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McCain: Just like Bush's plan?

The Washington Post says McCain yesterday "rejected calls by his Democratic opponents for universal health coverage, instead offering a market-based solution with an approach similar to a proposal put forth by President Bush last year… Democratic Sens. Barack Obama (Ill.) and Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.) have vowed government action to fulfill what they cast as a moral right for Americans to have health insurance. They favor mandates for coverage; McCain (R-Ariz.) proposes tax incentives. Obama and Clinton would impose new regulations on insurers; McCain's plan is designed to avoid direct regulation. The Democrats would build on the current employer-based system; McCain would shift to a more individual approach."  

The New York Times adds: "His proposal to move away from employer-based coverage was similar to one that President Bush pushed for last year, to little effect. And his call for expanding coverage through market-based competition is in stark contrast to the Democrats' proposals to move toward universal health care coverage, with government subsidies to help lower-income people afford their premiums." 

The Times also looks at what kind of relationship McCain could have with congressional Republicans while in the White House and notes some of the rocky nature they've had. "The McCain campaign and House Republicans, in an effort coordinated by Representative John A. Boehner of Ohio, the party leader, are engaging in a bit of therapy to strengthen their political marriage. Top McCain officials gathered recently with chiefs of staff to House Republicans to emphasize the idea that it is to their mutual advantage to pull together as the election unfolds."

"Mr. McCain has reached out more to the House leadership. Republican officials say that Mr. Boehner sought and received assurances from Mr. McCain in a private meeting in February that he would not ignore the interests of his backers in the House when pushing his policy ideas. Mr. Boehner would not comment on those discussions. But he noted that, on major topics like the Iraq war and federal spending, most House Republicans and Mr. McCain are now in sync."