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John Edwards (D)

John Edwards Election 2008

Edwards responds to AHCJ members' questions

John Edwards is among the first candidates to submit answers to the questions you, our members, posed regarding their positions on health care.

Released health care plan? Yes: The Edwards Plan for Universal Health Care

Health care stance:
Edwards' health care reform plan is built around an "individual mandate" that would require all Americans to buy health insurance. To make insurance more affordable, he would require businesses and other employers to help cover their employees or help finance insurance. He would also expand Medicaid and the State Children's Health Insurance Program.

Health care plan highlights:

  • Require businesses and other employers to either cover their employees or help finance their health insurance.
  • Make insurance affordable by creating new tax credits, expanding Medicaid and SCHIP, reforming insurance laws, and taking innovative steps to contain health care costs.
  • Create regional Health Markets purchasing pools to give every American the bargaining power to purchase an affordable, high-quality health plan, increase choices among insurance plans, and cut costs for businesses offering insurance.
  • Once these steps have been taken, require all American residents to get insurance.

Links, articles, and more information:

In a Feb. 4, 2007, appearance on NBC's Meet the Press, Edwards discussed his plan for universal health care and the future of Medicare.

"Edwards unveils plan for vets with PTSD," The Wichita Eagle, November 12, 2007
Edwards is introducing a $400 million plan to help veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder. Under Edwards' plan, veterans could seek counseling for post-traumatic stress disorder outside the Veterans Health Administration system; the number of counselors would increase; and family members would be employed to identify cases of PTSD.

The Presidential Candidates' Health Care Plans: A First Look, September 26, 2007
Karen Davis and Sara Collins, president and vice president of the Commonwealth Fund, review the health plans of presidential candidates Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, Barack Obama, Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani. They point out the similarities in three democratic plans, explaining that all three would expand coverage by pooling risk in large groups, generating efficiencies through employer-based coverage, and building on the success of public programs such as Medicare, Medicaid, and SCHIP.

They find some similarities in the Republicans' plans as well: both Romney and Giuliani would rely on tax incentives to induce consumers to purchase individual insurance coverage--now the weakest part of the insurance market. They would eliminate much state regulation of private insurance, and try to expand coverage without committing to new federal budget outlays.


Edwards backs mandatory preventive care (AP via The Washington Post, Sept. 2, 2007)

During a speech in Iowa, Edwards said that his universal health care proposal would require Americans to go to the doctor for preventive health care, including regular mammograms for women. "It requires that everybody be covered. It requires that everybody get preventive care," Edwards said. "If you are going to be in the system, you can't choose not to go to the doctor for 20 years. You have to go in and be checked and make sure that you are OK."

Edwards offers cancer plan (AP via The San Francisco Chronicle, Aug. 26, 2008):

Edwards said he is offering a strategy for dealing with cancer that would bolster research funding, create support networks for people dealing with the disease and encourage lifestyle changes to help keep others from getting it. Under the package being outlined by Edwards, he would:

  • Push for a substantial increase in funding for cancer research conducted by the National Institutes for Health. He put no specific figure on the increase, but said only two of 10 research projects now get funded by the federal agency.

  • Expand testing and reporting of chemicals that may increase cancer risks, as well as monitoring where they may exist.

  • Launch a national research program to identify environmental risks, as well as promoting lifestyle changes that could reduce risk. Those include smoking cessation, improving diets at schools and bolstering exercise to combat obesity.

  • Increase support for respite care, including home visits from nurses and other health professionals to give caregivers a break. He also calls for an Internet clearinghouse for information about services that are available for families dealing with the disease.

"Edwards lays out health care plan" MSNBC June 14, 2007

"Edwards proposes cash incentive to end drug company monopolies" The Houston Chronicle June 14, 2007

At the second deomocratic debate on June 3, Edwards said his plan would cost $90 billion to $120 billion a year. -"Democrats focus on Iraq in contentious debate" The Washington Post June 4, 2007

"Edwards details his health care proposal" The New York Times February 5, 2007

New Leadership on Health Care, a presidential forum (video)

Democratic presidential candidates speak about AIDS epidemic, June 28, 2007 (video)

Track Edwards' campaign funding at The Center for Responsive Politics' Race for the White House Web site.