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Edwards's Universal Health Insurance Plan Would Include Mandatory Preventive Care Coverage

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Edwards's Universal Health Insurance Plan

Presidential candidate and former Sen. John Edwards(D-N.C.) on Sunday in Tipton, Iowa, said that his health insuranceproposal would require all U.S. residents to receive preventive care,the AP/San Francisco Chronicle reports.

Duringa speech at the Cedar County Courthouse, Edwards said, "If you aregoing to be in the system, you can't choose not to go to the doctor for20 years. You have to go in and be checked and make sure that you areOK." He added that everybody would be covered for preventive, chronicand long-term care, as well as dental and vision care. "The whole ideais a continuum of care, basically from birth to death," Edwards said.

Edwardsalso said that voters should ask all presidential candidates "onequestion: Does your plan cover every single American?" He added,"Because if it doesn't, they should be made to explain what child, whatwoman, what man in America is not worthy of health care. Because in myview, everybody is worth health care" (Lorentzen, AP/San Francisco Chronicle, 9/2).

OnSaturday, Edwards discussed health care and other issues at a privatefundraiser at the home of a campaign volunteer in Edmond, Okla. Edwardssaid that new rulesfor SCHIP enrollment announced last month by the Bush administrationwould leave millions of residents without health insurance. He said,"Expansion of SCHIP is an important initial step" in efforts to reducethe number of uninsured residents. Edwards added, "We need universalhealth care so every man and woman is covered. The health care systemdoesn't work" (Hoberock, Tulsa World, 9/2).

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On Sunday, Edwards received the endorsements from the United Steelworkers of America and the United Mine Workers of America. He also has received an endorsement from the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America (AP/USA Today, 9/3).

Clinton Discusses Four Goals

Presidential candidate Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton(D-N.Y.) this weekend during campaign events in Iowa and New Hampshireannounced that she would seek "quality, affordable health care forevery American" as part of her four goals as president, the Wall Street Journal reports (Calmes, Wall Street Journal,9/4). Her goals include efforts to "restore America's standing in theworld," "rebuild America's middle class and the economy to support it,""reform our government" and "reclaim the future for our children"(Healy, New York Times, 9/3). Clinton said that next week she plans to announce a proposal to expand health insurance to all U.S. residents (Balz, Washington Post, 9/3).

AFL-CIO Focuses on Health Care

AFL-CIOPresident John Sweeney on Monday at a Labor Day event in Philadelphia"vowed to make health care a national priority in the forthcomingpresidential race," the Philadelphia Inquirerreports. Sweeney said that he would recruit millions of AFL-CIO membersto call for changes to the U.S. health care system. "Nobody should haveto fear the consequences of getting sick," and businesses should nothave to close because of high health care costs, he said (Von Bergen, Philadelphia Inquirer, 9/4).

InCongress, AFL-CIO and other labor unions plan to lobby for changes incorporate bankruptcy procedures that would limit the ability ofbusinesses to avoid retiree health care and other obligations, and anexpansion of SCHIP. Bill Samuel, legislative director for AFL-CIO,said, "We had a lot of ground to make up for after years of neglect bythe Congress" (Dine, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 9/2).

Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. Youcan view the entire Kaiser DailyHealth Policy Report, search the archives, and sign up for email deliveryat kaisernetwork.org/email. The Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, afree service of The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.