Health Care News From the Campaign Trail for the Week of April 11
- On Monday's episode of the "The Ellen DeGeneres Show," Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) announced a proposal that would provide an additional $300 million in annual federal funds for breast cancer research, the AP/Contra Costa Times reports. Under the proposal, NIH, the National Cancer Institute and the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program at the Department of Defense would use the funds to find treatments for breast cancer and study potential genetic and environmental causes of the disease. As president, Clinton told DeGeneres, she would set a goal of finding a cure for the disease within 10 years. In addition, the proposal also would seek to make breast cancer screenings more affordable for low-income women through the elimination of Medicare copayments for such tests and other measures. Clinton also announced a proposal to study racial disparities in diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer (AP/Contra Costa Times, 4/7).
- On Wednesday, Elizabeth Edwards, wife of former Democratic presidential candidate and former Sen. John Edwards (N.C.), said she prefers the health care plan proposed by Clinton, the AP/Winston-Salem Journal reports. In an interview on ABC's "Good Morning America," Edwards said, "I do think that in order to ensure that we have universal coverage, we need to say that everybody has to join, so for that reason, the mandates that Sen. Clinton is talking about I think will actually be more successful in achieving the goal" (AP/Winston-Salem Journal, 4/10). Edwards said that she and her husband had discussions with Clinton and Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) about issues related to health care and "where there are differences" in their proposals (Phillips, New York Times, 4/10). Edwards said, "I think they both have the same goals," but "I just have more confidence in Sen. Clinton's policy than Sen. Obama's on this particular issue." (AP/Winston-Salem Journal, 4/10). Edwards said she does not have plans to endorse a candidate for the Democratic nomination in the near future (New York Times, 4/10).
- In a Philadelphia Inquirer opinion piece on Thursday, Teresa Heinz Kerry, chair of the Heinz Family Philanthropies and wife of Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), wrote that "Obama's universal health care plan will first cover every child in America and make sure every family can receive the same kind of affordable, high-quality health insurance he and I both have -- the great health care that members of Congress give themselves and their families" through the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program. She added that Obama will "simplify the paperwork throughout the health care system" and "ensure that no family can be turned down" for coverage, regardless of pre-existing conditions (Kerry, Philadelphia Inquirer, 4/10).