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. East Coast Bum

    Is this guy for real, holly cow. Dang John, the people who support you are weird my man. I love how he says it "technically uninsured" . Where is that block when you check in at the hospital.
    Yes, they will treat you....and then charge you for the whole bill. We need coverage for everyone.

    August 28, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  2. Enlightened

    Are you serious?! Is this really the person we want to lead America? How could anyone even think to vote for this guy and his cronies????

    Obama/Biden '08

    August 28, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  3. Mike

    As a type 1 diabetic, how am I supposed to pay for my testing supplies, and insulin without coverage? By going to the emergency room? Get real! I guess that I can go there to get treatment when I go into a coma because of my blood sugar.

    I'll find out soon enough how to pay for my supplies since it was just announced last week that my employer is shipping my job and a few thousand more to Ireland. More of that republican policy at work. Thanks John McCain!

    Obama/Biden 08

    August 28, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  4. Anonymous

    Yes. We're keeping the wolf away from the door. We're going to call it a dog.

    August 28, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  5. Lacy

    nevermind those people gonig bankrupt trying to pay their hospital bills...I personally know two of them, one hit by a teenage girl with minimal insurance (CA has a law that parents can only be held responsible for up to $5k), and one had ovarian cancer.

    So if I have a terminal illness, and can't get insured because I have a terminal illness, I have to be at death's door because of it to get some medical attention?

    August 28, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  6. Michael

    Finally a prespective on reality.

    Obama is exaggerating the state of the economy to create fear and gain votes. Just today the report on the second quater economic growth is up from the first quarter and exceeded expectations.

    In spite of all the damage a bunch of idots did, who bought homes they could not afford and the idiots who sold homes to high risk buyers who could not afford them, the economy continued to manage to grow. The only recession was a Democrats fantasy. I think they actually wanted one to help them get votes. Same with Iraq, they wanted Iraq to errupt into genocide so the Democrats could get more votes.

    I'm still waiting for Obama to explain how he is goint to get my boss to give me bigger raises and more benifits just becasue he is President. I was not aware my boss consulted the President on these matters.

    August 28, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  7. Debra, Alton

    Something is wrong with this idea. The emergency room bill cost 4 times as much as a doctor visit. And just because the emergency doesn't turn you down for care doesn't mean you aren't still responsible for the charges. REALLY YOU THINK!!!!!!!!!

    Get out of here! Somebody need to help the republicans because they are for real out of touch.

    August 28, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  8. Mark

    This certainly is a joke, Jack. Just because you recategorize at the Census Bureau level does not make the problem go away. Goodmarn's argument takes out the equation the fact that you can pay the full amount for an ER visit, or a partial amount *if* you're covered - and this is where Barack wants to put more people; the 47M Americans without this level of coverage.

    Of course, there is one other scenario and that's if you have no money to pay, whether at the time or later when billed. That's where Joe Q Taxpayer picks up the tab, and that's where a majorly refined healthcare system, like what Hillary and Barack are advocating, would do the most good - both for preventative care for its own sake, and for the financial savings it would bring us.

    I hope this gets widely picked up by Huff Post, Air America, Keith Olbermann, et al, because this rubbish couldn't be a clearer contrast from actually addressing the problem.

    August 28, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  9. Dave Jones

    I wouder if McCain has never had to vist an Emergency Room for medical services or deal with the bills and collection agencies that follow. McCain is rich, his wife is rich and he came from a family (his dad was a naval officer) that always had health insurence. He has no idea what it's like.

    August 28, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  10. Steven Martin

    Are you serious????

    Only someone who has never had to goto an emergency room with no insurance would have the audicity to say something as asinine as that.

    I went to the emergency room in college because my back hurt so bad I could barely walk and was scared something serious was wrong. They did an x-ray and gave me muscle relaxers....


    Insured Person's copay: $20

    Could McCain and his campaign people possibly be any more out of touch with the average American?

    August 28, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  11. KCB

    "McSame" "McBush" The vast number of commentators on these threads is pro-Obama. My question - if McCain is such an obviously poor choice, and he's hopelessly intertwined with the disastrous Bush legacy, then why is this even a close race? Why has McCain recently led in polls? Is Obama blowing it? Is it 2000 all over again where all Gore had to do was beat a bumbling idiot from Texas? If the Obama camp had even a shred of competency, this would be a runaway.

    August 28, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  12. Vickie, Maryland

    What an idiot!!! Emergency rooms are for EMERGENCYS, not long term care or care for chronic illness. This guy and obviously the McCain camp are absolute idiots. If it was as easy as he is stating then my mom wouldn't be suffering with everything that she is. Any time she goes there they tell take care of the "emergency" of the moment by finding out what is wrong, giving her meds then telling her she will have to see a specialist or her primary doctor for her condition. The ER is but a band-aid for chronic illnesses.

    August 28, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  13. Sherry, Atlanta




    OBAMA/BIDEN '08-'12

    August 28, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  14. Franky

    Uh-Oh!!! Is someone talking about taxes?? Taxes?? What the heck is that? LOL!!

    August 28, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  15. tricia

    Are they as stupid as they sound? Because...

    August 28, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  16. Well i'll tell you this...

    That has got to be the most idiotic thing I have every heard. Healthcare plan? Give me a break. This is exactly the reason why hospitals are suffering shortfalls and states are going broke. MCStupid is so out of touch.

    August 28, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  17. Daniel

    This is a McCain adviser? Another F student. I was hoping at least the advisers are not so dumb.

    August 28, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  18. kj from west palm

    uncle jack please get on this one!

    August 28, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  19. Chris L.

    What a freakin' jerk! THIS is who McCain turns to for advice? I think America has had it with these Republican idiots who could care less that this great nation is crumbling.

    August 28, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  20. Jake

    Oh... wow.

    Solve the health insurance problem, by no longer calling people uninsured... BRILLIANT!

    Are you kidding me!?!
    Obama/Biden '08

    August 28, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  21. Adrian Veidt

    Um, yeah.

    Emergency care is not the problem. It's routine care – even poor people need to go to the dentist sometimes. And despite what Republican bigwigs would have you believe, most poor people are not poor by choice.

    Remember who McCain's advisers are. When his advisers are so far out of touch with the needs of Americans, how can we trust him to be President?

    August 28, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  22. The Surly Scholar

    Heheheheh. That's funny, how now the GOP is just writing the dems' attack ads for them.

    "GOP 2008: We don't care about the American people, and we're done pretending."

    August 28, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  23. Capt. Smash, Salt Lake City, Utah

    Mccain camp: Americans are a bunch of cry babies that need to all be drafted into the Army

    August 28, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  24. Will in Richmond, VA

    The level of sheer arrogance of this guy is staggering.

    The ER doesn't count as a doctor visit or checkup. What a pomous A$$!

    August 28, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  25. danny

    this guys are idiots, they are going to make money for themselves. they are not going to do anything for this country.

    August 28, 2008 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
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