Benny's World

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Elizabeth Edwards Talks about Health Care, Subject She Understands

From the WCF Courier this evening:

Elizabeth Edwards said one of the first things her husband will do if elected president is bring his universal health care proposal before Congress.

"Also on the first-day agenda is using that honeymoon period to get health care in front of Congress, so we can get universal health care passed immediately," she said.

That's exactly what Sharon Mott of Waterloo, 63, wanted to hear. She will be uninsured for another two years until she becomes eligible for Medicaid.

"I hope nothing happens before then," she said.

Many in the crowd of about 50 showed up with health care on their minds. Godert VanDerHart of Waterloo, 83, said he learned of the convoluted health care system when his wife, who has since died, suffered a stroke five years ago. It's now a top issue for him.

"He's the strongest on the health care issue," he said. "There's always been talk (of reform), but I'd like to see some action."

Under John Edwards' plan, which would require all Americans to purchase health insurance, employers must either cover employees or help finance their coverage. It would also create tax credits to make plans more affordable, and expand Medicaid and the State Children's Health Insurance Program.

When he unveiled his proposal, John Edwards said the program would be paid for with taxes, arguing the benefit of universal health care outweighs the cost. He has said the $90 billion to $120 billion annual cost could be paid for by eliminating President Bush's tax cuts on households earning more than $200,000 and by collecting unpaid capital gains taxes.

Elizabeth Edwards also sharply criticized the Medicare Part D prescription drug plan. She said if it weren't for her and her sister, her parents would vastly overpay for prescription drugs because they can't make decisions independently for health reasons.

"It's entirely too complex and too punitive. If my parents are stymied by this stuff, and they are, each month they delay (in choosing a plan) would cost them more money, and not more money just on the front end, more money for the rest of their lives."

I saw John Edwards vote on the Medicare D bill. It was a horrible bill, giveaways to drug companies who already receive plenty of R & D funding from us. I'm glad JRE said no.

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