Wednesday, April 16, 2008

McCain: American Health Care Unacceptable

Part of my NPLB Series

Wall Street Journal, October 4th, 2008

In a political tacking maneuver that caught many observers off-guard, Republican nominee John McCain opened a new front on his electoral effort: health care. In a major address before a regional audience of the American Medical Association, McCain spoke about his dedication to improving medical care in the United States.

"This nation cries for reform of health care," McCain remarked in Grand Rapids, Michigan. "I will deliver it. I intend to close the achievement gap between services for the poor and the rich. We must insist on accountability in order to make sure that medical treatment works."

McCain pressed his point, adding that "America is the greatest country on Earth. Why is our life expectancy 29th in the world? When did we accept that an American should enjoy less a life than someone in France, or Jordan...or Bosnia? This is the greatest country on Earth, and we should have the greatest health care system on Earth!"

In a later conversation with journalists, McCain expanded on his remarks while making clear that he sought no threat to state powers: "I will work with states to work on such systems in return for federal money. We will work with local jurisdictions. I don't think one size fits all. I don't want to be the federal family doctor. I trust local people to make the right decisions."

A McCain aide speaking on background explained "Republicans have ceded health care to Democrats far too long. We have ideas on this issue, and Americans need to know that we can -- and must -- expect better."

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