From opposing both the ACA and the GOP-led skinny repeal to leading the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990, McCain’s interest in healthcare policy was notable and even included a few innovative solutions during the senator’s run for president in 2008.
A decade ago, in the summer of 2008, McCain addressed the Americans with Disabilities Conference and reflected on the reasons for his sponsorship of the Americans with Disabilities Act,
Everyone who seeks the presidency brings to the office his or her own experiences. And one of the finest experiences in my life has been to witness the power of human courage to overcome adversity. I have seen it in war, in prison camps, and in military hospitals. I have seen the capacity of men and women to overcome the hardships, challenges, and bad breaks that life can bring our way. How we face such obstacles can define our lives. And how we support one another at those times can define the character of our country.
The six-term United States senator from Arizona and American war hero offered healthcare solutions that often called for more government regulation and taxes – his healthcare platform in 2008 to expand coverage through the individual insurance market would have replaced the current tax exemption for employer-provided health benefits with tax credits of $2,500 for individuals and $5,000 for families. Premium contributions from employers would be subject to income taxes.
According to a recent article by PBS, McCain was, “seemingly driven less by his interest in health care policy than his disdain for bullies trampling the ‘little guy.'”
An opponent of the ACA, McCain nonetheless bucked his party’s strategy to pass its “skinny repeal” last July and cast his thumbs down vote killing the measure.
What bothered McCain more, though, was his party’s strategy to pass their so-called skinny repeal measure, skipping committee consideration and delivering it straight to the floor. They also rejected any input from the opposing party, a tactic for which he had slammed Democrats when the ACA passed in 2010 without a single GOP vote. He lamented that Republican leaders had cast aside compromise-nurturing Senate procedures in pursuit of political victory.”
After being diagnosed last summer, an aggressive form of brain cancer, the Arizona senator died in his home outside Sedona on Saturday, August 25, 2018 at the age of 81. He lied in state in the Arizona Capitol yesterday on what would have been his 82nd birthday. On Thursday, a memorial service is scheduled for 10 a.m. PST at the North Phoenix Baptist Church, where former Vice President Joe Biden and others will provide tributes. McCain will lie in state in the Washington Capitol Friday and will have a national memorial service at Washington’s National Cathedral Saturday. He will be laid to rest in Annapolis, Maryland.
Read more about McCain’s complicated healthcare legacy from PBS