A pearl of wisdom from John Goodman, John McCain's chief adviser on health care issues and the architect of McCain's health care plan:
So I have a solution. And it will cost not one thin dime. 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.
Ha! Problem solved! Just like that. Genius. Boy these McCain folks really are full of all sorts of innovative solutions to the problems American face.
In fairness, Goodman has an actual argument he's trying to make. But, in fairness to fairness, it's an incredibly stupid argument. Basically, Goodman argues that since emergency rooms are forbidden by law from turning anyone away in need of immediate care, all Americans really do have de facto health insurance: if they go to an emergency room and can't pay for it, the federal government will pick up the bill.
That's true, and yet incredibly irrelevant. Emergency rooms won't perform all sorts of non-emergency procedures that may, nevertheless be essential to long-term health. They also don't pay for medication. And emergency care is an incredibly inefficient and expensive way to handle things like regular checkups, colds, or sore knees. Since most emergency rooms are extremely overburdened, even a minor visit can take hours. Which means that individuals who use emergency rooms as their primary source of care tend to reserve it for only very serious problems -- problems where if they don't get it fixed they simply won't be able to function.
What an awful suggestion. There really is a health care crisis in the United States, whether the McCain campaign wishes to admit it or not. And this is what we get? Define the problem away? Sickening.