abroad.

    July 17, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  19. helen

    With his wife millions he certainly can get healhcare.

    July 17, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  20. Susan from Scotts Valley, CA

    Whether you are a Hillary supporter or not, these are two reasons that women should NOT vote for McCain. Health care is a huge issue for women and he's basically said that he's not going to even go as far as Obama has proposed much less as far as Hillary proposed (which is to make sure EVERYONE is covered). And he's now making it clear how he feels about Pro Choice. He wants to do away with it.

    Democrats, Independents and all women...We have to keep him out of office.

    July 17, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  21. Michael

    VERY VERY Bad move Mccain!!
    You would probably be getting more Hillary supporters if you had a better healthcare policy, instead you attack. Very sad, now we're going to be left with Obama!

    July 17, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  22. Oren Ovadia, California

    For those who know P.U.M.A, we will stay home and not vote!!! We rather see Obama losing, than see him without Hillary on the ticket. Less people will vote to Obama, more chances, he will go back to the Senate with his head down!!!

    July 17, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  23. Tony

    McCain is grasping at anything he can to criticize.

    He's and old man with old ideas who has got much else to go on.

    The rantings and ramblings of an old fool!

    July 17, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  24. Rob, Canada

    I find it mind-boggling that Americans are so afraid of universal health care. Obama keeps getting called a liberal, socialist, etc., but he is still to the right of a lot of other countries' governments.

    July 17, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  25. Lisa

    This is the #1 reason I voted for Hillary instead of Obama. Obama has absolutely no health care plan what so ever. Everytime ask an Obama supporter what his health care plan is not one person can explain this to me. If there is someone out there that can explain his plan please inform me. The only answer i ever receive is look at his website. Looking at his website does nothing for me, it's all talk and no substance just like the candidate Barack Obama.

    Hillary wants health care coverage for every American Obama does not!

    Hillary 08

    July 17, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
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