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.)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,
"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."
"...I mean, people have access to health care in America. After all, you just go to an emergency room."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.
--President Bush, July 10, 2007