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. Nathan

    So other than "JUST SAY NO" what have the Republicans been doing? If they have so many things they think could be done to make this better why has a credible draft of their work been put on stage to the country. I'll tell you why it has not, they have absolutely NOTHING. What a set of SCUM BAGS. I can't believe all these stupid everyday American Republicans buy this CRAP! This first guy on here commenting (Chubby) simply listened to John McCain's comments and type word for word what he said. No original thought, no insight, just lock step repeats. Ignorance is not Nobel Prize characteristic people.

    October 11, 2009 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  2. sharon, newport news, virginia

    the rep needed a health care agenda months ago. They would rahter criticize than attempt a solution. I am no longer a Republican and do not plan tp vote for them anytime soon because of their rhetoric and actions in the last 9 months. Instead of legislative leaders they sound like spoiled children who didn.t get their way. I would love to help anyone defeat two House members – Eric Cantor =for telling a woman at a town hall meeting who was concerned because her daughter was very ill and they needed Health insurance to firast sell her possesions and if that didn't help, look for charity and Michele Bachman who opens her mouth and stupidity comes out. These are examples of 2 who complain constantly about the President but never come out with any positive solutions Maybe they do not have any solution – you think. Maybe they make all that talk because they are clueless

    October 11, 2009 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  3. ib

    I bet the GOP will come up with something besides cutting billions from medicare. Obama cares nothing about senior citizens and has proven that with his so called health reform where seniors are left out. Enough already libs face it; the health care reform bill under Obama is a joke and horrible for seniors.

    October 11, 2009 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  4. gary davis Harbor Oregon

    I have totally lost any respect for Mccain .. when he was a democrate he actually did a good job .. now that he has gone to the CHENEY DARKSIDE we have lst another mortal soul

    October 11, 2009 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  5. Sam

    Yeah... you get on that Republican Health Care agenda, John. The debate and the vote are now almost over. Nice of you to wake up and chime in.

    October 11, 2009 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  6. m jeff

    The GOP does not want or have a Health Care plan, they work for the Insurance Companies.

    October 11, 2009 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  7. Stu- SW Florida

    What we've NEEDED is someone to come up with a plan... which no one in the GOP has done in all this time talking about it..
    What we NEED is some backbone from either party.
    What we NEED is the truth about the underlying reasons the GOP doesn't want HC reform.
    What we NEED is what we got... a President that recognizes all of the things that are wrong and sets a very busy adjenda to tackle them. We NEEDED a President that has intelligence, fore thought, insight, drive and grace.
    Now that we have that we NEED support from the weak kneed GOP and wing nuts on the right. We NEED to get this country, OUR COUNTRY, back on track.
    Get off your hands and get it done!! WE NEED results!!!!!!!!!

    Oh yea... we also NEED you, McCain, to go away and let us get it done. We certainly don't NEED YOU!!

    October 11, 2009 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  8. not alone

    So the house republican's have had 10 months to think up thier own idea for health care reform and have not done so.Seems thier only plan is to fight everything that the dem's propose.Now senetor Mccain who is basically a no show anyways wants to see his party make a plan for health care.Where was this idea when they where amending the dems plan only to reject it out of spite?The repulican party has become the party of hinderence to the american people and not an asset in making reform happen,how sad and low they have become in the 21st century.The only one's truely opposed is the far right and the folks they have bussed to meeting to creat the miscomception of what health care reform is truly about and that is we need to take care of all americans and not just the well to do as far as health care is conserned.The big companys are breaking this country up right after the repulican's and dem's gave away all our jobs over seas.Time has come for a 2nd party that can work for the people of this country and not the big corperations.
    waybie it is time to form a party that says bring those jobs back and take care of our own,instead of the great american give away that has gone on for the last 30 years dem's as well as repub's are very much guilty of continuing this free for all corprate greed.Time to end so many influences in the way of lobbiest's, and support a true need for campian reform and term limits.Time to get rid of over paying our elected officials or make them earn thier keep other then just sitting on the sidelines (going DOH!!).Every one has been hurt by this lack of caring on behalf of our elected officials and trying to grab all the earmarks they can creat on behalf of political contributars.It's became very clear that congress its self needs new rules to go by for the benifit of the people and not thier on pocket books.

    October 11, 2009 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  9. Dan, TX

    You had 8 years to do it. You wouldn't. Therefore, get out of the way. You did not lead.

    October 11, 2009 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  10. Censorship in Practice form at CNN--S Callahan NYS

    BOTH parties need a 'REAL' HEALTH CARE REFORM plan..not manipulation of the public through lobby dollars....I am so sadden to learn BACUS was bought to the tune of $1.5 mil from the lobbyists...and the insurance plans going through the Senate are a farce to the public...$829 billion is more like $1.3 trillion over ten years...How foolish do you think the public is? don't believe me go to opensecrects.org........

    There is a war on society..on our children, our health , our values....where are the true warriors to stand up all of this??
    This is about President Obamma...this is about manipulation of our society that has been ongoing since 1947.....enough!!!

    October 11, 2009 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  11. Flex

    John McCaine: "“We Republicans need to come up with our agenda,” I agree, but the health care reform bus left months ago, and you've done nothing to facilitate it. In addition to your parties great cynicism, and flamboyant hatred for middle class intellectuals, you've impeded any chance of real, quality, tangible, and effective health care reform, that everyone can use.

    How can republicans provide health care reform while the governing health care industry is paying you to prevent health care reform now?

    October 11, 2009 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  12. Teresa

    Concerning all of this talk of health care reform, I keep hearing that the government plan will cover everyone. However, no one has asked and no one has reported "how much coverage". 100%, 80%, 50% or less? If the coverage percentage is low, that will not help poorer people who have to make up the difference. Has any one heard numbers yet?

    October 11, 2009 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  13. B

    McCain is, as usual way behind the power curve on this as he has been on most everything else. The American people are sick of the same old Republican solutions in support of business interests only.

    That is why we have a Democratic President now! We want solutions for the working people of this country for a change.

    October 11, 2009 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  14. Reformed Republican


    The rethugs finally admit what people have known since the start of this health care reform and public option debate...


    October 11, 2009 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  15. JIlli

    Where were the republicans during the last 6 months? Now that they see reform as a reality, now they want to hop on board? They were provided every opportunity to come to the table and work with the Democrats, yet they chose a different route, and it's backfiring on them. They've stalled long enough, and I still don't believe they have honest intentions regarding reforming health care. Republican ammendmentns have been accepted, compromises have been made, but yet they still remain disinterested and unwilling to honestly work for reform – they won't vote or debate even though they claim to agree on 80% of the bill. It's all talk on the part of the republicans.

    October 11, 2009 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  16. Mike O'Brien

    I for one, don't like Senator Max Baucus and the 'group of six' new proposed health care reform legislation bill. Why.., because it does 'not' have a 'public option' which means 'choice'. There are 42 million american's without health care insurance. If the Baucus plan is approved, there still will be approximately 21 millions american's without health care insurance. I thought, the whole idea behind the new health care reform bill was that 'all' american's would have affordable health care insurance, even the ones that 'can't' afford any health care insurance. A 'public option' or 'choice' should be included in the new proposed health care reform legislation bill for 'all' american's. Mike in Montana

    October 11, 2009 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  17. Debbie, Las Vegas

    It's hard to stand up for Health Care Reform when you're party doesn't really believe in the need for it. Never has. The Republican party has never been for the regular guy, still isn't. They've always been for big business, still are. So it's no wonder that they haven't participated in Health Care Reform. We shouldn't be surprised by this. I think they're being consistent at least. The momentum is finally moving in the direction of reform so some Republicans now see a benefit in looking like they support it. They can see now that being non-participants will work against them. It's the same old story.

    October 11, 2009 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  18. annie s

    Hey CNN – did anyone tell you that John McCain lost the election? I am so tired of Sunday/Monday news on this site being all McCain all the time.

    October 11, 2009 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  19. Wow....

    So...they(Republicans) basically have no plan.....

    October 11, 2009 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  20. Shelly

    I don't understand why people are so confused.....the MAIN goal of the Health Care reform is to provide insurance to the 40plus million that are uninsured. It is a MORAL imperative....how can a economically advanced nation let 45000 citizens die each year ?!?!
    Also many Americans that have been denied because of pre existing condition will be eligible to get insurance.
    Most Americans will be able to continue with their existing insurance.
    The new laws will require private insurers to be more honest and inclusive and competitive.

    PASS HEALTH CARE reform to improve the quality of life for many of our mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, sons and daughters, America!

    October 11, 2009 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  21. Col Kilgore

    Too late now Mc Grandpa.... The GOP was invited to the table when the health debate started. They chose to obstruct, misinform and lie to serve their corporate masters. Obama and the Dems should just forget they are even there now and just ram it right by them. The Bush controlled GOP majority was real good at that anyways.The only idea the GOP have anyways is to keep their money owners happy at the cost of majority wishes. So screw them.

    October 11, 2009 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  22. Emma

    Help me understand why you promote John McCain's ideas to such a great extent? He is the John McCain who was heavily into the game of war in Iraq, who loses his temper without significant provocation and had not helped the struggling economy of Bush. Of course, McCain is entitled to his opinions, but not necessarily the expert to promote good outcomes for Americans.

    October 11, 2009 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  23. Bob (Illinois)

    Message to Senator McCain and the GOP: Where have you been the last few months? How many years do you need to come up with a "viable alternative?"

    You've had years and years to get the job done and have done absolutely NOTHING!

    October 11, 2009 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  24. Kris in Denver

    Senator McCain, you're a bit late. Several years, as a matter of fact. Since the GOPers are completely incapable of communicating their plan, Rep. Grayson had to provide them with assistance: Don't get sick. And if you do get sick, die quickly!

    October 11, 2009 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  25. JonDie

    Senator McCain, wake up from your nap. The GOP agenda (i.e., YOU and YOUR party's agenda) is:

    1) NO to covering uninsured Americans.

    2) NO to covering people who lose their jobs.

    3) NO to covering pre-existing conditions when people change jobs.

    4) NO to saving Medicare from bankrupty.

    5) NO to controlling the runaway profits of hospitals, insurance companies and drug manufactureres, and


    You and your party are a disgrace to humankind.

    October 11, 2009 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
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