Sen. Edwards Forms Exploratory Committee for Possible Presidential Run
Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.) yesterday announced plans to form an exploratory committee to raise funds for a possible presidential campaign, the New York Times reports (Nagourney, New York Times, 1/3). Edwards said that he is running for president to be a "champion for regular people" and criticized the Bush administration for being "run largely by insiders, and too often, for insiders" (Balz, Washington Post, 1/3). For example, Edwards pointed to President Bush's opposition to Democrats' legislative efforts to place restrictions on HMOs and cut the cost of prescription drugs. Edwards said, "The president stood with the HMOs. The president stood with pharmaceutical companies" (New York Times, 1/3). Edwards co-sponsored the "Bipartisan Patient Protection Act of 2001" with Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) -- new patients' rights legislation that would allow patients to sue HMOs in state court for denial of benefits or quality of care issues and in federal court for non-quality of care issues, such as those involving violations of their health plan's contract (California Healthline, 2/7/01).
With his announcement, Edwards becomes the fourth Democrat to take formal steps to run for president; Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), Gov. Howard Dean (D-Vt.) and Rev. Al Sharpton of New York already announced the creation of exploratory committees. In addition, Rep. Richard Gephardt (D-Mo.) has indicated that he will run for president, notifying supporters that he plans to form an exploratory committee within the next several days (New York Times, 1/3). Edwards made his official announcement on NBC's "The Today Show" yesterday (Lauer, "Today Show," NBC, 1/2). Video of Edwards' announcement in Windows Media format is available online at http://www.msnbc.com/m/c/ctv_emailthis.asp?id=tdy_lauer_edwards_030102&subid=&sk=msnbc&sl=&0mw=x92. Note: The video may only be available online for a few days after the broadcast.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.