August 28th, 2008
01:09 PM ET
11 years ago

McCain adviser: Everyone in U.S. has some health coverage

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="A McCain adviser speaks out on the uninsured."]

(CNN) - A health care policy adviser for the McCain campaign told a newspaper reporter that nobody in the United States is technically uninsured, because everyone has access to hospital emergency rooms.

"So I have a solution [to the health care crisis]. And it will cost not one thin dime," John Goodman, president of the National Center for Policy Analysis, told the Dallas Morning News in an interview published Thursday.

"The next president of the United States should sign an executive order requiring the Census Bureau to cease and desist from describing any American – even illegal aliens – as uninsured. Instead, the bureau should categorize people according to the likely source of payment should they need care. So, there you have it. Voila! Problem solved."

Hospital emergency rooms cannot technically turn away anyone for financial reasons.

"So instead of producing worthless statistics that people fling around in vacuous editorials and pointless debates, the Census Bureau should produce meaningful numbers, identifying all of the sources of funds people will draw on if they need medical care," said Goodman, who helped write McCain’s health care plan.

That plan would use a combination of tax incentives and market competition to make health care more affordable. It is not a universal health care plan – it does not guarantee insurance coverage for every American.

Read more: Goodman talks to the Dallas Morning News

Take a look: Candidates' health care plans

UPDATE: McCain's campaign says they do not consider Goodman to be an official campaign adviser.

Filed under: Healthcare • John McCain
soundoff (325 Responses)
  1. 1911


    Obama/Biden 08

    August 28, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  2. Pamela in Charlotte

    The McCain cheer:

    The I to the D to the I to the O to the T...what does it spell! IDIOT!

    Go Team Obama!

    August 28, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  3. Filipina

    Are you for real McSame all I can is OMG!!!!!

    August 28, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  4. Independent Thinker

    Don't worry all - this is a joke. No one in their right mind would honestly consider this a national health plan - oh, wait, a Republican said this - oh, man, maybe it wasn't a joke after all.

    August 28, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  5. Anonymous

    Not an official adviser? Do they know he helped write McCain's health plan?

    August 28, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  6. SEA

    What, next McCain and his group will be saying people should have no complaints about not having money for food, gas, housing, etc because-we ALL have access to the Federal Dispository!!! Good one McCain and please, no one is buying the excuse that this guy is not an "official" campaign advisior either!!!!!

    August 28, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  7. Abul

    solution to every problems from McCain is same.

    August 28, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  8. Miles

    And who pays for those who can only seek medical care in emergency rooms but are unable to pay for it themselves? How much cheaper would it be if they could afford to seek preventative care? How much more do you and I have to pay because this is the Republican plan to make sure we all have coverage?????

    August 28, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  9. Rudy NYC

    This guy has "access to health care" and "access to health coverage" mixed up. He thinks they mean they same thing.

    I cannot get chemo for cancer at the ER.
    I cannot get a dental checkup at the ER.
    I cannot get waited on at the ER.

    August 28, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  10. Bill

    If thats McCain's healthcare plan, they need to ask the folks at Grady Hospital in Atlanta how well that will work. If things continue to run the same there (free "healthcare" for all the "uninsured" folks who show up at the emergency room) One of the best trauma hospitals in the south is on the verge of closing it's doors. Then where will we go John?

    August 28, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  11. Greg

    Sue, I make no apologies. What can I say? I'm not a Socialist. It's really that simple.

    The American Dream is not "what can the rich pay for me" but "if I put my mind to it, the sky's the limit." Thinking that dumbing down the American system into a Socialist one is the solution is absurd.

    August 28, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  12. USMC 68-71

    So does that mean that since there are banks all over the country, no one is really "living in poverty?" So what......if you run out of cash you can just walk into the nearest bank and demand money?
    Does it mean that since there are empty houses all over the country that no one is really "homeless?" You can just walk into an empty house and use it, I guess.

    Actually, this is just another "Nation of Whiners" comment, isn't it?

    I swear, these people are living on a different planet than the rest of us.

    August 28, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  13. vb

    When was the last time this elitist in the $500 shoes, went to a ER..You could be having a heart attack, and they wont admit you for another 3 hrs. I bet he has his personal physician living in one of his 7 homes

    August 28, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  14. Eric Wayne

    So I guess it could be argued that no one in the U.S. is homeless or hungry either since there is a McDonalds or hotel also near by. Even if you dont have the money to pay your doctor, by a burger or book a room.

    August 28, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  15. Bushwhacked in Eugene, OR

    So typical - so emergency rooms are the answer to the insurance lack? Wow. Has McCain ever been near an emergency room and had to wait like ordinary people? Does he have any grip at all? Does he know how much this would cost - because one way or another, we will pay for it.

    Crazy. I hope people are listening to this AND the Putin story, which apparently has better legs than the Bush admin wants to admit - naturally.

    August 28, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  16. Docjay

    As a physician I have seen it all over the past 37 years. The uninsured are not just illegal aliens. They are White, Black, Asians and every ehnicity you can imagine. We as physicians have treated hundreds if not thousands of these uninsured in our offices and ERs. It is heart wrenching to see a sick child who is brought in and parents are at their wits end as to how to pay for the ER visit and how to buy medicene without any money. Most of the people are decent hard working folks. The cost of medicine has sky rocketed during the past 10 years. The same medicine that is manufactured in other countries costs 1/10 of what it costs in the USA. Amazingly it is manufactured by the same drug manufacturers!
    The olny solution is 1. To have some kind of coverage for ALL AMERICANS. If an illegal alien comes to ER, we can treat the emerget condition and show him the way to get further help.2.Shut off all ER care for non emergent cases by a triage system
    3.Make it very hard to sue the doctors and hospitals for frevelous suits. This is one of the reason the cost is so high. Instead of ordering one or two tests multiple tests are ordered to cover ones behind! If the patient looses the case he should be responsible to pay all the attorney fees and court costs.This should be collected before the case is filed from both parties to discourege such unneceesry suits brought to court in the first place. 4.Make people responsible for their own health. We see people who have diabets weighing over 300 pounds and smoking heavily despite the fact they have COPD. This wastes the physicians time and money from each one of us as he/she is not taking care of their own problems.5. Many old folks do not want any heroic measures. But the family members want to keep a 98 year old grand mother on a ventillator! Make it mandatory for everyone to have a living will regardless of the age.
    It is not Obama or Mccain who alone can solve this problem. It is OUR problem. We have to demand these type of changes.

    August 28, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  17. Socialists for Obamessiah

    There is no healthcare "crisis," any more than there is an auto-insurance crisis.

    You, the individual, purchase auto insurance for the "catastrophic" events (ie accidents). What's not included in that insurance is maintenance… things like oil changes, tire rotations, tune ups, car washing, etc. Why should health insurance be any different?

    In fact, if Americans only had insurance for "catastrophic" health problems and paid out-of-pocket for their own routine doctor visits, the cost would drop significantly, significantly. This is a simple rule, not only of economics, but of human nature… when there is a third-party "other" (medicaid, medicare, health insurance, your trust fund or your parents because you're still living in their basement) picking up the tab for something, the individual consumer doesn't actually SEE the cost, the expense, and doesn't actually have the opportunity to compare costs. That said, the costs become astronomical because the individual is missing from this equation, replaced by a bureaucracy making that purchasing decision. No responsibility equals higher costs.

    You compare home owners' insurance. You compare auto insurance. (Both of which I did this year and saw my insurance costs cut in half! Thank you USAA!) You compare renters' insurance. And why? Because it's YOU, the consumer, who's picking up the tab for this cost. And because of which, insurance companies are FORCED to actually COMPETE for your consumer dollar… and further because of which, they offer low rates. Again I ask, why should your health insurance be any different?

    Insurance is insurance is insurance… is lumber is automobiles is homes is computers is electronics… the product is irrelvant… Market forces DO work! And they work for you, the consumer, when governments and bureaucracies get the hell out of the way and allow the market to work. Governments create the problems, then have the "audacity" to come around claiming to have the solution… to the very problems THEY created. Audacity, indeed.

    August 28, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  18. A recovering Republican

    This is too much. McCain will solve the uninsured by saying they aren't uninsured. Emergency rooms don't do preventative care that insurance gives you. Emergency rooms don't handle routine pregnancy screening and monitoring. Emergency rooms don't do baby wellness checkups or give out immunizations. Emergency rooms don't do preventiative screening such colonoscopy or health exams. Leave it to the Repubs to solve an issue by rewriting the definition to make it not an issue.

    10 years sober and discusted.

    August 28, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  19. Anonymous

    So they're clarifying this by redefining "adviser"? If he advised you, he's an adviser. It doesn't matter if he's paid or "official."

    August 28, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  20. Shari, NY

    Emergency Rooms should be for emergencies only. By the way does anyone remember the mentally challenged woman who, just a few weeks ago, died after waiting in vain for 24 hours in a NY hospital? Then just last week there was another similar case in another state.

    August 28, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  21. Dem

    Everyone must also have auto insurance too because after a wreck... one can obviously get their car fixed!!

    Does this guy pay for health insurance? If so, why if he's already covered??!!??

    August 28, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  22. Carol, Michigan

    Every issue important to us average Americans and McCain and his advisors have no clue and are completely out of touch.

    How absolutely ridiculous that people will vote for him simply because he has an "R" after his name.

    August 28, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  23. Terry

    What planet is this guy on?

    August 28, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  24. Cheryl

    As a nurse, I would personally like to talk directly with the McCain advisor who made such a ridiculous comment. However, certainly it would be a waste of my valuable time. Where do these so called advisors find their flawed facts? Maybe it is time for the Republican party to really look at who is inexperienced....

    August 28, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  25. PUMA 4 OBAMA

    Wow.... I was seriously going out in Nov. to vote for this guy.




    August 28, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
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