Unlike Obama's health care plan, which includes mandatory coverage for children, McCain's plan includes no mandates.
"Mandates mean that you know enough in advance to tell the insurance company what the Joneses need," Holtz-Eakin said. "John McCain doesn't think he knows that. He'd rather make sure that, number one, the Joneses are in charge. Number two, there's a competition to please the Joneses. And number three, you're always checking. You check after the fact if they're abusive practices.
"Look, it's a long way from where we are now, which is a health care system which costs too much for what we get," he said. "It'll take time. This isn't something we write one bill and say, 'Hey, victory.' This is about making sure we get our money's worth for health care in America. That's the key."