Edwards Touts Universal Coverage Plan in Iowa
Presidential candidate and former Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.) on Sunday in Iowa called for universal health insurance to allow all U.S. residents to have access to quality care, the AP/Raleigh News & Observer reports.
In a speech to an audience of about 400, Edwards promoted his universal health insurance proposal, under which employers have to provide health insurance for employees or contribute 6% of their payrolls to a fund that would help individuals purchase coverage.
Edwards said that the proposal would cost $90 billion to $120 billion annually and that he would fund the plan through the elimination of tax cuts proposed by President Bush and approved by Congress for households with annual incomes more than $200,000.
Edwards said, "I believe this in my soul: That no matter who your daddy is, or where you live, or what the color of their skin is, everyone single one of us has value. But if we believe those things, we have to act on them. If we believe that, we should have universal health care in our country" (AP/Raleigh News & Observer, 4/22).
In related news, USA Today on Monday examined how "there is a void on health care" among Democratic and Republican presidential candidates.
Edwards remains the only Democratic presidential candidate with a detailed health insurance proposal.
Among Republican presidential candidates, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R) "was instrumental in passing a universal health care plan" in the state, but he has not highlighted the law in campaign speeches, USA Today reports.
According to USA Today, presidential candidates Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) and Barack Obama (D-Ill.) have promised to release universal health insurance proposals, but both "are in search of a grass-roots consensus that won't evaporate at the first negative ad by an insurance interest group" (Lawrence, USA Today, 4/23).