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. Steve

    Wow, just wow. Have you been to an emergency room? In major centers, you cannot get care for several hours because of all the people there for problems that could have been avoided with regular care.

    I am an MD – this guy has NO IDEA what is going on with the health care system. If this guy is McCain's advisor and McCain gets elected, forget about health care in this country.

    August 28, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  2. ObamaIsTheOnlyChoice

    what a freaking idiot!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Just because they have to try and keep you from dying, doesn't mean you have health care! My dad has MS....what kind of 'care' do you think he'd get if he went to the ER....NO A FREAKING THING!!!!!!!!!!

    The really scary thing about this is the fact the McCain listens to these idiots.......and things they're right!

    August 28, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  3. Jim in Raleigh

    Obviously John Goodman hasn't spent much time in an Emergency Room. One of the horrors caused by lack of health insurance is how emergency rooms struggle to treat emergency cases when overwhelmed by uninsured persons using emergency facilities for their primary care.

    I know this. As a priest I spent a lot of time with parishioners in emergency rooms overwhelmed with non-emergency patients. They have no other choice, and everyone suffers. When I go into the emergency room with a parishioner who waits six hours to see a doctor, waiting until after 3:00 in the morning, everyone suffers.

    John McSame's camp offers more of the same. No way. No how. No McSame!

    August 28, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  4. NoWayNoHowNoMcCain

    three words:


    August 28, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  5. liz

    pathetic. Only someone who has never EVER lived without insurance would think this makes any sense. Every single person elected to office should have to live on minimum wage with no insurance before they are allowed to have any say on policy.

    Also, aren't the republicans always complaining about the evil poor people using emergency rooms and tax dollars for routine things? Now they are encouraging it? srsly?

    August 28, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  6. Chris

    Obama's (and Clinton's) people should have a field day with this.

    August 28, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  7. DLB from AR

    Oh my goodness! What a gift for the Democrats to pounce on. Please don't let this guy or McCain off the hook for this. Hammer away at this the way they went after you with the tire pressure gage. I can see the commercials now in my head. I won't keep you so get to work on those emails web ads and campaign ads in battle ground states tonight!!!

    August 28, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  8. Abby

    Is there an emergency room for dentists? Chemotherapy? Pap smears? Mammograms? Colonoscopy? Any preventative care at all? This has got to be the most ridicules thing I have ever heard.

    August 28, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  9. If you liked Bush-you're gonna love McCain

    Don't be so rough on poor McBush. He didn't have ER service
    for 5 years when he was a POW

    August 28, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  10. Clint Dixon

    What a bloody idiot!!

    I suffer in pain daily in my leg due to being self employed but can't afford $1,500.00 a month premiums....

    And we are set to elect more idiots just like this one.

    Makes you wonder who the idiots are?

    Sign me,

    A voter not voting for another idiot.....

    August 28, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  11. Bob Indianapolis, IN

    Does this GENIUS realize that one of the main causes people go bankrupt and lose their homes [besides the sub-prime debaucle] is catastrophic illness or injury???

    Spin that, Gramps!

    August 28, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  12. Rudy NYC

    Ever play blackjack?

    McCan's advisers are showing us their hole cards.
    They do not have winning hands.

    Top Economic Adviser – Busted a few weeks ago.
    Top Health Care Adviser – Just went bust today.

    If they competence shown by these advisers in the areas of expertise is this bad, what about the other areas? The Bush administration has shown incompetence across the board in almost every government agency, IRS, FEMA, EPA, you name it. McCain is looking familiar.

    August 28, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  13. vb

    Does this commen, form the elitist republicans surprise anybody? You know what his response will be to this comment? " Well , when I was a POW for 5 years in Vietnam, I wish I could have gone to a ER"

    August 28, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  14. Andy from Texas

    At least somebody in McCain's camp is willing to say what he really thinks. Finally, we can see the level of ineptitude and ignorance that goes into devising McCain's plans for this country. Maybe this can be the topic for the next week. John McCain, the guy who was born into government-sponsored health care from his admiral parents, has guaranteed health care for life, and just does not understand what life is like for the rest of America.

    August 28, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  15. Orlando

    Bozo have clowns working for him. I guess Bush is the best prez ever right. I gotta be kidding me. McStupid as Stupid does.

    August 28, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  16. Sandy

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    You've cut this 3 or 4 times already CNN

    Just called my ins. company and cancelled my policies and demanded my payments back for the last 47 years. THIS IS WONDERFUL

    CNN Censorship is against my rights as an AMERICAN

    Stop cutting my posts –

    August 28, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  17. Orlando

    Great ad material Thanks McCan't

    August 28, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  18. Ex-mod-GOP for Obama

    Yeah, because *that's* a good use of resources. Unbelievable.

    Obama-Biden for America

    August 28, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  19. Vik

    Wow, these people are stupid! That's all there is to say.... 😐

    August 28, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  20. Paul, Los Angeles

    With people expiring in ER waiting rooms, imagine the cost savings to the Census Bureau.

    August 28, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  21. markus

    what kind of warped logic is this? HOW does having emergency room access benefit someone with cancer. The fact that some people actually think a man with views like this is in a position to lead the country mystifies me.

    is he kidding me? Or is he kidding all of America?

    August 28, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  22. Leslie

    I'll bet McCain never waited for hours in the emergency room of a hospital. Maybe he needs to have that experience. PATHETIC !!!!!

    August 28, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  23. John in Ohio

    If people weren't charged for emergency care this would be true.

    Yeah, a hospital will see you. And then sue you into bankruptcy when you can't pay up and your health care coverage, if any, doesn't cover you.

    And then you can get a job flipping burgers, which Bush and McCain consider to be the "manufacturing sector".

    August 28, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  24. Tired of W, OH

    I've had experience with ER care. My kid got sick on the weekend and I was forced to go to the ER. After a long wait, a doctor took a quick look, said it was an ear infection, wrote a script for antibiotics and told us to follow up with his pediatrician Monday. I'm glad we did follow up, because the pediatrician said the ER doc completely missed the diagnosis, which he would have gotten right if he had only done a thorough exam.

    ER docs usually do a good job, but they are no substitute for certified specialist. McCain can go to hell.

    August 28, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  25. real change

    how is this not a lead story!!!!! this has to be one of the most ridiculous statements any democrat or republican has ever made. Many in the party must be going into damage contol right now to cover up for this......however with the way you bury this no one will hear about it. Sending everyone to the ER as the answer will cost atleast ten times as much as if you actually adress the problem. I cant believe he says that re-labeling these people will "make it go away".......I hope you do your job and press mccain about his view on this statement.....Obama campaign MAKE AN AD OUT OF THIS!

    August 28, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
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