Major Changes Needed To US Health Care System

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Elizabeth Edwards, the wife of former Democratic presidential candidate and former Sen. John Edwards (N.C.), on Tuesday at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia discussed the need for changes to the U.S. health care system, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.

Elizabeth Edwards said that the current system "fails everyone except the extremely wealthy." According to Elizabeth Edwards, efforts to overhaul the system should involve individuals, who must seek preventive care, and health insurers, who must focus on the long-term health of members, rather than short-term savings.

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Elizabeth Edwards, who has not endorsed a presidential candidate, said that neither Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.) nor Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) has proposed to expand health insurance to all residents, but she added that Obama's health plan takes the country more in the right direction (Dribben, Philadelphia Inquirer, 9/17). Elizabeth Edwards also said that recent economic problems might shift attention and funds from efforts to reform the health care system.

She said, "I'm more discouraged than I was before," adding, "Shame on us if we don't take the momentum -- even with all the other things that are happening -- and translate it into a policy." According to AP/Kansas City Star, Elizabeth Edwards has "become a respected speaker on health care policy" through her "public bout with breast cancer" (Baker, AP/Kansas City Star, 9/16).

Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view the entire Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report, search the archives, and sign up for email delivery at kaisernetwork.org/email . The Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. © 2007 Advisory Board Company and Kaiser Family Foundation. All rights reserved.

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