Kicking off his “Call to Action Tour” today, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) toured Miami Children’s Hospital, where “he met and listened to some of its young patients and their parents.” In remarks delivered at the hospital, McCain pledged that he would “work to eliminate the worries over the availability and cost of health care”:
As President, I pledge to preserve the foundations that deliver innovation and hope to those who are in need of modern medicine. I will work to eliminate the worries over the availability and cost of health care that trouble the waking hours and disturb the sleep of more Americans than any other single domestic issue.
McCain’s use of the Florida children’s hospital to launch his health care-focused tour is ironic considering McCain’s recent vote against expanding the State Children’s Health Insurance Program. The expansion that McCain opposed would have extended coverage to a significant portion of Florida’s 658,000 uninsured children.
The expansion passed despite McCain’s protestations, but President Bush vetoed it in October, which McCain said was the “Right call by the president.” At the time, pediatricians around the country protested Bush’s veto, including doctors at Miami Children’s Hospital:
About 100 people—including pediatric residents, faculty members and community parents—gathered at the School of Medicine on Oct. 2 to protest President George Bush’s threatened veto of a bill that would reauthorize and expand the State Children’s Health Insurance Act, or SCHIP. […]
More than 30 institutions signed on to hold similar rallies, including Phoenix Children’s Hospital, Miami Children’s Hospital and Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C.
In his remarks today, the only reference McCain made to children’s health care was to to say that he supported “public health programs” to combat childhood obesity.