Emergency Room Paradise Update

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August 28, 2008 6:05 pm
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Jon Cohn has continued to follow the saga of John Goodman, the McCain health care policy advisor, who has said that the ability to go to an emergency room is as good as having health insurance.

First, the McCain camp denied that Goodman was an advisor. Then, after being confronted with evidence to the contrary, they went on to issue what amounts to a non-denial denial and a repudiation of Goodman’s emergency room statement. Here’s the statement to Cohn in its entirety …

Mr. Goodman volunteered his advice to the campaign in the past. However, his philosophy on health care–and especially on the urgency of the problems faced by 45 million uninsured American’s–are clearly out of step with John McCain. Earlier this summer the campaign informed Mr. Goodman that his advice was not required and requested that he not identify himself as being associated with the campaign in any way, including as a volunteer. John McCain could not disagree more strongly with Mr. Goodman. John McCain believes that addressing the problem of the nation’s uninsured is one of our most pressing national priorities. That’s why the McCain health plan will, for the first time, bring health coverage within reach of every American.

Count me as highly skeptical. He’s repeatedly been cited as an advisor. And as I said below, I don’t think that citation gets put on a WSJ editorial without the campaign’s consent, tacit or explicit. Also note that according to Jason Roberson, a business reporter for the Dallas Morning News, Goodman told the DMN that “he helped craft Sen. John McCain’s health care policy.”

Clearly, the McCain campaign wants this guy thrown overboard ASAP. But the sketchy nature of the McCain campaign’s denial makes it clear that he was an advisor of some sort. And the citation in the WSJ, again, makes the denial highly dubious. More significantly, as Cohn notes in his reporting, the idea that Goodman’s views are not in line with McCain’s policy proposals is just not true to anyone who is well-versed in health care policy. They’re actually right in line. As Jon notes, the problem is that Goodman stated explicitly what is implicit in McCain’s plan, and that of other health care policy proposals that define the ‘problem’ in the health care debate as people having too much insurance coverage.

And what about Goodman saying he helped write the policy? Was he lying? Let’s have a bit more on that.

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