John McCain has been trying to scare voters by telling lies about the health care plans being floated by Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Today the NYT nails him for it, as well as for his hypocrisy in calling for accuracy on the campaign trail while at the same time making assertions over and over again about his opponents that he knows are not true.

Senator John McCain has been repeatedly suggesting that his Democratic rivals are proposing a single-payer, or even a nationalized health care system along the lines of those in countries like Canada and Britain.

The suggestion is incorrect. While both Senator Barack Obama of Illinois and Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York are calling for universal health care and an expanded role for government, they stop well short of calling for a single-payer plan….

Yet on repeated occasions, Mr. McCain, of Arizona, has inaccurately described the Democrats’ health care proposals, using language that evokes the specter of socialized medicine.

“There are those that want a massive government takeover of the health care system in America,” Mr. McCain warned Thursday… “Senator Clinton wants to make it mandatory, and, as I understand, they might even garnish somebody’s wages if they didn’t comply…. And Senator Obama has basically the same kind of government massive intervention and takeover of health care in America.”

Not too many Canadians or Europeans would wish to trade their civilized health care systems for the barbarity of US-style murder by spreadsheet, but apparently McCain thinks enough Americans can be frightened by the “socialist” bogeyman that it’s worth evoking it one more time, facts be damned. He’s clear he’s not going to let a social safety net like that happen to the United States of America any time soon.

The article goes on to show that he’s been lying about this issue at least since last August when he was on Charlie Rose and the, ahem, factual shortcomings of what he was saying was pointed out to him.

Good work by NYT reporters MICHAEL COOPER and JULIE BOSMAN for setting the record straight on how the candidates’ health care plans actually differ – including the fact that among the presidential candidates only Kucinich had proposed a true single-payer plan. Extra kudos to them for pointing out McCain’s hypocrisy and the lameness of his lies on the issue.

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