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McCain expected at Burr's health plan forum

By Tim Funk
tfunk@charlotteobserver.com

Sen. John McCain, the Republicans' 2008 nominee for president, and Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell are expected to join Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., in Charlotte on Tuesday for a “hospital forum” at Carolinas Medical Center.

With hospital employees and Burr's invited guests attending, there will likely be little room for the public in an auditorium that holds fewer than 300 people, said Gail Rosenberg, spokeswoman for Carolinas HealthCare System.

“We are there to provide a location for an issue that's very important,” Rosenberg said. “Sen. Burr's office is the official sponsor.”

Other than welcoming remarks from CEO Michael Tarwater, she said hospital representatives would not be part of the program.

The 90-minute event is at 9 a.m. Calls to Burr's spokesman were not returned Sunday.

Like Burr, McCain, R-Ariz., and McConnell, R-Ky., oppose many of the Democrats' proposals for health care reform, including a public option that would compete with private insurance companies.

Burr, up for re-election in 2010, has offered an alternative that would give tax credits of up to $5,700 for families to pay for health insurance.

Tim Funk
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