The Administration and their Democrat allies in Congress continue to advance an ever more liberal domestic agenda. It is essential that conservatives adhere to principles of smaller government and individual choice over intrusive government and federal control. This disparity in ideals is no more evident in the public policy debate than in health care.
America spends over $2.5 trillion on health care a year, comprising over 17 percent of our total economy. Skyrocketing cost growth -- twice the rate of inflation -- continues to put health care coverage out of reach for working families, and causes employers to drop existing coverage for employees. John McCain knows that the longer we wait to the address this challenge, the more difficult reform will be. But he also knows that the imperative for expediency must be matched by a commitment to address the fundamental challenge: lowering the cost of care while making coverage more accessible.
America is home to the most innovative health care system in the world. Our doctors, nurses, hospitals, and medical technologies are also the envy of the world. But through murky, inefficient, pay and treatment practices, and the influence of special interests our health care system has become too costly. This reality is further compounded by a tort system that encourages costly and frivolous litigation, more often than not benefiting trial lawyers more than patients, and which leads to costly, unnecessary defensive medicine.
Like most Americans, John McCain believes our health care system is in need of reform. But the right reforms protect our American freedoms rather than creating new government controls and harness the market forces that are the hallmark of our economy: competition and choice. He believes you will know these reforms have succeeded when Americans can access affordable, quality health care coverage that meets their needs, not controlled by the federal government or only available if their employer happens to be able to provide it.
As our nation turns to a more focused debate on reforming health care, John McCain will strive to ensure that we preserve the best of our health care system but reform those aspects of our policies most in need of improvement. He will work with members of both parties to secure access to affordable care to all Americans, without turning to a federal government designed and controlled system that will lead to rationing of care, stifling of innovation, and further compounding of our fiscal challenges.