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. RealityKing

    Why!? Obama has his progressive end round in his back pocket.

    Only those detached from last years reality still believe the bipartisan words he elegantly reads from his teleprompter.

    February 23, 2010 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  2. Mark

    Bipartisan my ass, McCain is facing a tough primary challenge from an ultr conservative loudmouth here in AZ and is running radio ads claiming he is leading the fight against Obama everyday. He should take his wife's money and go drink Mai Tais in the South Pacfific.

    February 23, 2010 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  3. sonny chapman

    "Starting over" is a Republican euphemism for dragging their feet & doing nothing. They're experts at clanging cymbals that produce nothing when the noise stops.

    February 23, 2010 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  4. carlos

    YES, we the people want HEALTH CARE REFORM, the sooner the better.....and you insignificant repugnants can be voted out if it doesn't pass, we demand it NOW!!!!

    February 23, 2010 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  5. Victim of GOP Taliban

    Hurry! Before he changes his mind yet again and claims he was misled.

    February 23, 2010 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  6. Jim

    mccain will say "no" like all the other republicans have been doing all along.

    i hope I'm wrong. it'd be nice if the republcians actually tried to do something constructive for a change

    February 23, 2010 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  7. mike

    America elected Obama and the democrats to carry out their programme and not GOP programme. GOP should go to the meeting to help fine tune the democrats agenda not to supplant it. GOP should wait their turn to carry on their own programme. There is no starting over! You contribute to what is on the table!
    "A man will do nothing if he waited until he could do it so well that nobody will find fault with what he has done"- Cardinal Newman.
    This is the guiding principle of the Health Reform Bill by Pres obama.

    February 23, 2010 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  8. Ethan

    What's this now with the Republicans getting a Boehner over "starting over"... PATHETIC!

    ...these Republicans are like little children, except they lie more often.



    February 23, 2010 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  9. Wanda in Montana

    I wish these Republicans would quit saying what "the American people" want! It's nothing they want - we want the big corporate insurance companies to get out from between us and our doctors! We want pre-existing condition exemptions to go away! We want to be able to get affordable health care and pharmaceuticals.

    We want a lot of things that have nothing to do with what these corporatist pigs say we want. That goes for some Democrats, too.

    I wish the party of NO would start wanting what's right for the American people and quit being obstructionists. Right now they all look like very evil monsters. All they really want is for health care to be Obama's Waterloo. I'm sick to death of their partisan war games against the American people.

    February 23, 2010 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  10. Jane/Seattle

    I need to take an Obama and wipe my Pelosi.

    February 23, 2010 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  11. Angie in PA

    Yes the Republicans will offer ideas make up bills and then vote against them and go on Fox News whining how the President wont invole them or accept their ideas, But the real truth is if President Obama likes their ideas and accepts them they will run to fox news lie and twist and vote against their own policies!


    February 23, 2010 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  12. Obama mama

    Obama is likable enough, but his policies are not good–especially jobs, healthcare and environmental issues.

    February 23, 2010 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  13. MsDp

    Wow, with the absent minded professor (mccain) on board, this is bound to be nothing but a get even session. The rest of them have been told to act like children, throw dramatic fits, and yell like their tea party group! This will not be a productive session. This will only be a show-a very ugly show! Look out Prez, they will all play dirty!!!! BUT GOD!!!!

    February 23, 2010 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  14. B

    Not going to- start over- you has-been old fool....

    February 23, 2010 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  15. Mission

    Why isn't John B. of Ohio attending. He has had so much to say, I mean complain about in the media, why isn't he coming to the summitt with ALL of his so called ideas and solutions? It's time we hold our elected officials responsible and accountable for their actions or lack of; after all, it's the tax payers who pay their salaries and benefits. Politicans need to be held to the same standards and expections as most working Americans – pay for performance. Do your job or get fired!!!

    February 23, 2010 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  16. Stop the Nonsense

    "Starting over" is a waste of our time! In the beginning, Republicans backsed 80% of the proposal – start with only that 20% Why start from scratch?
    I'm sure all americans want this over and over quickly.
    We also want the benefits to kick in quickly – not 5 years form now as so many parts state,

    February 23, 2010 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  17. Mike in MN

    Obama continues to play the American voters for fools on health care reform.
    Obama grand stands about creating a new fed agency to review rate increases by insurance companies and to block them if they are excessive. He acts like this is a new idea. But voters know the states already do this. So for the sake of political grand standing, Obama wants to waste borrowed tax payer money to create a new fed agency to duplicate what the states already do. Government, government and more government. There is no level of government and spending that is too much for Obama.
    And Obama tweaks the all ready rejected Senate bill a bit and pretends it is something new. He takes out a couple of the behind closed door deals like the Nebraska deal and the deal to exempt unions from the Cadillac tax. But voters had already rejected both the House and Senate bills before these deals were added. The rest of the terrible bill is still there.
    So Obama will go into the so called bipartisan summit insisting on pushing forward the bills already soundly rejected by a majority of voters. Republicans will lay out their ideas and Obama may offer to add a few to his bill but take nothing out. The result will be no deal.
    Obama will tell voters the Republican ideas do not go far enough. Voters may agree, but they also have decided long ago that Obamacare goes too far with too much government, too many mandates, too many taxes increases, too much cut from Medicare and too much cost.
    What the voters want is for Congress to start over and come up with something in between Obamacare and the Republican plan.
    As long as Obama is not willing to dramatically scale back his big government plan, voters will not support it and Republicans will not vote for it.

    February 23, 2010 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  18. hongli

    John McCain is the biggest stumbling block in the Obama's Administration. I hope the people of Arizona remember that McCain voted against the Hispanic judge and let him pay the price in the upcoming elections.

    February 23, 2010 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  19. Dar

    From what I read today, the bill as it stands is still junk and no one in their right mind would vote for it, But thats why Dems vote yes on anything thats gives goverment more control of our lives. I guess I will never understand the mind set of a Dem wanting to give everything away and then make someone else pay for it later. Hummmm. I guess Dems just like to be told how to think and do everything.
    Must be sad being a Dem, not being able to comprehend what is acually happening to them right in front of their eyes. Sad, very, very sad.

    2010/2012 REAL Change is coming

    February 23, 2010 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  20. zanny

    Perfect!!! This will simply be an arena for his attempt to be re-elected. Hopefully it will backfire just like his shutting down his campaign to help with the econm and selecting Sarah Palin. Look at the faces of those attending this summit and the leaders of both hoises and see why the youth of America are turned of to Washington. Except for Obama, they are all older than dirt and mirred down in personal politics. Of course people want the Scott Browns and Rubios because they represent the future. John McCain is so out of touch with the public. He can't even stick to what use to be his platform. He signs on to a propsed bill regarding deficit spending and as soon as President Obama agrees to it, he drops his support. Please people of Arizona, vote him out. Why are the two talking heads not there – Cantor and Boener??? Could be they can't be in front of a microphone 24/7 whining about how the Republican ideas are ignored if they were sitting in that meeting where they will actually need to compromise..

    February 23, 2010 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  21. cjr

    John is a suck up if there ever was one – he's running scared. One year he says one thing and the next year he says the total opposite. he'll do or say anything to get elected. He's a joke!

    February 23, 2010 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  22. vs

    Republican thugs need to be soundly defeated at the polls this mid-term, so they stop lying about knowing "what the people want." The same grassroots citizenry that gave Obama his overwhelming victory.are continue to back his efforts, and will turn up in record numbers at the polls.

    February 23, 2010 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  23. Felonious Monk

    I want to see this...I want to hear the republicans throw up every road block to progress in America they can.

    Nasty old republicans

    February 23, 2010 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  24. Felonious Monk

    Republicant's, Republidon'ts...

    February 23, 2010 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  25. If I was crazy, I'd be a conservative too

    Why include lying McCain? He is a joke and will not help any Americans, anyhow. He will be against it, just like his flip flopping on DADT. He said he would follow the recommendations of the generals. They have spoken, and he ignores them.

    February 23, 2010 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
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