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. Phil

    Wow. McSame is even more out of touch than I thought.

    August 28, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  2. obama 08

    even in my sociology book talked about how hospitals do turn people away if they are not insured or cannot pay. it explained how a pregnant woman gave birth to a still born baby but did not have health insurance or have money to pay for the care of herself or her still born, so you know what the hospital did??they moved her to the local hospital with less care...hmmm i think alot of americans can relate and that is the "BANDAID" frm pres. Bill Clinton was talking about with the regugs and helathcare. want mccain youll get more or the same

    August 28, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  3. Tony

    The interview highlights one of the biggest flaws for the implementable universal health care: you'll be insuring illegal immigrants how don't pay taxes. No thanks, not on my dime.

    August 28, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  4. nobush3rd

    That is the biggest insult ever to the intelligence of the American public.

    With emergency rooms and hospitals closing daily in rural communities and urban communities, one has to wonder just how some Republicans get so out of touch.

    Why are they closing? - because the only refuge left to the uninsured is to go to the emergency room and afterwards, apply for government help to pay for it. What this moron fails to discuss is the enormous total cost that hits the person AFTER the visit - with hospitals charging $50 an aspirin and $500 a visit just to walk into the room. Or the enormous BURDEN on those hospitals.

    Sheesh... how do these guys get so out of touch?

    I'll tell you: you get so rich OFF the system (big insurance lobbies, big oil, big whatever can be raped and plundered on the backs of ordinary Americans) and YOU CAN AFFORD HEALTHCARE on a preventative basis.

    What hypocrites!

    August 28, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  5. sue

    People like you Greg need to get a clue.

    There are a LOT of people who have jobs who do not have health insurance because their employers do not offer medical insurance (because the premiums are so expensive) and they cannot afford to purchase health insurance on their own (because the premiums are so expensive).

    Not everyone who has a job works for large corporations with medical insurance coverage.

    Not all small business owners can afford to provide health insurance coverage to their employees or even themselves.

    The problem won't be solved by "get a job with health insurance".

    The problem is that the insurance companies and the system has priced medical care out of reach for many. The premiums are ridiculously high and go up every year. And so those businesses that CAN afford to provide their employees with medical insurance often have to cut the coverage they can provide because the premiums continue to go up. And yes, some companies have to cut the medical insurance altogether because they can no longer afford it and neither can the employees.

    August 28, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  6. Donna A. Reuter, Bremerton, WA

    Bullocks!!! Approx. 20,000 people, a year, die in this nation because they cannot afford to see a doctor and afford health insurance. The Republican Party don't really care about the right to life, if they did they would support nationalized health care and be in compliance with Article I, Section Eight, Clause 1 of the United States Constitution.

    We are force to pay for our elected officials health insurance with our tax dollars and these ingrates refuse to reciprocate.

    August 28, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  7. Ken in Dallas

    So health care costs to much, but it's good to use emergency rooms for primary health care?

    Sounds fine, as long as the patient has nothing to lose; any patient who's not poor when he uses an ER in this way, however, will instantly bankrupt himself.

    John McCain, supporter of the world's worst option in health care.

    August 28, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  8. Tony

    Gee, I'm so glad Mr. Goodman has a firm grasp on this healthcare issue. Maybe he should run for president of the United States.

    Oh and by the way Mr. Goodman, paying your emergency care bills out of pocket is not considered medical when you explain your ridiculous position again, please make mention of this fact.

    Dear Mr. McCain-if you have any desire to win this election, fire Mr. Goodman immediately–and you will increase your odds ten fold.

    August 28, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  9. Pepou

    For johny2in Kalamazoo. Maybe in Kalamazoo but not ANYWHERE that I know of. And I have countless examples of people being TURNED DOWN from emergency room because of lack of coverage. Educate yourself !

    August 28, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  10. Yep, that'll work

    Ok- let's just go with this for a minute. Let's say that...ehh...20% of America is categorized as "uninsured." So, out of the roughly 300million people, 60 million of them don't have health insurance.

    He is correct- emergency rooms are legally not allowed to turn people away for financial reasons. So, going with his example, 60 million people are now going to get "free" care at hospitals. Great. So according to his thinking, that means that everyone is fine because everyone has care, correct?

    No. If all care is created equal (those 60 million people are getting the exact same care as everyone else), the money for the supplies, doctors, labor, transportation, malpractice insurance, and other things has to come from somewhere. You really think the government is going to fully subsidize the ER care for 60million people? No. It's going to come, somehow, someway, from the other 240million people. It's not going to cause healthcare "competition"; it's going to cause wanton healthcare inflation. You can't have 60million people getting care for free and expect everything to work out! BASIC economics doesn't work that way.

    Does no one draw the same conclusions I do? If they don't, why the heck are people who don't forsee stuff like that attempting to run the country?!

    August 28, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  11. Heather

    What planet is this schmuck(yiddish for idiot) on? I have never heard of anything more rediculious and totally insensitive and out right ignorant in my life! The cost of most health insurance in this country is based on group size. The bigger the group enrolled in a plan the more affordable it would be. If I big company that cares about its employees wants to spend the money on a good plan then most employees depending on their income could afford to have good insurance.The thing is there are big companies that are cheap who want to pay next to nothing and the employees end up paying so much in premiums and deductibles and rxs that they cant afford to see the dr or go to the hospital. This person has a very narrow view of how things are in this country. Private hospitals are funded differently than public ones.

    August 28, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  12. Nikki, Florida

    Out of touch much?

    August 28, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  13. Sherry, Atlanta



    OBAMA/BIDEN '08-'12

    August 28, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  14. Ex-PUMA moving on

    As one of the most hardcore Hillary supporters, I was pretty sure I was voting for McCain in November to avenge the wrongdoings the Democratic Party had done to her.

    Now, however, I am finding very difficult to vote for McCain, especially with his absurd health care plan. That has been the work of Hillary's life, and I feel I would be betraying her and her ideals if I cast a vote for this man. Sorry PUMAs, I just can't do this.

    August 28, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  15. coinyer

    i dont

    August 28, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  16. Anonymous

    But McCain was a POW.

    August 28, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  17. Emma, San Jose, CA

    What a crock! I am an RN and the scope of health care is vastly more broad than emergency room care. Millions of clinic appointments are for prevention and restoring and maintaining optimal functioning. We need a health insurance benefit available to all people. Many go to emergency care with the common cold and non-emergent conditions because they don't have insurance and cannot afford to pay out of pocket for medical care.

    Both Hillary and Obama got it right when they were talking about health care and the way we end up paying for uninsured users of health care.

    August 28, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  18. John

    And the people in Ohio are not unemployed....they're on vacation.

    August 28, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  19. MATT IN NC

    Wow, now that's an novel healthcare solution. Send the uninsured to the ER, the priciest place you can possibly receive primary care.

    I bet the ERs could easily handle this influx of patients... Excuse me maam, I know you're bleeding from the eyes but Ms. Sullivan has a nasty case of Strep throat and she WAS here first...

    Has this guy ever sat in the ER wating room?

    August 28, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  20. Anonymous

    Lorna, NY August 28th, 2008 2:51 pm ET

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


    August 28, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  21. Jack Jodell, Minneapolis, MN

    Goodman should see a doctor at once-he's nuts.

    August 28, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  22. Middleman

    My Health coverage pays 50% of my dental health costs. Which Emergency Rooms do I need to go to for dentistry? Does the McCain guy have a list of those locations, just in case I lose my job before I get dentures?

    August 28, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  23. Dandelion.

    We need to make a lot of noise about this nonsense. This is a big deal!

    August 28, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  24. Andrea

    Talk about out of touch!!! What an arrogant and absolutely wrong thing to say!!!

    August 28, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  25. Diana NJ

    Is this a joke ? I understand what's meant by out of touch..only genius can think of that.

    August 28, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
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