What would McCain's health plan do?
Instead, McCain would give families $5,000 refundable tax credit and individuals a $2,500 tax credit. People who lose workplace coverage could use the funds to purchase insurance in the individual market.
The problem is that an average family policy costs upward of $12,500, leaving a large gap between the credit and the true cost of insurance, some analysts suggest.
Asked about the problem of piracy of commercial ships off the coast of Somalia, Mr. Gates said he did not think the United States had enough information to launch attacks on pirate bases onland, but he said such attacks might be possible in the future. The comment appeared to put Mr. Gates at odds for now with a United Nations resolution that the United States began circulating in the Security Council on Wednesday that would increase interdiction efforts by permitting foreign forces to conduct land-based attacks.