Elizabeth Edwards has returned to the public health care reform discussion for the first time since last August when news of her husband's affair hit the media. She spoke in Philadelphia, PA, on the night of the 16th.
Melissa Dribben of The Philadelphia Equirer reports:
Speaking knowledgeably and with dollops of relaxed good humor, Edwards told the audience of 200 people at the National Constitution Center that the current health-care system is immoral and "fails everyone except the extremely wealthy."As a sufferer of incurable breast cancer, Mrs. Edwards has a voice that commands attention in matters of health care reform. Her direct experience with the system provides a veracity that is seen as lacking on the part of many in politics today. Another factor is that she does not see either of the current candidate's plans for health care reform to be ideal, although she has no problem in stating which one is her preference.
Seated onstage in a plush chair, the 57-year-old wife of former Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards used her experience as a patient with incurable breast cancer to illustrate lapses in the current system. But she was careful to say that the responsibility lies both with individuals, who need to take good preventive care, and insurance companies, which should be concerned with long-term health instead of short-term savings.
Except for one subtle remark about the "Republican vice presidential candidate's" opposition to stem cell research, Edwards maintained a relatively neutral political stance. Neither presidential candidate is proposing the kind of universal and comprehensive coverage that Americans deserve, she said. But of the two, Edwards said, Democratic Sen. Barack Obama's plan, which would mandate coverage for children, will move the nation more in the right direction.In addition to the statements above, she once more reiterated her opinions about John McCain's personal health issues and their impact upon his perspective in this matter. Sen. McCain's multiple melanomas have been treated under his military health plan, which provides extensive coverage even though most private insurance plans in the U.S. would deny coverage on these pre-existing conditions.
The debate continues to heat up, and one must wonder if the media eye will pay more attention to Mrs. Edwards' health care activism or the peccadilloes of her husband. John Edwards has stated that he will stay out of the public eye until after November 4 in order to keep from clouding the issues or distracting from the focus of the Democratic Campaign.
SOURCE: "Elizabeth Edwards calls health-care system immoral" 09/17/08
photo courtesy of ariedana used under its Creative Commons license