Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) emphasizes freedom, personal choice
and responsibility when promoting his plan to reform America’s health care system. He’s not calling for an incremental approach but "nothing short of a complete reform of the culture of our health system and the way we pay for it will suffice."
This post isn’t a play-by-play of McCain’s health care proposal.
This is an examination of his biography to point out that the man who wants to reduce state-regulated health insurance and hard-won consumer protections has never spent a day of his life outside the cozy blankets of publicy-sponsored government health coverage.
John Sidney McCain III was born in the Panama Canal Zone on Aug. 29, 1936 while his father was a Navy admiral. From this birth and throughout his childhood, Navy physicians cared for McCain.
After high school, McCain enrolled in the U.S. Military Academy, where the naval health care continued until he retired from the Navy in 1981. (Granted, he endured immense hardships during the 5.5 years he spent as a war prisoner at the Hanoi Hilton in Vietnam.)
After his naval retirement, he went straight to the U.S. House of Representatives after winning the 1982 election for Arizona’s 1st congressional district. After serving two terms, he was elected to the Senate in 1986, where he has been ever since. Throughout that time, he qualified for the generous Federal Employees Health Benefits Program. On his 65th birthday in 2001, McCain qualified for Medicare.
To be fair, Sen. Hillary Clinton has spent all but two of the last 30 years covered by government-sponsored health programs. But she says more people should have similar coverage.