14 January 2008

Edwards' health plan

Democratic Talk Radio, in publicizing the Daytona Beach paper's endorsement of John Edwards as the Democratic candidate for president, has this synopsis of the Edwards' health plan:
He wants to repeal Bush tax cuts that favor rich Americans and use the money to pay for universal health care. He would require employers to cover their employees or help finance their health insurance.

Additionally, he would lower insurance costs by creating tax credits, expanding Medicaid and coverage for children, reforming insurance laws, and containing health care costs. He would create regional markets to encourage more consumer bargaining power in buying health plans, compel broader choices among insurance plans, and cut costs for businesses offering insurance. Once these are accomplished, Edwards would require all American residents to obtain insurance. It is a bold but realistic reform for this country’s crippled market-based system. [Insurance rates would not be based on current rates because everyone would be included. Coverage would be free or subsidized for those with incomes under $100K. Edwards plan would lead to single payer]
How would it lead to single-payer? The idea is that the Edwards' plan would lead to single-payer because it also calls for a public buy in plan -- so that people like me could buy in to Medicare for All. That's an important element. If it could withstand the corrupting influence of the health insurance industry's lobbyists trying to cripple such a plan it could indeed show that state-guaranteed health care is quality coverage at a bargain -- instead of junk coverage at a premium, as many of us now have.

And thankful for it!

Donna Smith, whose story was told in Sicko, stood at this month's Health Care for All Colorado meeting to say she was uninsured for the first time in her life. Donna is doing great work to better this country, and there's no way she should be left stranded.

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