Obama Sets 2012 Target Date for Universal Coverage
Presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) on Monday at an event in Trenton, N.J., said that the U.S. would have universal health insurance by the end of his first term as president, Gannett/Asbury Park Press reports.
At the event, sponsored by AFL-CIO, Obama said to an audience of about 400 union members, "This is an issue whose time has come," adding, "It actually came a long time ago, but Washington doesn't seem to know it." He said he would fund his universal health insurance proposal with $75 billion in savings from increased use of preventive care, improved care for individuals with chronic diseases and the implementation of technologies to reduce paperwork.
New Jersey State AFL-CIO President Charles Wowkanech said that health care is the more important issue for New Jersey union members. Wowkanech said, "For the economic survival of the union movement as we know it today, we have to enact a national health care plan because we cannot compete around the globe with all these other countries and trading partners that have those kinds of plans" (Tamari, Gannett/Asbury Park Press, 5/15).
In related news, the 10 Republican presidential candidates on Tuesday held their second debate in Columbia, S.C. During the 90-minute debate, held at the University of South Carolina, the candidates discussed abortion rights and a number of other issues (Sidoti, AP/Detroit Free Press, 5/16).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.