John McCain kicked off a string of campaign events focused on health care with a roundtable at the Miami Children's Hospital this morning, where doctors and families shared personal stories of children who have been, and are currently being treated at the hospital. Shortly after McCain wrapped up his event, Elizabeth Edwards held a conference call to criticize McCain's health care plan.
During McCain's remarks, before the start of the roundtable, he stressed the importance of affordable health care, saying, "Most importantly, our health care is too expensive. We spend a staggering amount of money on health care -- over $2 trillion and almost twice as much as any other country per person."
McCain pledged that as president he would "preserve the foundations that deliver innovation and hope to those who are in need of modern medicine. I will work to eliminate the worries over the availability and cost of health care that trouble the waking hours and disturb the sleep of more Americans than any other single domestic issue."
He also turned on his Democratic rivals' health care plans saying, "They want government to make the decision."
"I want the family to make the decision as to what kind of health care they want for their children."
Meantime, Elizabeth Edwards, the wife of former candidate John Edwards, criticized McCain's health care plan on a conference call this afternoon.
"What you are seeing from John McCain is really a version, the health care version, of what President Bush is trying to do," she said referring to Bush's S-CHIP program.
"We currently have people out in the market ... trying to buy health insurance right now. Those families are in charge of their health insurance and what they are finding out is that health insurance is unaffordable ... That is the reason we have the crisis we have, that system is simply not working."
"Basically John McCain's healthcare program works very well if you happen to be rich and healthy and not very well if those are not descriptions of you," she said.
CBS News' Michelle Levi contributed to this report.