August 2nd, 2009
10:58 AM ET
13 years ago

McCain faults how Dems have approached health care reform

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Sen. John McCain has some advice for Democrats: have a “true sit-down” with Republicans on health care reform legislation.

“Well, first of all, unfortunately, there was no input by Republicans in the writing of the bill,” McCain said of the version of the legislation that came out of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. “It was all a Democrat proposal. That’s not the way you want to begin if you’re really interested in a true bipartisan result.”

“It's got to be a true sit-down,” McCain added. “OK, what are you going to concede … how we can come together? Not: here's the plan, how can we fix it so it satisfies enough of you to call it ‘bipartisan?’

“That's a huge difference.”

Saying President Obama needs to be more specific about the reform proposals he favors, McCain also faulted how his former rival is handling health care reform.

“The president has laid out some ideas,” McCain said in an interview that aired Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union. “But I think the president has got to be more specific when we come down to exactly what these proposals are.

“And I don't think he's done that.

“I think they may have over learned the lesson of the Clinton proposal in '93, McCain added, “where they were totally specific proposals. Now there's not enough.”

Despite his criticism for the way Democrats are handling health care reform, McCain did express affection for one colleague on the other side of the aisle.

“Oh, yes,” McCain said when asked whether Sen. Ted Kennedy presence was missed in the health care debate on Capitol Hill.

“Senator Kennedy is an institution around here that is unique,” McCain told CNN Chief National Correspondent John King, “and there's no such thing as a senator who's irreplaceable.

“There's no one who comes as close to that word as Ted Kennedy. And we are philosophically opposed, but I have grown, over the years, to have the highest respect and affection.”

Kennedy, the Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee has been absent for most of the 111th Congress because he is battling cancer. In his absence, Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd largely took over responsibility for shepherding health care reform legislation through that committee, on which McCain also sits along with Dodd and Kennedy.

Filed under: Health care • John McCain • State of the Union
soundoff (73 Responses)
  1. ib

    There is a difference between health care reform and health care takeover by the gov. It's plain to see that the demo's and Obama don't realize it or maybe they do and just think we are stupid enough to go along with it. A lot are but there are those of us who can see what King Obama is up to.

    August 2, 2009 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  2. Heneverlostitheneverhadit...

    MCCains chair would be improvement empty what has he ever did ?It will never bipartisan with McCain he has no ideas to offer and is against everything that others offer and run to his other Bullicans

    August 2, 2009 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  3. Marry

    As to health care reform – how can a country say it is the best (???) and then not even have a good general health care plan for its people? (Yes, it is all about money – in their pockets… I know!) If John McCain has no ideas – he would just have to take a look how nicely it works in Canada. But the GOP just prefers to lie to the people and take the money instead of coming up with a good system. And as long as they do that, they have no right at all to criticize a president that has the guts to finally tackle the problem. McCain should be ashamed of himself!

    August 2, 2009 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  4. Claudia in Houson

    McCain is a brain dead old man who graduated last in his class almost 50 years ago and hasn't seen the inside of a classroom since. If this is the best the Republicans have they will never succeed because they keep bringing in the same old dead heads.

    August 2, 2009 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  5. Donna from Colorado Springs

    McCain is sure a busy boy this morning, isn't he? He is criticizing everything and everybody! Why should the Democrats have a sit down with Republicans about healthcare? Did they share any sit down time with the Dems when they had control? Of course not. The only thing the Republicans want to do is shut down any avenue that would give the country affordable healthcare. They don't give a rats behind about bi-partisanship.......only when it suits their party! We don't owe the GOP any special treatment about this reform bill, so they can whine all they want! They will do their very best to kill any chance of this reform bill passing.....just like they did in the 90's. They care only about their own party and not what's best for the country. They are truly the most arrogant and selfish group around.

    August 2, 2009 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  6. Cali Mike

    I'm sorry. I must have missed when the Republican politicians offered a proposal for healthcare reform. Can anyone tell me what it is?

    Waiting, waiting, waiting.....

    Oh Yeah, they said NO and Obama=socialist. Useless waste of time listening to republicans. They have done nothing productive for this country since 2003

    August 2, 2009 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  7. johnnie

    Tell John King the ELECTION IS OVER, and John SCARY Mccain must have forgot he got BOMBED, in the election of 2008, John King just cant get over that the GOP is in the ABYSS for good, and that so called MAGIC WALL , needs to look for where the BLUE is , John king is in DENIAL, you lost , get over it. You are a not going to bring the GOP back,every Sunday, you promote the RIGHT WING agenda, it is so OLD, get a NEW WALL and the President Obama Wall........

    August 2, 2009 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  8. 60's survivor

    NOW THE GOP is interested in health insurance. too little too late no ideas just NO NO NO!!! they really don't want this. gets into their pockets and not so much middle class america

    August 2, 2009 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  9. suzyku

    why is cnn going nuts on everything this jerk, mccain says? I am so happy that he lost, this country would be in complete ruins if had won, he and the idiot running mate he chose! nothing he says matters.

    August 2, 2009 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  10. Priscilla

    Republicans won't work with President Obama and then they wait around for an opportunity to slam hit! Won't work this time, McSame, you are such a liar! Republicans are drowning and are trying to do anything to rise again. The only way they can do that is to try to entrap President Obama!!! Shame on You, McSame, you are soooooooooo very SENILE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    August 2, 2009 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  11. sue

    John: If you get in a car accident or become ill you will have government support. (don't be saying you won't take it) I have family members that have major illnesses and do not make much money but they manage to pay for health insurance.

    Your no insurance is the plan that I pay for with my health insurance and my family members pay for that you can't afford!

    August 2, 2009 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  12. Ted

    If McCain wanted to be heard, then why did he not drop the GOP partisan stuff and go see Obama and talk it over. The republicans are all about blaming the dems for a lack of bipartisanship, but they are as much to blame as anyone. They think they are deserving of an engraved invitation to the conversation when in reality they should stand up and be heard. McCain and the rest of the GOP are just a bunch of whiners without a plan and without support.

    August 2, 2009 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  13. Brendan H., San Antonio, TX

    McCain notes there was no input from the GOP on helath care reform, yet they were asked to participate and didn't. Remember when Obama specifically called out the GOP and asked for their input, Senator McCain?!

    I know you're familiar with freezing people out as the Bush Administration did it for 8 years – you must be confusing that partisan cabal, right?!

    August 2, 2009 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  14. Ed

    McCain should stop Bloomberg from increasing the sales tax and increasing the MTA fares !

    August 2, 2009 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  15. Brendan H., San Antonio, TX

    JOHN – You are model husband for your wife; way to take care of business and hate those that are trying!!!

    August 2, 2009 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  16. maria

    It doesn't suprise me that McCain would be against the health care plan, but than again is there any plan that he would agree on that would help anyone that earns less than he and his family does. McCain cann't recall how many cars or homes he has. Does anyone seriously expect him to understand what the average american is going through at this time. I am fortunate to have health insurance and a job, but there are many people out there that don't. However, with all the money I pay into insurance it will not cover me when it comes to certain health conditions. So someone please tell me why would you listen to McCain and others like him. I don't understand what you don't get.

    August 2, 2009 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  17. Chenna Benna

    Yes because Republicans have been so helpful with all the lies they have been putting out there.

    August 2, 2009 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  18. Zero.

    Buyer's are being conned. "Make a statement CNN."

    That you will pay the loss of many indivuals investments,

    in your markets loss... Then talk so high and mighty...

    August 2, 2009 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  19. Zero.

    After 1946 it was Japan/Germany: you invested in, but you did not, not let the World know about this. You tried to invest in so many countries since then. Now you have to body left to Con. So you elect the biggest idiot in the USA as a "God", to the Stupid Muslims of this world... America is a Time-Bomb. Bye. Bye USA. Long may you sleep. Or Just "Cut This Crap".....

    August 2, 2009 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  20. Ron L

    Senator McCain is once again not telling the whole truth. From several news sources it has been reported that over 100 Republican amendments have been incorporated into the bill. The problem the Republicans have is they don't want the public option and thats the one thing the Democrats are not going to negotiate on....OH WELL.

    August 2, 2009 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  21. cramit

    If it's soooooooooo good .... Why is it in the bill that the politicians are EXEMPT??///


    August 2, 2009 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
1 2 3