October 11th, 2009
09:00 AM ET
13 years ago

GOP needs its own health care reform agenda, McCain says

WASHINGTON (CNN) – As the national debate over health care reform is set to enter a new phase with next week’s scheduled vote in the Senate Finance Committee, Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, says his party needs to crystallize its own positive agenda for health care reform.

“We Republicans need to come up with our agenda,” the former GOP presidential hopeful says in an interview that airs Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union. “And we need to do it so that there is a viable alternative to this [legislation in the Senate Finance Committee]. And it has to do with things that are not associated with government-controlled health care in America.

“And there are many, many things we can do - medical malpractice reform, go across state lines to get insurance policies of your choice, refundable tax credits - there's a long list of things that we can and should propose as we enter this debate.”

Asked whether he would vote for the version of health care reform legislation championed by finance committee chairman Max Baucus, D-Montana, if it came to the Senate floor, McCain said he would have to wait and see what the final Senate version of reform legislation looks like.


Filed under: GOP • Health care • John McCain • State of the Union
soundoff (83 Responses)
  1. Dave

    Wait until the bill is passed through congress next week. . . .

    (Did they ever find out if the moon blast produced water yesterday? Maybe the republicans can be the first to test to see if its livable up there.)

    October 11, 2009 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  2. Dave

    Wait until the bill(with public option) is passed through congress next week. . . .

    (Did they ever find out if the moon blast produced water yesterday? Maybe the republicans can go test to see if its livable up there.)

    October 11, 2009 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  3. Proud member of "Global Zero:

    I have a national car insurance policy...I can buy it in any state.....that does not bring down the cost. WE NEED ATLEAST A PUBLIC OPTION.

    Enough congress...get it done.

    October 11, 2009 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  4. Ridgeway

    Here's a healthcare tip. Make a copy of the last two years tax return part of the application process to purchase a firearm. Actually, make it part of voter registration too. Check out the Toledo shooting video at the local ACORN hang out.
    And by the way, there are poor White children, in America and the world also, in spite of all the ads and pleas for help sans White folks. Stick a White person in those ads occasionally, eh?

    October 11, 2009 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  5. Meka

    And just how long, had Republician's been in control . . .

    And just how long, has Healthcare been an issue?

    October 11, 2009 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  6. Robin in Tampa, FL

    historically Republicans have always been against major government social initiatives, now to say they have a plan to offer healthcare for all without government involvement sounds more like keeping things the same to me.

    October 11, 2009 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  7. Death Assurance Companies

    John and John,both clueless talking heads on the same show.How low can we go?May as well get Glenn Beck on the show also.

    October 11, 2009 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  8. Mike-WA

    To expect that the Christian Republican Church Party can come up with a healthcare reform plan is to assume that they are capable of anything other than blind ignorance, hatred and racism. And I am expecting to win the lottery.

    October 11, 2009 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  9. catmom

    Bj, wake up. Republicans ARE saying they don't want health care, they never wanted health care and they would do away with Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security given the slightest opportunity. That is the reason they have no problems fighting wars and not paying for them. That is the reason they constantly talk about tax cuts. The more money they take from the government to spend on tax cuts and wars is less money that can be spent on Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. Wake up and smell the coffee.

    As far as the "mess" being put together by the current Congress, perhaps if Republicans stop trying to ruin the Presidency of President Obama and sat down and really worked for the American people , that "mess" would turn into something workable. Unfortunately Republicans DO NOT want to help the American people. They espicially DO NOT want to help President Obama. They have made that quite clear. Republicans hate America and the American people and are doing their best to punish the American people for having the nerve to elect a community organizer over them.

    October 11, 2009 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  10. Henry Miller, Libertarian, Cary, North Carolina

    Following Governor Bobby Jindal's lead would be a good start.

    October 11, 2009 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  11. LacrosseMom

    45, 000......... 122 EACH DAY........ die in our Country because they lack healthcare!

    IF 45,000 Americans were dying EVERY year because of terrorist attacks, people would be rioting in the streets and the Republicans would be demanding that the Middle-East be ........ nuked!

    However....... 45,000..... Americans DIE EVERY YEAR from lack of healthcare and the Republicans and Blue-dog-democrats will deny them healthcare!


    October 11, 2009 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  12. Kent in CA

    But the GOP already has an agenda, Senator McCain. Kill any reform and protect the status quo. That has been their agenda for 14 years. The only interest the GOP has is in protecting corporate profits and imposing outdated moral values on people of different beliefs. They have demonstrated this time and again.

    October 11, 2009 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  13. Henry Miller, Libertarian, Cary, North Carolina

    "How many America[s] do we have?"

    A lot. At least fifty.

    Not only is the US is way too big for one-size-fits-all solutions, its structure is that of fifty sovereign states each nominally responsible for coming up with solutions that best fit its unique circumstances.

    A health care system appropriate for Chicago is unlikely to work well in central Kansas, and it's wildly inappropriate for an urban president to try to impose urban "solutions" on the rest of the country.

    October 11, 2009 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  14. A Democrat of 51 years who has finally got smart to their foolishness.

    That you do but at the presnt you will never get it passed through the morons. STILL NO HELP FOR OUR SOLDIERS. PRESIDENT YOU CERTAINLY ARE A MAN OF CHANGE. CHANGE FROM ASLEEP ON THE HOE TO THE RAKE.

    October 11, 2009 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  15. Robin in Tampa, FL

    Republicans need to reflect on why their party is completely out of power. They absolutely ruined the country with their policies. Everything we are experiencing today, a massive recession, 2 wars, astronomical cost of healthcare, was directly the result of Republican ideas and Republican leadership.

    Now we have a President who is acting quickly to dig us out of the mess we are in, and all the Republican party can do is obstruct from the sidelines.

    October 11, 2009 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  16. newz4i

    Again and again Senator McCain refuses to face reality. The GOP "does" have a plan. This one: Don't get sick, and if you do get sick, die quickly

    October 11, 2009 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  17. Ron

    I don't get it. Now, McCain is saying this? Where were the Republicans on health care during 8 years of the Bush Administration? Where have they been since Obama was elected? Either doing nothing or criticizing every other approach to the problem. They don't have a plan because they don't want any change. They like the profits that insurance companies and pharmaceuticals make at the expense of the rest of us. They fought Medicare, and now they try to scare everyone that proposed changes will hurt Medicare. I don't ever like to call "names" but I can't think of a more polite word than "hypocrites."

    October 11, 2009 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  18. chubby

    The Republicans have put forth many ideas for health care reform like being able to buy policies across state lines to increase competition and tort reform, but no the demorats have voted them down every single time. Look out middle class, you tax increases are coming but they just will not call them a tax.

    October 11, 2009 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  19. J.C. - Independent & Insured

    Had Senator McCain chosen Gov. Bobby Jindal for his VP, he would have had a much better chance, but it's history now.

    I have no hope for GOP to come up with any health care plan as evidenced by recent American history. But Democrats may consider a few ideas below:

    1. Equal premium for equal policy: Discrimination against individual subscribers is not allowed if health insurance mandate is the law.

    2. Public Option guarantees affordability if health insurance mandate is required.

    3. Move from employer-based insurance to individual-based insurance to enable the free market mechanism IF we want to pretend that health care is still a commodity. This works best under Universal Health Care through a universal health care tax of less than 8% on your incomes with No Limit. Those without a paid job will use subsidies for premiums.

    October 11, 2009 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  20. true reformist

    Republican health care platform; caveot emptor – let the buyer beware!

    Just let private enterprise handle all problems, and, oh by the way, I haven't checked my mail box yet to see if my monthly stipend from company ABC has arrived.

    October 11, 2009 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  21. Tim from Tampa

    Why are Republicans NOT presenting their own plan for Health Care Overhaul? That would take real work and honest thought. They find it much easier to play the obstructionist role... "Just say NO.... "

    October 11, 2009 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  22. Ken in NC

    OK People, let's calm down. We are making progress here. Senator McCain and a couple of other Republicans have admitted that we do need Health Care Reform. This is a step in the right direction. We need to give Republicans time to digest these changes. Remember that it has only been 103 years since we have started working on this health care for all. We must move with due diligence and use caution not to pass the snail in front of us in the road. Just think, if we stop and do a "reset" as Republicans call it, and start over we can be back at this same spot in another 103 years but at least this time we will know all the right moves to make to get to that point. OH YES, let's start over for the sake of Republicans and do it right. Oh I got to go now. The nurse is here to give me my meds that I cannot pay for.

    October 11, 2009 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  23. Joanna in PA

    John, if those idea's you proposed were favorable to the American people, you would've won the election. But they were REJECTED. You all talk about having a health care plan, but yet in the months you have had to come up with one, you have not. The ONLY thing the GOP has done is fear monger and hate bait.

    October 11, 2009 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  24. Sandra, Atlanta

    John McCain, you are about 15 years too late. Let's see, Republicans were in charge of the entire Congress from 1994 until 2006. You had a pretty good number from 2006 – 2008. Strange that the only thing that EVER comes out of Republicans mouths are tort reform.

    Tell me this, Mr. McCain, are you in favoring of posting the names and addresses of physicians who have been found guilty of medical malpractice? Are you in favor of them having their medical license taken away? Are you in favor of preventing state worker's comp physicians from being held accountable for their malpractice? Are you in favor of physicians services AND prices being readily available to the public so that they can understand WHAT they are paying for?

    Until you are actively promoting those things, don't talk to me about Republicans great ideas for reform.

    October 11, 2009 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  25. James, Ho. TX

    The Government needs to stay out of the "Health Care System" !
    First, by eliminating the F.D.A. and its Bureaucracies.
    Health Care is not the Roll of the Federal Government. Neither is Supply and Demand. The Roll of Government is to defend its people from Invasion an d Fraud !

    October 11, 2009 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
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