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. Pam

    I hope this is a joke. People can't seriously be considering voting for this guy if this is really what his health care advisor believes.

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


    August 28, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  3. Lorna, NY

    And people are voting for this man? Are Americans this stupid?

    August 28, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  4. McCaint

    johnny2 in kalamazo-someone who gets it? Obviously not you.
    Try walking into an ER for a physical to make sure there is nothing wrong, try getting ongoing care for a chronic condition at the ER.
    What do you suppose the cost difference is for a physician visit versus a hospital emergency room. You are a fool supporting a fool. Maybe we should just redefine unemployed, and get rid of that problem too.
    Get a clue

    August 28, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  5. Ambrose Smith, Borrego Springs, California

    The best part is when this clown say, "VIOLA".

    Let them eat cake.

    August 28, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  6. jason, tx


    August 28, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  7. Amber

    OMG....can you say GAFF!!! What an idiot.

    August 28, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  8. JackieInCA

    So we are all to go to the ER for well-child checkups, immunizations, prenatal care, Pap smears and mammograms, chemo and radiation therapy for cancer, physical therapy and dialysis? What are people with real emergencies supposed to do when they can't get treated because the ER is clogged with the uninsured trying to get ordinary care?

    August 28, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  9. Mike - Texas

    This idiot shouldb't be making comments like this.

    Here are some REAL facts. CNN print this.

    There are 46 million uninsured people in this country, not ther 47 million that Hillary said.

    37% (or 17,390,000) of those people make over $50,000 per year and can afford insurance if they have their priorities straight and that leaves 28,610,000 people without insurance.

    Now take away the estimated 12 – 15 million illegal aliens in this country and that leaves 16 – 13 million unisured people in this country. A far cry form the 47 million that the democrats say need insurance.

    It would be far easier for us in this country to get a handle on the 13 – 16 million Ameicans that truely need insurance and can't afford it than on 46 million that the democrats claim need it.

    Both the Democrats and Republicans are lying on this issue.

    August 28, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  10. CNN this should be your top story

    CNN this should be your top story for days to come! This is huge, and this actually deals with the issues, I'm telling you the country is going to wanna hear this! This is meat on the bone's, this is an actual ADVISOR to Mccain...this is someone Mccain trusts as an advisor...

    August 28, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  11. ObamaBiden08

    Yea what you get with this is overcrowded emergency rooms, more expensive health care for people who actually pay and when real emergencies happens the people have to wait because of the guy who bumped his head has no health care and wants to know why it hurts

    what a joke

    universal healthcare will drastically reduce the cost of healthcare

    August 28, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  12. Matt J

    Clearly this is more Republican bull crap that is meant to cover the truth and not truly inform the American people about the condition of our health system. It is true that a ER can not refuse to treat anyone because of inability to pay, but that does not apply to the doctors. A doctor has the right to refuse to see a patient that can not pay unless that person's life is at risk or they have the potential to lose a limb. I just took a course this past semester about the American Healthcare system and it is truly appalling how much McCain is trying to distort the truth. In the end, the only 2 groups of people actually GUARANTEED healthcare are members of the military and prisoners. Oh the irony..........

    August 28, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  13. Samuel

    I beg to differ with this one. Please spare me this horror.

    August 28, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  14. Brian

    Un. Believable. How anybody in their right mind could vote Republican is beyond me. Seriously, that is insane. How can you defend the McSame campaign when their advisors say stuff like this?.

    August 28, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  15. hitobito

    Thats just brilliant plan...everybody has health insurance now...they just know it. Go to the emergency room if you have the flu, a hangnail, or Pruritus Ani. McCain's chief economic advisor said we're in a "mental recession" and we are a nation of "whiners". This bunch of McCain election advisors must be from Bush re-election committee! No how, No Way, No McCain!

    August 28, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |


    August 28, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  17. Brenna.


    August 28, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  18. Michael

    What this guy said is exactly correct. Everyone has access to a level of health care, so no one is totaly without. Those with insurance obviously have a higher level of care. I'm a Republican and the only issue I side with Obama on is that everyone should have health insurance. As a nation we can afford to provide it for those who can not. But I would only support that it be provided for people who can not afford to buy their own, a program that provides them the funds to purchase a private plan of their choice. If someone can afford it and doesn't want to buy it, they made the choice to go without. McCain's ideas to work to make insurance more affordable are good, but don't go far enough for me.
    Just to make it clear though, this is the only issue if differ on with McCain. I will be voting for McCain on the balance of the issues and hope that the Democrats will be able to work with President McCain to go the rest on the way on this issue.

    August 28, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  19. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Is this guy on crack or is McCain on crack because one or both of them are crack pots. ER costs for the uninsured has been and is still costing billions and any idiot should know wellness check ups if you have insurance is the only way to keep down ER costs.

    August 28, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  20. Darryl- Montebello

    Elitist Jerk

    August 28, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  21. oldsoldierboy

    For a minute I thought it was april fools day. This shows the republicans are either out of touch with reality or don't know didly about how health care works for average american.

    I also wonder what surprise ad McCain plans to come out with tonight. Maybe he's going to ask Obama for a dance.

    August 28, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  22. Obama-Junkie, IL

    Between McCain advisers like Phil Gramm who says that Americans are a "nation of whiners" and are in a "mental recession" and John Goodman who says that "technically All Americans and illegal immigrants have healthcare" because we all can go to the emergency room, Obama and Biden should have a field day between now and the general election painting McCain to Bush and the unpopular Republican brand.

    August 28, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  23. Pepou

    Unbelievable ! Where has this man been living in the last 100 years ! Maybe he should watch "Sicko" by M. Moore and learn the hard truth.

    August 28, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  24. NoMcSame

    Can you say "out of touch"? You people better put that republican brand down and get with the rest of us. Saying that you are a republican doesn't make you and better or richer. These guys are playing a game with you and you fall for it every time. McSame and Bush are not one of you and they don't want to see you become one of them. Wake up people.

    August 28, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  25. The Truth

    The choice is clear people. This is not of fight between the Dems and the Reps. The fight is between the "haves" and the "have nots".

    August 28, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
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