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Edwards Statement On How His Health Care Plan Differs From Those Of Obama And Clinton


Location: Chapel Hill, NC

Edwards Statement On How His Health Care Plan Differs From Those Of Obama And Clinton

Today, Senator John Edwards made the following statement:

"I want to say a quick word about health care because I've watched this sparring that's going on with Senator Obama and Senator Clinton. I don't want to get involved in that but I want people to know that there are real differences between us on this issue and what those substantive differences are.

"I want to make sure caucus goers are aware that I was the first candidate to come out with a universal health care plan in February, and I'm proud that I lead on this issue. My plan is universal - I think that's a threshold requirement for health care reform in this country. That's why my proposal has a mandate that requires everyone to be covered.

"Senator Obama's plan is not universal. He does not require that everyone be covered. As many as 15 million Americans will be left without coverage. And I've seen an estimate that up to 90,000 Iowans would be left without coverage. So there's a fundamental difference between us on the policy.

"Senator Clinton's plan, which came out in September, is very similar to the plan I announced in February. But I haven't seen any specifics about how her mandate would work or how she would enforce the mandate.

"I have laid out exactly how my mandate would work. The fundamental structure of my plan provides subsidies and the subsidies go up to about $100,000 of income. So for lower income families they'll be basically 100 percent subsidized, and the subsidy decreases for up to about $100,000 of income. The way we bring people into the system is anytime they have contact with the health care system or the government they can enroll - they go to the hospital to the emergency room, they sign their children up to school.

"I think it's completely legitimate and fair for caucus goers to know where our policy differences are, and to the extent those differences continue to exist, I'll continue to make them clear. But I want to make certain that people know that I have a very strong positive agenda and I will remain focused on talking about what I want to do as president."

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