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. siamak

    Is this guy for real??? I get it the most advanced country in the world provides health care to 45m of its citizens only when their situation has deteriorated enough to be taken to the emergency rooms. Congratulations Mr. McCain, you are really looking after the hard working blue collar workers. I guess shipping away their jobs was not enough.

    August 28, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  2. Betty

    These people are nuts!!!

    August 28, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  3. Connie

    When McSenile gets back to the Senate after President Obama wins, he should draft a bill to save the taxpayers money and take away the Congress and Senates insurance coverage and send them to EMERGENCY ROOM. OBAMA/BIDEN 08
    Connie from Indiana

    August 28, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  4. Linda from Minnesota

    The more I think of this, the madder I get. No, you can't be turned away from an emergency room but it is for EMERGENCIES! You cannot just show up at the emergency room for chemo. This is not being covered by health insurance to care for chronic illnesses. Emergency Rooms today are packed with long waits. This is a health care plan? No this is putting you head in the sand and pretending there is no health care crisis.

    August 28, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  5. Latina for Obama...NJ

    As i read also doing my medical billing for a cardiology practice..and at this moment im sending a 35 year old a bill for $750.00 because SHE WENT TO THE ER AND HAD NO INSURANCE!!!

    August 28, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  6. John

    What an idiot!!! That is why hospital emergency rooms are overcrowded (national average wait time of over an hour and in my experience much longer unless you arrive by ambulance). Also, who does this brilliant mind think pays for the uninsured that must be treated at these emergency rooms. I hope for John McCain's sake that he has no more geniuses like this advising him.

    August 28, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  7. Ken from Michigan

    WHAT?!!?!?! I am not a smart man, Emergency Room is not Health Care coverage! I guess then the GOP doesn't have to work towards universal health care for the "uninsured". Tell that to a single mother who has cancer and her children are ill with a cold or need a tooth fixed. GAWD!

    August 28, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  8. Jerry

    This kind of outdated thinking is exactly why I am no longer a Republican and voting for Obama/Biden this fall. The Repulican Party I grew up in, and voted for most of my life, no longer exists.

    August 28, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  9. Bill, Richmond, VA

    i cannot believe he said that!! Is that not simply a rich man's blind arrogance? Wow, McCain just lost every healthcare worker in America's vote. I cannot believe he said that! McCain's advisors must be trying to tank this election!!!

    August 28, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  10. WOW

    My god this is just scary, half of the country is voting for this guy and these idea's, and these advisors....he might actually win....I am seriously considering moving if he wins, this is plane scary.

    August 28, 2008 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  11. Jack

    This has a ring of "let them eat cake." Talk about vacuous.

    August 28, 2008 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  12. Lee From Treasure Island Florida

    Are you kidding...this was said by one of his top advisors?

    Hospitals do not cover pre-natal, childcare, preventative or basic care.
    They cover EMERGENCY medical care or you are admitted because your illness has progressed so need IN-CARE.
    Preventative is less money in the long run. Stopping illness and disease before they develope.

    Are they nuts?
    Emergency room care cost tax payers millions.....

    How can anyone vote for this man is beyond me.
    Every developed country in the world...and some undeveloped countries have universal health care.

    Finland, Iceland, and Norway are also 70% or more renewable energy
    Brazil runs 100% of all their cars on sugar cane, grown in Brazil, and cars made by General Motors.

    Because we vote STUPIDLY.

    August 28, 2008 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  13. JC

    It was someone from McCain's campaign that said that, not John McCain. I guess we should consider everything said by someone working for Obama as being said by Obama (Reverend Wright).

    Neither candidate has demonstrated how they are going to fix the Health Care problem. Obama gives pretty speeches about change and doesn't address how he will change it. McCain just ignores it.

    Health care is just one of the many issues that neither candidate gives a plan on how they are going to fix. Pretty speech here.....attack ad here....pretty speech here.....attack ad here.

    Give it up already. Obama – stop campaigning to be leader of the World and tell us how you plan to fix America in detail. No more mantra of "change" – what is the change? McCain – stop airing attack ads and not presenting your own plan on these issues. We know Obama is inexperience. Everyone who has campaigned against him has said it. Move on – how are you going to fix the economy and health care?

    August 28, 2008 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  14. Il voter

    These guys are nuts. They also say US Economy is Sound. I can show many people who skip visiting hospital or buying medicine because that is too costly even if they have insurance from work.

    August 28, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  15. Debby

    Well actually he is right and if you talk to Canadians that have universal health care they will tell you they are coming here to get surgeries because good Doc's are a shortage because they get one flat fee. Government controlled health care will be the worse for this country IMO. If the Dems. want to do a good deed make it mandatory that peoples employers pay for their workers health care instead of some of the money coming out of their paycheck weekly. This way all working people will be covered and we still get to have good Doc's taking care of us.

    August 28, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  16. Republican no more

    This seals the deal, I was on the fence, but I have to vote for Obama now. Thank you CNN for reporting the insite to Mccain's advisors, thank god I know. I was a faithful republican but for my children's sake I have to vote against this. This is unbelievable.

    August 28, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  17. Stephen Inglis

    Yes, anyone can walk into an emergency room and get free health care. But guess what? Having access to a hospital emergency room is not the same as having health insurance. You still must pay for their services. And that can be VERY costly.

    August 28, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  18. Another grumpy old white woman for Obama

    People already die waiting to get seen in Emergency Rooms!
    My best friend did. It happens every day. 4 to six hours just to get into an examining room and then 2 or more hours to get seen. Usually only 1 or 2 doctors on duty. The tab is in the tens of thousands and is paid eventually by your tax dollars! Then you get a separate bill from the doctor! What planet are these people living on?
    Beam me up Scotty

    August 28, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  19. Rick FL

    Brilliant (end sarcasm). Emergency rooms are one of the most expensive ways to treat patients. The costs for covering the unisured are offset onto others, who are fortunate enough to afford insurance, causing their premiums to go up over time. It is a backward system and hardly cost ettective for most Americans.

    The McCain camp is out of touch for even suggesting this counterproductive approach.

    No way, no how, no McCain

    Obama / Biden

    August 28, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  20. Dominique

    If this does not scare Americans then I don't know what will.

    August 28, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  21. Me


    August 28, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  22. Arne

    Hey...everyone has access to gas, too! Anyone can just pull up to the pump and fill up and leave if they want!

    August 28, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  23. Lee From Treasure Island Florida


    August 28, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  24. tammy

    OMG! McCain really needs to fire this guy. My husband went to the emergency room for a breathing problem. (It was late afternoon so an office visit was out of the question.) We spent 3 hrs in the waiting room. We spent 30 minutes receiving care. Thank God we had heath insurance even though it was a $100 ded. Our insurance paid the rest of the bill of over $2,000 for 30 minutes!!! If you can't afford to pay your house note, what make you think that you will be able to pay this bill. Seriously, if McCain thinks this way, he really needs to spend some time with nonmillionaires.

    August 28, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  25. maddog

    Then – "Ketchup is a vegetable"

    Now – "The emergency room is universal health care"

    Curiouser and curiouser

    August 28, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
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