This Week: Bringing Up McCain's Life-Long, Federally-Provided Health Care Is "A Cheap Shot"

[media id=5046] [media id=5047] (h/t Bill W) Wow. George Stephanopoulos actually listened to us and asked John McCain some pretty tough questions t

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Wow. George Stephanopoulos actually listened to us and asked John McCain some pretty tough questions today on This Week. Who knew that George read teh blogs? McCain's body language and facial expressions really belied his discomfort, but if you look closely, you can see it. And I've discovered a "tell" on the part of McCain when he's really painted into a corner, see if you can find it.

Case in point: note this little exchange between Stephanopoulos and McCain over healthcare. Elizabeth Edwards has been a vocal critic of McCain's proposed healthcare plan in that it basically doesn't help those who need it the most. McCain's response falls into the less than satisfactory category:

STEPHANOPOULOS: What's wrong with government -- what's wrong with government-run health care?

MCCAIN: And we continue to have these debates -- what's wrong with it? Go to Canada. Go to England and you can find out what's wrong with it. Governments don't make the right decisions. Families make the right decisions.

STEPHANOPOULOS: One of the points Mrs. Edwards made in the Wall Street Journal, she said that your whole life, you had government health care. You were the son of a Naval officer, a Naval officer, now a member of Congress. And her point is, why shouldn't every American be able to get the kind of health care that members of Congress get or members of the military get?

MCCAIN: It's a cheap shot, but I did have a period of time where I didn't have very good government health care. I had it from another government. (LAUGHTER) So, look, I know what it's like in America not to have health care. We know that Americans are hurting there as well. We've got to make health care affordable and available. The difference, again, between myself and the Democrats, and with all due respect, Mrs. Edwards, I want the families to make the choices. They want the government to make the choices. That's a fundamental difference, and we will continue to debate that issue.


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Actually, McSame, let's look at England's healthcare. PBS's Frontline did a fantastic program comparing healthcare in the US to five other capitalist democracies, including the UK. While the UK's program did have its drawbacks, the government has instituted policies to expand choice for the people and moreover, the government pays significantly less as a percentage of the GDP for healthcare than we do (8.3% vs. 15.3%) and it covers everyone. Hard to make facts sound bad, doesn't it, John?

Did you pick up the tell? Rather than respond intelligently to Edwards' valid point that McCain has taken advantage of government health care his entire (rather lengthy) life, he pulls the "Hanoi Hilton" card. Anyone think that calling attention to his POW days could be like Giuliani's invoking of 9/11? Not to detract from the traumas he experienced at the hands of the Vietcong, but what the heck does that have to do with healthcare?

full transcript below the fold:

STEPHANOPOULOS: Let me move on to health care. That could be the biggest difference between you and the Democrats this year. Democrats say your tax credit plan will not come close to covering everyone, and it especially won't help people with preexisting health conditions. Here is Elizabeth Edwards, wife of John Edwards.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ELIZABETH EDWARDS: The truth is, a health care policy that covers everything but cancer doesn't exactly do me a lot of good. And John McCain and I have something in common -- neither one of us would be covered by his health care policy.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

STEPHANOPOULOS: Now, she went on to say that both of you are going to be fine, because you have plenty of resources to pay for health insurance, but for millions of Americans with preexisting conditions, they won't. Why not guarantee that anyone with a preexisting condition should be able to get health care?

MCCAIN: We will, as part of our plan, have a special Medicaid trust fund set up to help care for those people who are -- who have preexisting conditions. As you know, five chronic diseases consume 75 percent of the health care costs in America. We're not leaving anybody behind. But what we're not doing is we're not going to have a big government takeover and mandates. They've tried that in other countries. Both Senator Obama and Senator Clinton's plans are big-government solutions. But that's true in everything that...

STEPHANOPOULOS: What's wrong with government -- what's wrong with government-run health care?

MCCAIN: And we continue to have these debates -- what's wrong with it? Go to Canada. Go to England and you can find out what's wrong with it. Governments don't make the right decisions. Families make the right decisions.

STEPHANOPOULOS: One of the points Mrs. Edwards made in the Wall Street Journal, she said that your whole life, you had government health care. You were the son of a Naval officer, a Naval officer, now a member of Congress. And her point is, why shouldn't every American be able to get the kind of health care that members of Congress get or members of the military get?

MCCAIN: It's a cheap shot, but I did have a period of time where I didn't have very good government health care. I had it from another government. (LAUGHTER) So, look, I know what it's like in America not to have health care. We know that Americans are hurting there as well. We've got to make health care affordable and available. The difference, again, between myself and the Democrats, and with all due respect, Mrs. Edwards, I want the families to make the choices. They want the government to make the choices. That's a fundamental difference, and we will continue to debate that issue. But we can provide incentives. You mentioned that it's not enough, a $5,000 refundable tax credit for every family in America. It's a lot better than what they've got today. And if we can let them go across state lines, and get these inflationary aspects of health care under control, which we can do, then more Americans will have affordable and available health care.

About Nicole Belle

Nicole Belle's picture
Mom, Wife, Media Critic/Political Analyst, Blogger, Austen Fanatic, Unapologetic Liberal NicoleBelle@crooksandliars.com

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