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. Don

    Please do not denigrate what Hillary had in mind for universal health care.

    July 17, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  2. CNN = Jerry Springer of news

    McWar must be stuck in the 90's again thinking he can make these kind of statements about Hillary's health plan and abortion in a town hall and they will not be plastered all over the internet for all the disappointed Hillary supporters to read. He can't actually think this helps him unless his new campaign move is to 'rattle the base' into coming out to vote.

    This year even Republicans are looking for more moderate views, which is why I think they went with 'Maverick' McCain in the primaries, but now that he has taken a hard right turn, the GOP supporters don't know what to do. He can't win the election on neocons/religious right alone. If the Republicans had a 'do-over' they would be going with Romney right about now. At least he understands the economy.

    July 17, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  3. JD

    Government employees are the best! so motivated, so caring – just like those folks at the DMV or the IRS!!

    I want MY doctor to be on the government dole instead of being a self-motivated entrepreneur!!

    July 17, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  4. sherry for Obama

    RIGHT ON BULLDOG!!

    OBAMA IS OF SOUND MIND AND JUDGEMENT

    MCCAIN IS OLD AND SENILE

    July 17, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  5. Heather

    Hahaha, this idiot. He can kiss Hillary's supporters bubye.

    July 17, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  6. CD

    CNN Please POST THIS!

    HAHAHAHAHAHHAHAAH! HAHAHHAHAHAAHA! hahahahahahah!

    Go ahead PUMAS and other angry women who refuse to see reason, go ahead and vote for your daddy grandpa "the Mac" McCain.

    AHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAH! hohohohohohoho! hahahahhaahaha!

    HillaryCare? Who is fooling who? John is calling you all stupid by laughing at Hillary's health care policy because he believes he knows women can act strangely and think like they always do so that is why he is trying hoodwink all of you. Obama said it but you guys were to biased to listen to him. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

    July 17, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  7. Ron

    Interesting for Senator McCain to make those comments about Senator Clinton's health care reform. While have been a strong supporter of Senator Obama, I always thought that Senator Clinton's health care proposal was far better. To see Senator Obama embrace it only solidifies my support for him.

    July 17, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  8. AT

    mCcAIN IS SENILE, HE FORGET JUST YESTERDAY HIS CAMPAIGN MET SIWHT SO CALLED HILLARY SUPPORTERS...I SMELL ARAT? The so called supporters are REPUBLICANS! WESCHESTER COUNTRY NY IS REPUBLICAN COUNTRY!

    July 17, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  9. CAA

    McCain at it again. What is interesting is his support for stem cells only as it pertains to skin cells. Isn't that just so selfish – what with his skin cancer and all! Perhaps if he didn't have anything of the sort he wouldn't be supporting this research at all!

    July 17, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  10. Chanda-Cincinnati

    To Ben:

    The War in Iraq will bankrupt this country long before Universal Healthcare has a chance to be tested!!!! How many billions a year is our Gov. spending over there again? Oh yeah...close to 500 billion!!!!!! Meanwhile public school children are sharing books do to lack of funds!!!!

    July 17, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  11. California Gold

    The govenment does quite nicely operating health care. They've been running the military's health care system for decades. And no one complains about the money spend to do so. As a taxpayer I would like my taxes to pay for health care for all Americans and they can simply use the military's health care system (no need to reinvent the wheel).

    July 17, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  12. Susan from Scotts Valley, CA

    Rick, Obama doesn't want to touch YOUR health care. You have health care. He just wants to make that all of those Americans without health care have health care.

    I can not believe that true Hillary supporters would prefer McCain by either voting for him or staying home. Like SHE said, her supporters have nothing in common with McCain. If you supported her when she was in the race, support her now.

    July 17, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  13. No McBUSH

    I'm glad Obama is incorporating Hillaries Health Care plan!!

    Time to UNITE !!!

    July 17, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  14. MD

    The more McCain distances himself from her, the better it is for Obama!

    July 17, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  15. Greg

    Anyway you cut it, national healthcare is one more step towards full-on Socialism. The problem is that America is NOT a Socialist country! My problem is that Democrats clearly embrace Socialism as the "answer" to all of America's problems...where is McCarthy when you need him?

    Socialism is Un-American!! If you don't want to work, I don't care...but I sure don't want to pay for your healthcare!!

    July 17, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  16. R.A.P.

    Thank you Bill Clinton. McCain got a GOD complex War, War 3 and calls Obama health care plan 'HillaryCare'. The people scream for help Republicans are silent. OBAMA hear the sound uptown, downtown around town YES WE CAN,YES WE CAN,YES WE CAN,YES WE CAN,YES WE CAN,YES WE CAN,YES WE CAN

    July 17, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  17. Peter of Oregon

    McCain's a candidate for the PUMAs.

    July 17, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  18. Power to the People = Former Repug

    Where are all the vociferous Pumas. Not the fake PUMAs in repug skin.
    McCane will take your vote and thank you by saying:
    Well My Friends, My Puma Friends, I like your vote but HILLARYCARE will be under the Straight Talk Express BUS-Jet again when I become President.

    July 17, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  19. OldUncleTom

    I didn't need this help to decide, but I hope a lot of Clintonistas are paying attention to McOldGuy's words.
    Four years is a long time to be sorry about a mistake, if the old codger manages to survive that long, but if he does not, his VP will likely be even worse (think Bush/Quayle, Bush/Cheney).

    When gambling on our nation's future, shouldn't the smart money be going on someone who has one to risk?

    Maybe I'm wrong, and the correct choice really is this poster-child for term-limits... but I doubt it.

    July 17, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  20. uh?

    better than "bush"whacked

    July 17, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  21. David Husein Schultz in Chicago

    How can Repubs be happy with a government run police department that is put there to protect your life yet, they are against a government run agency that SAVES your life and keeps you healthy? How can you be against that? Public schools, public prisons, public firemen, public police, public health... what is there to be confused about?

    July 17, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  22. What!!!

    "Alimi July 17th, 2008 3:38 pm ET

    Aparently the McCain campaign is very confused about how to label Obama. Yesterday, they compared Obama to George Bush, and earlier today, they tied him to Rumsfeld. Now he is being compared to Hillary? What they failed to realize is that with each perjorative comparison, they alienate sympathisers of the people with whom they are comparing Obama."

    That is because no one is sure who he really is!

    July 17, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  23. AN HONEST AMERICAN

    oh no, we can't blame mcsane for his ignorance and stupidity...what I say is blame it on his age.

    Go Democrats!

    July 17, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  24. Michigan

    How could this be a slap in the face to Hillary Clinton supporters? Ofcourse McCain and Hillary Clinton doesnt see eye to eye on everything, but neither does Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. If we vote base on what one candidate said about Hillary Clinton, I'm sure we would find out that Barack Obama have said alot more than things like this.

    I'm a undecided voter

    July 17, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  25. Ian

    The government is already all over the healthcare system. Where do you think HMO's came from?

    July 17, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
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