McCain Adviser: There Are No Uninsured Americans

The Dallas Morning News reports on a John McCain adviser's opinion on lack of health insurance in America:

Texas once again led the nation with the highest percentage of residents without health insurance, a U.S. Census Bureau report showed Tuesday, although the same study also reports a slight dip last year in the percentage without coverage across the nation.


But the numbers are misleading, said John Goodman, president of the National Center for Policy Analysis, a right-leaning Dallas-based think tank. Mr. Goodman, who helped craft Sen. John McCain's health care policy, said anyone with access to an emergency room effectively has insurance, albeit the government acts as the payer of last resort. (Hospital emergency rooms by law cannot turn away a patient in need of immediate care.)

"So I have a solution. And it will cost not one thin dime," Mr. Goodman said. "The next president of the United States should sign an executive order requiring the Census Bureau to cease and desist from describing any American - even illegal aliens - as uninsured. Instead, the bureau should categorize people according to the likely source of payment should they need care.

McCain's campaign told The New Republic's Jonathan Cohn that Goodman is not, in fact an adviser:

I had also e-mailed the McCain campaign for comment, asking whether they stood by Goodman's word. A McCain spokesman, Taylor Griffin, responded by telling me "John Goodman is not an advisor to this campaign." A very quick search on Google and Lexis-Nexis turned up no other independent mentions of Goodman as an advisor, so I edited that reference out of my item and apologized.

Cohn contacted the Dallas Morning News, who responded:

We stand behind our story. John Goodman, president of the National Center for Public Policy Analysis, says he helped craft Sen. John McCain's health care policy. In addition, below is a link to the Wall Street Journal op-ed that Mr. Goodman sent me. It lists Mr. Goodman as an "unpaid adviser" to Sen. John McCain. As you can see from the e-mail, there was no attempt to clarify his title.

Finally, McCain's campaign told Cohn that Goodman had "volunteered his advice to the campaign in the past" but that "earlier this summer the campaign informed Mr. Goodman that his advice was not required and requested that he not identify himself as being associated with the campaign in any way, including as a volunteer."