We have two healthcare systems in America. People who can afford insurance get the best care in the world. But most families are one bad break, such as a lost job or a serious illness, away from going right off a cliff.
I believe we should build one America, with one health system where every person can get decent, affordable healthcare. I am proud to be the first major presidential candidate to propose a specific plan to guarantee true universal healthcare.
Under my plan, businesses would either cover their employees or help pay their premiums. The government would make insurance affordable through new tax credits and by leading the way toward more cost-effective care. New “healthcare markets” would give families and businesses purchasing power and a choice of quality plans, including one public plan. Finally, once these steps have been taken, all American residents would be required to take responsibility and get insurance.
Under my plan, families without insurance would get coverage at an affordable price. Families that have insurance today—who sometimes have trouble paying their share of health insurance payments—would pay less and get more security and choices. Businesses and other employers would find it cheaper and easier to insure their workers. I have proposed steps that would save an average family $2,000 to $2,500 a year and eliminate at least $130 billion a year in wasteful healthcare spending.
An innovative feature of my plan would give individuals in healthcare markets a choice of insurance plans including a public plan based on Medicare. That choice would force private insurers to operate in a more competitive market, holding down costs and improving care.
I also recognize that we cannot achieve true universal care without making additional transitional investments. I have been honest about how I would pay for these—by repealing President Bush’s income tax cuts for Americans who make more than $200,000 per year....
We have to stop using words like “access to healthcare” when we know with certainty those words mean something less than universal care. Who are you willing to leave behind without the care they needs? Which family? Which child? We need a truly universal solution, and we need it now.
17 August 2007
Edwards writes about his plan
It's hard to think that John Edwards isn't talking about single-payer universal healthcare when he writes like this: