February 23rd, 2010
01:51 PM ET
13 years ago

McCain to attend Obama's health care summit

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/02/23/art.bomac0223.gi.jpg caption="Sen. John McCain was asked by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to join Senate Republicans at the open-for-cameras health care meeting."]Washington (CNN) - One GOP senator attending the president's health care summit Thursday has more history with Barack Obama than any other Republican who will be there. That senator is John McCain, Obama's rival for the presidency in 2008.

McCain was asked by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to join Senate Republicans at the open-for-cameras health care meeting.

"He looks forward to sitting down in a bipartisan fashion and starting over," said McCain spokeswoman Brooke Buchanan. McCain is a member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions ("HELP") Committee.

McConnell's office Tuesday announced the list of Republican senators who will be attending Thursday's summit. In making the announcement, McConnell once again criticized many aspects of Democrats' health care reform proposals.

"Americans don't know how else to say it: they're not interested in a reform that starts with the bills they've already rejected, bills that slash a half-trillion dollars from seniors' Medicare, raise a half-trillion in new taxes, and don't lower costs or premiums," McConnell said in a statement released Tuesday. "Republicans will attend this summit in good faith, and will continue to offer the types of ideas and step-by-step approach that Americans are actually calling for: legislation that brings down costs and increases access for Americans."

In addition to McCain and McConnell, the following GOP senators will also be attending Thursday's health care summit, according to McConnell's office:

Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl, R-Arizona
Senate Republican Conference Chairman Lamar Alexander, R-Tennessee
Ranking Member Senate Finance Committee Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa,
Ranking Member Senate HELP Committee Mike Enzi, R-Wyoming,
HELP Committee Member Tom Coburn, M.D., R-Oklahoma,
Sen. John Barrasso, M.D., R-Wyoming

Filed under: GOP • Health care • John McCain • Senate
soundoff (54 Responses)
  1. Independent One

    I am praying for a third party

    February 23, 2010 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  2. gw

    There is no way the American people want Congress to "start over" again on health care after a year of negotiation and hard work. This Republican position can only be perceived as an attempt to stall or obstruct health care.

    February 23, 2010 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  3. phillybilly

    Hope he has more to contribute than he did during the financial crisis meeting that he postponed his campaign for.

    February 23, 2010 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  4. Amazed

    "He looks forward to sitting down in a bipartisan fashion and starting over," said McCain spokeswoman Brooke Buchanan. McCain is a member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions ("HELP") Committee.

    Republicans are nothing more than self-centered, selfish, anti-american brats. A spoiled, sulking 10 year old child comes to mind.

    "Start over or I'm not playing". Ridiculous.

    February 23, 2010 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  5. aware

    "In God We Trust" is the only new creation transformation that will rescue the USA from the myth of evolutionary progress. Go for the Gold America! 🙂

    February 23, 2010 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  6. Glenn Koons

    McCain means nothing now. But, putting Baraso, Coburn on the team might just keep the Pubs from being sucked into some socialist compromise. If Tim Murray from Pa. , another Doc had been invited, the GOP would have had a stronger team to avoid this Obama trap. For that is what it is.

    February 23, 2010 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  7. Steve-Illinois

    Why does it make sense to anyone to go after the costs of health insurance, and do nothing to control what the health care providers charge? These bills are all a joke! When Medicare was passed the 25 year projected cost was $9 billion, 25 years later the actual cost was $67 BILLION!!!! 7 X the estimate! I love how this bill will be paid for by stopping fraud and waste! That's never happened yet in a government program, but this time, Americans are to believe that's how the government can hand them free health care. Good luck with that!!! Those of you who work for a living are in for the biggest raping of your lives! The rich couldn't pay the bill for this if they were taxed at 100%!!! That only leaves the working stiffs to pick up the tab! As usual.
    The numbers just do not add up!
    Use common sense people!

    February 23, 2010 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  8. Chandler

    It is sad that the GOP constantly lies about what is contained in the bills to get their constituents to be against it. Lying to your constituents should get you removed from Congress. McConnell should have thought more about WASTE and RAISING TAXES when he helped Bush pass the $1 TRILLION Medicare Part D program that they NEVER PAID FOR. Just because you spend with out taxing doesn't mean a tax wont' be needed for that in the future, Mitch!

    February 23, 2010 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  9. Proud DEM

    Did this moron (McConnell) even bother to read Obama's new proposal??? Hey idiot...it will lower costs, it will make health care affordable, it will hold insurance companies accountable!! If these Repukes say "NO" to these things..then it's plain as the nose on my face that these cretins do not want whats best for the American people!!!

    February 23, 2010 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  10. arun

    Republicans can't stand a colored man as president and especially since he is the first of many to possibly pass healthcare reform. The Tea Baggers will split the republican vote and give Obama a another term. 95% of tea baggers are racist. Clinton had higher taxes but no tea baggers for him.

    February 23, 2010 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  11. Len (Colorado)

    Wow! What a bipartisian group the Republicans are sending to this very important summit.

    Each one of them made it very clear that they want this bill to fail and want Obama to fail.

    Other than their call to reform medical-malpractice laws, the Republicans have virtually respectable ideas on fixing health care. Making p nonsense about government-run "death panels" is the level they been working on.

    Most Republicans aren't conservatives at all. They are CORPRATE SOCIALISTS. The party's idea of market solution is to see how many tax payer dollars they can put into private coffers.

    Wake up America and realize these folks are basically liars.

    February 23, 2010 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  12. VAVoter

    Once again, I don't know any other way to say it...I AM AN AMERICAN AND I DO WANT THE COMPREHENSIVE HEALTHCARE BILL THAT WAS PASSED MOSTLY BY DEMOCRATS BECAUSE REPUBLICANS MADE A CALCULATED DECISION TO BLOCK IT SIMPLY TO DENY DEMOCRATS & PRES. OBAMA (AND THE AMERICAN PEOPLE) A LEGISLATIVE VICTORY. We are NOT starting over. The train has left the station. You chose not to get on. Don't try to make the train turn around half-way down the track because you've "changed your mind", only to continue to block and try to stop the train from leaving again!! We, that is, the American people who actually support President Obama and who have paid your salary for you to sit on your butts and do nothing, want the President's proposal passed or.....its Reconciliation time baby! ENOUGH!

    February 23, 2010 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  13. Average American

    I don't remeber rejecting any bills. I'm not sure who McConnell is talking about, but the majority of Americans want a public option so if he's all for the majority of Americans getting what they want, is he now saying he's for a public option?

    February 23, 2010 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  14. get real

    The CBO has determined that the House and Senate plans insure more Americans and save more money (defict reduction) than the Republican plan.

    February 23, 2010 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  15. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    The debate is not "starting over" Old Man River. This is just a stage for the American people to see what big obstructionists you are.

    February 23, 2010 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |

    I guess the GOP needed another NO to everything and anything that the President suggests. Pretty soon the GOP will learn that you have to have some ideas besides just No. But my guess is that they won't realize that until after November when they lose even more house and senate seats. The American want congress to work, for Them! The GOP thinks it's scoring points, in reality, the American people are keeping score on them and our response to the GOP in the fall will be NO. The GOP continues to listen to the vocal 11% of their party and think it's where everybody stands. Onec again the GOP is dead wrong.

    February 23, 2010 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  17. Joseph-Ohio

    It kills me how Republicans continue to claim to speak for Americans. How is that so when all the Polls show Americans want a public option in the healthcare plan. However, a public option does not sit very well with the mega health care rich in this country, which is who the Republican need to come clean and admit they only support.....Rich Americans are the only Americans Republicans speak for not all Americans. In turn, I am sick of the Dems as well. Their spineless leadership is what put us in this place to begin with. News flash, if you are not supporting the Democratic President then please stop calling yourself a Democrat. What a blessing it would be for Independents to put both parties out of work and then just then we might get a Government for the people! The current system is broken beyond repair. Our level of debt proves that if nothing else does!

    February 23, 2010 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  18. LacrosseMom(the real one)

    Every member of Congress should attend. America needs healthcare reform and healthcare!

    Thousands of Americans die every year because they lack healthcare, who will do the right thing?

    And when will the GOP stop lying?

    February 23, 2010 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  19. bill bennett

    I'm a republican and I don't agree with the party of "just say no" I do not want to see a year wasted and start all over I want to take the good and go from there. lets get this thing done and put to rest. we need a health care program now

    February 23, 2010 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  20. hello!

    PALIN 2012 🙂

    February 23, 2010 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  21. Dean

    Obama can you hear this......."Americans don't know how else to say it: they're not interested in a reform that starts with the bills they've already rejected, bills that slash a half-trillion dollars from seniors' Medicare, raise a half-trillion in new taxes, and don't lower costs or premiums."

    February 23, 2010 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  22. gt

    its time to get something done for the people.....not there parties....

    February 23, 2010 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  23. johnnie w

    CNN who CARES about Mr. FLIP FLOP MCCAIN , he can NEVER make up his MIND , what to say , what to CHOOSE, what to DO, what SIDE he is ON. He has LOST his MIND, come on CNN , this that GOP TICKER again, your so called NETWORK is too Republican CONTROLLED, with these TICKERS,it is SO LAME.. Every MINUTE of your TICKER DAY, the PARTY OF LOSERS.

    February 23, 2010 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  24. Lisa P

    Sen. McConnell is wrong about what Americans are interested in and apparently also wrong about Republicans negotiating in good faith if his spin-heavy, error-filled statement is any indication.

    As for Sen. McCain, he should go back to whining about earmarks - something that will make just about no difference at all in the big picture but will at least keep him out of the way and out of trouble. He has nothing to add to a discussion of health care reform; no doubt that's why Sen. McConnell picked him to go along.

    February 23, 2010 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  25. jm for sc

    McConnell, the Americans who does not want health care reform already have good insurance or the money to pay for any coverage the want.

    Scott did not win the state of Mass. by campaigning against health care. He won because of the sorry candidate he was opposing and the fact that she did not campaign. Even so, she only lost by a small margin which probably meant that many people did not vote. Scott recieved almost the same number of votes John McCain did in that same state.

    February 23, 2010 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
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