John McCain's Plan For Universal Health Care [UPDATED]
by Steve M, Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 11:08:19 AM EDT
During the primaries, one of the ongoing disputes was over which candidate had a plan that would "really" provide health insurance to everyone in America. That's in the past, and I think the past few nights of the convention have made it clear that the Democratic Party stands united in support of the idea that every single American should be able to receive health care.
But my friends, I have to acknowledge that the GOP has beaten us to the punch and once again shown itself to be the "party of ideas." Yes, it's true, John McCain has come up with a plan that would make the category of uninsured Americans a thing of the past, and cheaply, too! So in the spirit of putting country before party, and in furtherance of Barack Obama's message that there's nothing wrong with admitting when a Republican has a good idea, I feel compelled to share this one.
You see, when I said McCain's plan would "make the category of uninsured Americans a thing of the past," I was speaking quite literally. John Goodman, president of a right-wing think tank and one of the architects of McCain's health care plan, helpfully explains:
Mr. Goodman, who helped craft Sen. John McCain's health care policy, said anyone with access to an emergency room effectively has insurance, albeit the government acts as the payer of last resort. (Hospital emergency rooms by law cannot turn away a patient in need of immediate care.)
"So I have a solution. And it will cost not one thin dime," Mr. Goodman said. "The next president of the United States should sign an executive order requiring the Census Bureau to cease and desist from describing any American - even illegal aliens - as uninsured. Instead, the bureau should categorize people according to the likely source of payment should they need care.
"So, there you have it. Voila! Problem solved."
My friends, the simplicity of this common-sense solution has to warm your heart. Now, there are those who will say McCain is just offering more of the same,
"...I mean, people have access to health care in America. After all, you just go to an emergency room."
--President Bush, July 10, 2007
but I think you have to admire Candidate McCain's willingness to go into an actual election campaign armed with nothing but this sort of straight talk. Really, I think it says a lot about what he would offer the country as President.UPDATE:The good version of Josh Marshall is on the case.
First, the McCain camp denied that Goodman was an advisor. Then, after being confronted with evidence to the contrary, they went on to issue what amounts to a non-denial denial and a repudiation of Goodman's emergency room statement...Clearly, the McCain campaign wants this guy thrown overboard ASAP. But the sketchy nature of the McCain campaign's denial makes it clear that he was an advisor of some sort. And the citation in the WSJ, again, makes the denial highly dubious. More significantly, as Cohn notes in his reporting, the idea that Goodman's views are not in line with McCain's policy proposals is just not true to anyone who is well-versed in health care policy. They're actually right in line. As Jon notes, the problem is that Goodman stated explicitly what is implicit in McCain's plan, and that of other health care policy proposals that define the 'problem' in the health care debate as people having too much insurance coverage.