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Monday, November 26, 2007

John Edwards and Universal Health Care

This is John Edwards, from an address delivered in Chicago, September 17:
In 1993, we controlled Congress and the White House and we had a Democratic president with the courage to propose a universal health care plan. That plan was completely killed -- run out of town by an army of lobbyists working for the big insurance companies, drug companies, and HMOs. Since 1993, the number of people without insurance has grown from 39.7 million to 47 million and insurance premiums have nearly doubled. We didn't get health care, we got NAFTA….

I don't believe you can sit down with the lobbyists, take their money, and cut a deal with them. If you defend the system that defeated health care, I don't think you can be a president who will bring health care. The only way to bring real health care reform is to end the Washington influence game once and for all….

[O]n the first day of my administration, I will submit legislation that ends health care coverage for the president, all members of Congress, and all senior political appointees in both branches of government on July 20th, 2009 -- unless we have passed universal health care reform.

There are four principles that have to be met: it must be truly universal. Anyone who has health care must be able to keep it, but they should pay less for it. Anyone who doesn't have health care must get it, with help if they can't afford it. Doctors and patients, not insurance companies and HMOs, must have control of health care decisions.

The American people have waited long enough. Six months will be hard, but we can do it. Six months to universal health care. Six months to real change. Without compromise.

And now, by way of comparison -- and bearing in mind Edwards' right insistence that the fight for Universal Healthcare will inevitably be a fight against the HMOs that benefit from the current system -- note to which Congresspersons, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, the most HMO money is going this campaign cycle:
Clinton, Hillary (D)
$246,480

Obama, Barack (D)
$175,093


Baucus, Max (D-MT)
$110,300

McCain, John (R)
$88,650


McConnell, Mitch (R-KY)
$69,850

Rangel, Charles B (D-NY)
$61,650

Dodd, Christopher J (D)
$59,100


Camp, Dave (R-MI)
$41,500

Smith, Gordon H (R-OR)
$33,550

Collins, Susan M (R-ME)
$32,250

Biden, Joseph R Jr (D)
$27,450


Salazar, Ken (D-CO)
$27,250

Pallone, Frank Jr (D-NJ)
$23,750

Sessions, Jeff (R-AL)
$23,100

Deal, Nathan (R-GA)
$22,500


Bolding added by me.

1 comment:

Greg in Portland said...

Money well spent on Hillary. Her plan actually forces everyone to buy health care from the same band of corporate gangsters who've spent years denying payment for routine treatment while taking in premiums. So this will be just another way to criminalize the poor. Just what America needs, another reason to lock more people up. We just don't have enough prisoners you know.

And of course Hillary's plan will also blow all the political momentum we've built up for real Euro-style single payer health care on this useless crock of corporate handout shit. I'm actually thinking seriously of voting for Guilianni should Hill/Rudy be the pairing. At least he will do nothing which is better than the Hillary plan. I also think he's marginally less likely to instigate WWIII given that Hillary's main "adviser" on Iran and the ME in general is the utterly insane Lieberman.