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Published: Thursday, 5/1/2008

McCain makes health care pitch at Cleveland Clinic


CLEVELAND Republican nominee-in-waiting John McCain explained his plan to provide a $5,000 refundable tax credit for families to seek their own health care at a campaign stop Thursday at the Cleveland Clinic research hospital.

McCain's appearance in Cleveland was his second stop in heavily Democratic northeast Ohio in 10 days.

He has been discussing his health care proposals on a cross-country swing this week and held a town hall-style meeting Thursday on the Cleveland Clinic campus. The hospital also arranged a tour to show off new medical technologies.

McCain said under his plan, families aren't confined to the state of Ohio for health insurance, which would force the insurance companies to compete more effectively.

"They would be able to go across state lines and shop online or anywhere in America and purchase a health insurance policy that suits them and their needs best," he said.

Well-informed families are more likely to make good health choices, avoiding unnecessary or overly expensive procedures, he said.

Ohio Democratic Party Chairman Chris Redfern said McCain's plan ignores 47 million uninsured Americans and lowers the bar on the definition of adequate health care coverage.

"McCain provides companies with an easy loophole for avoiding certain minimum state health care standards by allowing them to offer national plans based in the states that don't possess those requirements," Redfern said.

McCain also campaigned in northeast Ohio last week, when he spoke about trade during a visit to Youngstown State University.

Read more in later editions of The Blade and toledoblade.com

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