Democratic Vice Presidential Nominee Edwards Addresses Health Care in North Carolina Speech
Democratic vice presidential nominee Sen. John Edwards (N.C.) on Monday told a crowd of about 1,000 supporters in North Carolina that President Bush has not proposed an adequate health plan to address the uninsured and has favored policies that benefit pharmaceutical companies and insurers more than citizens, the AP/Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin reports (Robertson, AP/Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin, 9/20). Speaking at the Raleigh Convention Center, Edwards said, "During the time that George Bush has been in office, five million people have lost their health care coverage. If you think America's on the right track, you ought to vote for George Bush. If you think we can do better, you ought to vote for President John Kerry."
Edwards, who was visiting the state for the sixth time since being named the vice presidential nominee, said that Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Kerry's (Mass.) health care plan would lower insurance premiums for all U.S. residents. Edwards added that Bush has done nothing to slow the increase in premium rates, which have increased an average of $3,500 over the past four years. "Our president, George Bush, has been traveling around the country over the last week laying out, in a speech, his health care plan for America for the next four years. I understand it's a very short speech," he said. Edwards, a former personal injury trial lawyer, said that capping noneconomic damages in medical malpractice lawsuits, which Bush has supported, would have little effect on health care premiums (Ingram, Winston-Salem Journal, 9/21).
Bush campaign spokesperson Reed Dickens said that the Kerry health care proposal would take choice away from individual patients (AP/Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin, 9/20). The Bush campaign released a statement from Rep. Richard Burr (R-N.C.), who is running for Edwards' Senate seat, that stated, "North Carolinians aren't going to trust a candidate whose $1.5 trillion government-run health care plan won't lower costs but will take power away from our state's doctors and patients and give it to Washington bureaucrats" (Winston-Salem Journal, 9/21).
WBUR's "Here & Now" on Monday examined Bush and Kerry's health care plans. The segment includes comments from Commonwealth Fund President Karen Davis (Young, "Here & Now," WBUR, 9/20). The complete segment is available online in RealPlayer.This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.