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McCain will attend White House health summit

By Shailagh Murray
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) announced the members of the Senate Republican delegation to Thursday's White House health-care summit, and the list includes Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.).

The Arizona Republican is not known as a health-care expert. But as the Republican presidential nominee in 2008, McCain offered a sweeping reform plan with some elements that overlap with the Obama proposal, and others that would have represented a radical departure from the current system.

The GOP Senate list also includes, along with McConnell and McCain, Sens. Tom Coburn (Okla.) and John Barrasso (Wyo.), who both double as physicians; Sens. Mike Enzi (Wyo.) and Charles Grassley (Iowa), the ranking Republicans on the two Senate committees with health-care jurisdiction; and Sens. Jon Kyl (Ariz.) and Lamar Alexander (Tenn.), members of the GOP leadership.

McCain's 2008 plan envisioned a broad shift away from employer coverage to individual coverage. To encourage that migration, he would have ended the tax exemption for employer-provided health benefits -- a proposal that drew strong objections from Obama, although he has since proposed his own version of a restraint on employer-provided health benefits, through an excise tax on high-value plans.

McCain's proposal would have provided tax credits to help people buy coverage, similar to the Obama plan. But he proposed less government regulation of the insurance market.

By Shailagh Murray  |  February 23, 2010; 2:09 PM ET
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency , Health Care , John McCain  
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Comments

McCain needs to worry about his seat instead of running to this summit.All he wants to do is beat on a desk while half the time dementia sets in and he can't even remember what he wanted to say.He needs to retire or the people in AZ needs to retire him and get someone younger in there that will have the state's interest in mind instead of trying to make a political statement.Now his going to use Sarah Palin to campaign for him when he and his staff bashed her after he didn't win the election.I had hoped she would atleast be smart enough not to let him use her.I would leave him out there,on his own.

Posted by: imjustnoisy | February 24, 2010 11:26 AM | Report abuse

I VOTED FOR MACAIN 10 YEARS AGO.HAD HE BEEN PRESIDENT WE WOULD HAVE BEEN BETTER OFF TODAY.. PRESIDENT BUSH WAS NOT THE PROBLEM IT WAS HIS ADVISORS AND GOAL OF THE GREEDY CORPORATIONS,, THE GREED OF HEALTHCARE CEO'S,, AND CORPORATION ,,BANKS TOO,, PUT THE CASH FLOW OF THE UNITED STATES IN THEIR POCKETS... NO ,SMALL BUSINESS,LARGE BUSINESS OR COUNTRY CAN SERVIVE WITHOUT CASH FLOW..
NOW BANKS HAVE IT AND WON'T LOAN IT
HEALTH CARE CEO'S ARE USEING IT TO STOP HEALTH CARE REFORM SO THEY CAN GRAB MORE

MACAIN STOP ANTITRUST PROTECTION!!! THEN WE COULD HAVE MANY COMPANYS.JOIN WITH SENATOR PAT LEAHEY [ANTITRUST X X X X ]

PUBLIC OPTION WILL STILL BE OWNED BY THE BIG THREE INSURANCE COMPANYS

Posted by: theoldmansays | February 24, 2010 9:01 AM | Report abuse

All of the people on the right claim the bulk of the American people are against this health bill. Yet, when you analyze each provision within the bill, Americans are ovewhlemly for it. There are two audianceshere: the educated and the others. The others take their information from Linbaugh, Hannity et al. They do not even read literate right wing tabloids like the Weekly standard. No, these folks buy news papers for the sports and comics. The best they can respond to a ny item is to regurgatate the racist Linbaugh and Beck philosophies.The clock is ticking. A telling sign was published in the papers yesterday: males with little education have a bleak future when it comes to jobs and finding a wife. Women tend to favor educated/smart men and that leaves out the Republican males.

Posted by: edtheblackliberal | February 24, 2010 8:51 AM | Report abuse

Yeah...great idea...lets invite Senators from the least populated states in the country so they can educate us on health care and economics.

Perhaps they can explain how they receive far more tax dollars than they contribute yet they block legislation that will benefit the larger states whose taxpayers are carrying the loads.

I say send it to reconciliation and end the debate. Let the chips fall will they may. The Democrats have presidential veto power for the next 3 1/2 years.

Posted by: gmro | February 23, 2010 10:19 PM | Report abuse

I hope all of the pols start the meeting by thanking the American taxpayers for providing them and their families the best life time medical care our taxes can provide.

Posted by: knjincvc | February 23, 2010 6:23 PM | Report abuse

Someone babbled:
"Shock Press! We're spending MILLIONS building a BRIDGE FOR TURTLES!!!!!!!!! It's time you looked at the real dollars the government WASTES. NO ONE WILL CONVINCE EDUCATED VOTERS THAT GOVERNMENT SPENDS DOLLARS WISELY. I guess I'll just wait and see what the majority of voters think about government in November!"

Turtle bridge? Isn't that a game of sort?
Educated Americans KNOW Medicare, VA and many other organization are run efficiently.

Now if you want to eliminate waste, fraud and abuse then get rid of the defense department.
Where were you for the past 8 years when cheney and bush were flushing $4 Billion dollars a week down a toilet in Iraq.

Posted by: knjincvc | February 23, 2010 6:14 PM | Report abuse

etshoney does not want one single dime of his/her/its money to go to help anyone less fortunate. Wow, now that's an opinion. I've heard this perspective from the tea baggy crew, saw it at town hall meetings last Summer and have found it to be fairly common amongst less educated working class folks who feel they owe their success to their hard work and moral character and nothing else. Indeed, etshoney says it in as many words.

Problem is, it just isn't so. There are many many people who work hard, play by the rules and are not given the same advantage of the white christian working class folks. It is indisputable. Countless studies show the the real and expensive consequences caused by lack of education, health care, quality nutrition and safe neighborhoods.

No one lives in a vacuum here. We are all Americans and each and every one of us has the same rights. Our modern world is rich and capital intensive, it is only right to provide the basic necessities for all of our citizens to have a chance to work hard and make a decent living. That includes access to affordable health care, education and work that is meaningful. There are those who may fall short of their innate potential and they come from all social stations, but an American citizen should not have their future stolen by others who are simply greedy, selfish, embittered and ignorant. It just is not right - it is wrong.

It is the same short sighted self interest the right wing Republicans charade around in, calling it virtue and morality.

Posted by: right_as_rain | February 23, 2010 4:58 PM | Report abuse

I am tired of ideologues dominating the health care debate: Anyone who has a parent on Medicare knows that the government does a much leaner and more honest job in covering the health of Americans, than the big five do. Personally, I would choose the public option, yet the Republicans are denying me that choice. Do Republicans not stand for choice? The status quo forces Americans into the clutches of a cartel of overpriced, wasteful, unsavory, and extortionist contracts. I want a reliable alternative to the corporate predators lurking between me and my doctor.

Posted by: othpromanuel | February 23, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Shock Press! We're spending MILLIONS building a BRIDGE FOR TURTLES!!!!!!!!! It's time you looked at the real dollars the government WASTES. NO ONE WILL CONVINCE EDUCATED VOTERS THAT GOVERNMENT SPENDS DOLLARS WISELY. I guess I'll just wait and see what the majority of voters think about government in November!

Posted by: etshoney | February 23, 2010 4:42 PM | Report abuse

I think, quite honestly, if all parties look beyond the shock press, you will find that government runs fairly well without a gret deal of waste. Given the myriad departments and the roles government plays in banking, finance, education, labor, infrastrcuture, environement, military, we should be pretty prod of what we have accomplished. The pork barrel spending, "some" welfare programs and massive miliray spending may be the out-layers but all in all, government is effective and helps the country with needed resolutions to myriad problems effecting our citizens.

Posted by: cadam72 | February 23, 2010 4:28 PM | Report abuse

RICK SANCHEZ

WHO IN THE HELL DO YOU THINK YOU ARE...?

LOOK HERE I DON'T KNOW WHAT'S UP WITH CUBAN-AMERICANS...YOU HAVE PEOPLE LIVING IN THE STREETS OF CUBA....AND YET SOME OF YOU COME HERE AND LOOK DOWN UPON PEOPLE HERE IN AMERICA?

NO WONDER CUBA IS A F@CKED UP COUNTRY....

JUST LISTEN TO RICK SANCHEZ FOR A MINUTE...

HE THINKS AMERICA IS CUBA....A**HOLE!

Posted by: dove369 | February 23, 2010 4:25 PM | Report abuse

RICK SANCHEZ

WHO IN THE HELL DO YOU THINK YOU ARE...?

LOOK HERE I DON'T KNOW WHAT'S UP WITH CUBAN-AMERICANS...YOU HAVE PEOPLE LIVING IN THE STREETS OF CUBA....AND YET SOME OF YOU COME HERE AND LOOK DOWN UPON PEOPLE HERE IN AMERICA?

NO WONDER CUBA IS A F@CKED UP COUNTRY....

JUST LISTEN TO RICK SANCHEZ FOR A MINUTE...

HE THINKS AMERICA IS CUBA....A**HOLE!

Posted by: dove369 | February 23, 2010 4:25 PM | Report abuse

RICK SANCHEZ

WHO IN THE HELL DO YOU THINK YOU ARE...?

LOOK HERE I DON'T KNOW WHAT'S UP WITH CUBAN-AMERICANS...YOU HAVE PEOPLE LIVING IN THE STREETS OF CUBA....AND YET SOME OF YOU COME HERE AND LOOK DOWN UPON PEOPLE HERE IN AMERICA?

NO WONDER CUBA IS A F@CKED UP COUNTRY....

JUST LISTEN TO RICK SANCHEZ FOR A MINUTE...

HE THINKS AMERICA IS CUBA....A**HOLE!

Posted by: dove369 | February 23, 2010 4:25 PM | Report abuse

cadam72:
No, we don't do it through government......we do it through CHARITY! We donate to our churches and other groups that help the poor and almost EVERY dollar they get goes to the people who need it, not the 50% wasted on government overhead. I think unemployment benefits for a year are enough. Maybe you need 2 lower paying jobs to make but we have done that before too!
We donate to charity and will continue to do so but I am tired of the waste and lack of results in government. It always sounds good "Help the poor" but they just keep being poor. We will get through this time but not without pain. Take an asprin and say your prayers.

Posted by: etshoney | February 23, 2010 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Aside from the Republicans not having a plan and their desire to simply trash what has been done, returning to the status quo for their special interest affiliates, are we going to be subjected to the McCain theatrics of interrupting his campaign for the Senate so that he can be in a meeting with the President on health reform? This is starting to smell like a fishing boat whose refrigeration has gone bad, really smells bad. McCain has nothing to offer, Grassley will just nod like the dog in the back window of your car and then go vote against whatever is agreed upon. McConnell doesn't even like the idea that their ideas might get considered and has said as much with his claims that the deal is already done and the meeting is not even good window dressing. People like Boehner and Cantor haven't had a cooperative word on anything for a year or more, so why think that they or any like them will have a positive word for anything. They are still smarting from the dress down they took in Baltimore last month. They are watching the party fall apart to the wing nuts in the tea party, and they have just seen some of their members vote for cloture on the idea of filibuster on the jobs bill. The masters of NO will not participate, only snipe and gripe.

It is time for reconciliation on everything, including the public option. Nothing will take effect for two to eight years, so go for it.

Posted by: ronjeske | February 23, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse

OK yet again.

Health care reform, to include dental, is easy. Provide to the American people the EXACT same coverage that ALL members of congress and their families receive at taxpayer expense.

Ask your representative why they are forbidden to discuss their plans.

Posted by: KBlit | February 23, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Just another issue where Hayworth and the Teas Partiers will absolutely kill McCain. Surprised he isn't boycotting this strictly on political grounds.

http://www.political-buzz.com/

Posted by: parkerfl1 | February 23, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

etshoney,

Your comments are astounding. While I mentioned the poor, I could have easily said the middle class. Many, many college educated middle class employees are affecged by the current economy and strive to make ends meet in a contracting economy. The US has given some form on "benefits" or "disability" to Widows, orphans, vets since day one fo the country. It is American to help those less fortunate through government. If you don' think so, you should read more about ben franklin, read the letters to the president after the revolutionary war, see the commission set up by Lincoln to deal with work programs and vet programs after the cilvil war and understand where the main programs in the 20th century came from.

Government, through the constituants, has given us the GI bill, safe water, safe vehicles, safe working conditions, an 8 hour day, FMLA, fire departments, libraries, museums, etc. This is American and if you don't understand that, you are not knowledgable.

Posted by: cadam72 | February 23, 2010 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Hey, "etshoney": Tax Day is April 15. Pay up.

Posted by: jonfromcali | February 23, 2010 4:04 PM | Report abuse

To all those folks who believe that the Government MUST help those who are poor and have less than others........MOVE TO GERMANY! I will no longer pay any kind of tax that will HELP those lesser among us. STAY IN SCHOOL.....DON'T GET PREGNANT....GET A TRADE!
We worked all our our lives to be successful...showed up on time and daily for work, went to school to update our skills. If you want to sit around and take it easy do it on your own dime. We had 2 children because that's all we could AFFORD. We are done paying for bad decisions.

Posted by: etshoney | February 23, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Obama is being responsible in his approach to healthcare reform. He is passionate about helping America's fortunes and knows that there is a huge flux in affordable medical care for those in the country who have the least. We may not all approve of the process or the spcifics but it is a step forward. Government has a responsability to be involved and to regulate, not let the "market" rule in all that they want. there must be balance and accountability.

Posted by: cadam72 | February 23, 2010 3:50 PM | Report abuse

I hate to say it, but the trap being set by B.O. will probably work with this bunch of traditional Republican participants. One would have hoped that they would have something to say to save the country from this arrogance of tyrrany, but alas what it looks like is the same old, same old!

Posted by: dac6803 | February 23, 2010 3:34 PM | Report abuse

The Republican delegation includes two doctors (perhaps they know a little something about health care), McCain (whose plan to tax employer-provided health care was ridiculed by the President but only until he became the President; suddenly it has merit) and the ranking Republicans on the committees with health care jurisdiction. You think Grassley didn't try for some sort of compromise (study the summer, 2009 Congressional Record - you'll find otherwise). Scrap the plans (there are more than one) on the table? Have you read them? They are nonsensical. Scrapping them for a plan which will actually cover more American citizens, increase competition, reduce costs and not add to the deficit would be brilliant. Imagine how much our government could accomplish if it didn't matter who got the credit (perhaps an overused expression but true nonetheless). The US economy is in shambles and the LAST thing we need is more government bureaucrats to support.

Posted by: readtheconstitution | February 23, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

Is the Senate Republicans giving Senator McCain some free publicity since he is in a battle to retain his Senate seat. Senator McCain is so far behind the times in all cases, he should gracefully retire and enjoy the high esteem we hold for his war record and not continue to show his inability to understand the issues of today.

Posted by: scottsandy02 | February 23, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

What a farce! This charade is reminiscent of Obama's faux town hall meetings where he had center stage.Only now he will have fawning,(albeit suicidal),Democrats instead of planted SEIU and ACORN thugs.

He said he "got it" after the Ma. election, but obviously not. He just cannot get it through his wooden head, the public majority do NOT want this monstrosity he's pitching. Big Labor SEIU, Big Pharma, Big Insurance - they all want it, but the people do not. Shows who he listens and caters to.

Posted by: inmanorj | February 23, 2010 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Now there's a positive attitude - force a vote and force a bill on the public that it does NOT want. That's what has gotten Mr. O and his troops in troulbe up to this point. I don't see this 'summit/conference' as anything more than more show time for Mr. O and his ego. Let 'em go, they will be talking a different tune this fall!

Posted by: nancycrichton | February 23, 2010 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Not a GOP group that has a reputation for being reasonable...Even Senator Alexander from my home state, has listed to the right since we have so many Teabaggers in Tennessee. This group is not interested in a health reform bill, unless it involves the euthanasia of President Obama...Too bad, but it should give enough cover for the Dems to force a bill of some sort to a vote...

Posted by: TNbybirth | February 23, 2010 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Who cares whether McCain will attend or not? He has nothing to contribute but "NO" just like the rest of the GOP gang of thugs -- who enjoy, like all Congress critters -- generous government health benefits courtesy of the taxpayer. So, we are actually paying these venal and vile creatures for denying us the affordable health care plans that they themselves enjoy. The irony of it all! This is a Republic?

Posted by: Gatsby10 | February 23, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Things should go swimmingly with these participants. Couldn't they find representatives from states with smaller populations?

Posted by: jckdoors | February 23, 2010 2:52 PM | Report abuse

I do think this shows what Senator McConnell thinks healthcare reforms future is. The only person in that group who I think would be remotely interested in working out a deal is Lamar Alexander, and that is a very remote proposition. Where are Snowe, Collins, or their 41st vote they like to parade around?

Posted by: AndyR3 | February 23, 2010 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Now that's one bunch of hopey changey Republicans looking to do right by the people there. When you mix that bunch with the House Congressional delgation isn't there a danger of spontaneous combustion from methane? Hope they have another infamous Blue Book Plan to hand Obama so he can shred them again.

Let me guess: opening gambit to Obama - scrap the whole thing and start all over again because that will of course accomplish their only goal which is Obama's failure.

Posted by: Patriot3 | February 23, 2010 2:40 PM | Report abuse

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