Elizabeth Edwards touted Hillary Clinton’s health care plan over Barack Obama’s today saying that the “mandated coverage” in Clinton’s plan “made it the only truly “universal” health plan.”
“It means every American has to be covered. Senator Obama means every child has to be covered. I think we need to go the full nine yards.”
Elezabeth Edwards also criticized John McCain heatlh care plan, saying, “He’s the beneficiary of some great government programs. But in terms of private insurance, he would not be guaranteed coverage under his own plan. Neither would I or anybody with a pre-existing condition.”
Here’s the transcript via the HuffPo:
EDWARDS: Senator McCain has a health care policy that frankly does not guarantee him or me or a lot of Americans, certainly the people I’m going to go see this morning to get my treatment next to this morning, those people are not guaranteed treatment, not guaranteed insurance coverage.
BRZEZINSKI: So you’re saying that McCain wouldn’t get coverage under his own plan?
EDWARDS: He’s the beneficiary of some great government programs. But in terms of private insurance, he would not be guaranteed coverage under his own plan. Neither would I or anybody with a pre-existing condition. Imagine how many families that involves across this country. …
SCARBOROUGH: Which plan is better? Which plan covers more Americans? The Clinton plan or the Obama plan?
EDWARDS: In my view, the Clinton plan provides, because it provides a mandate. It means every American has to be covered. Senator Obama means every child has to be covered. I think we need to go the full nine yards and make certain we have — I’m not very good at cliches, is that the cliche. It ought to be ten yards, wouldn’t it?
SCARBOROUGH: Well, not if it’s fourth and nine.
EDWARDS: In any event, we want to make certain that every American is covered. In fact, this is also — Senator McCain does not cover every American. The way that you really keep down the costs of health insurance is that you have universality. You’re still going to have everybody cost shifting, trying to cover the cost of the uninsured or cover the cost of people who have an exclusion that doesn’t cover this particular condition. You’re always going to have this cost-shifting, and that keeps costs up — to keep costs down, you really need everybody covered.
Edwards also declined to endorse either Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama and said that both she and John Edwards “believe both of these candidates would make fine presidents and fine nominees for the party and certainly, particularly with respect to health care, a significant improvement over John McCain and we think our endorsement may be a little less important than y’all do.”
In a side note on the big difference between Clinton and Obama’s health care plan being the mandate… On Sunday, John Kerry said on This Week that Clinton’s “plan in the United States Senate is a nonstarter, because it starts with a mandate that is unachievable in the Senate in what we need to do.”
I was surprised to hear Kerry say that because in a speech in late July ’06, Kerry revamped his health care plan from ’04 and added a deadline calling for universal health care by 2012 that would be acheived if need be by “some form of a government mandate, Kerry said.”
I get that it doesn’t serve the candidate well that Kerry endorsed by touting the other candidate’s health care plan, but for all intents and purposes in comparing Kerry’s ’06 plan to Obama’s and Clinton’s, in my book (as I have said here in the past), Clinton’s plan is far closer to Kerry’s than Obama’s, just as her plan is closer to John Edwards plan.