John McCain visits Lehigh Valley

April 30, 2008 3:44:11 PM PDT
Presumptive republican presidential nominee John McCain paid his first campaign visit to the Lehigh Valley on Wednesday. Senator McCain's visit to Lehigh Valley Hospital in Allentown is a continuation of his theme this past week, namely health care reform. McCain says one of the first things he would do as president is reform the regulations that allow lawmakers to earmark projects in the federal spending plan.

"I am sure there are many worthy projects that are earmarked by Congress. There are many. For every one that is worthy and meritorious, there are others that are totally unnecessary and pork-barrel spending."

McCain's plan promotes a tax credit of up to $5,000 to help families pay for health insurance. The presumptive Republican nominee says universal programs proposed by the Democrats running for the White House would eliminate competition and put the health care system in the hands of the federal government, the same government McCain admits if far from efficient.

"I think the record of corruption associated with earmarking clearly indicates the American people don't like it. Because we have former members of Congress in prison. That's how bad this system has become."

McCain went on to say that the problem with healthcare in America is not the quality of healthcare, it's the availability and affordability. The money from his propsed tax credit would come from streamlining a federal spending system he calls bloated and out of control.} "We have allowed discriminatory spending to increase by some 40% in the last seven years, the biggest increase in the size of government since the Great Society."

Proponents of universal coverage say McCain's proposal doesn't go far enough. They say it would leave millions either uninsured or underinsured. Meantime McCain is making the strongest push for his healthcare plan in swing states like Pennsylvania, Florida and Iowa.