Candidate Edwards Proposes Sweeping Health Insurance Reform
Former Vice-Presidential candidate and current democratic White House hopeful Senator John Edwards recently announced details of a sweeping reform of health insurance as part of his platform. While others in the race have mentioned healthcare being a primary concern, Edwards is the first serious candidate to disclose a detailed plan.
Mr. Edwards ambitious affordable health insurance plan; which takes pages from several new medical insurance ideas recently implemented on the State and Federal level; calls for almost a 120 Billion dollar increase in spending over the current healthcare budget. Senator Edward's plan intends to fund the increase through taxes on the wealthiest of Americans, penalties levied against large businesses and corporations that do not provide affordable health benefits to their workers, and cost cutting measures to our current healthcare delivery system. In a recent interview with the New York Times Mr. Edwards said, "This proposal embraces the concept of shared responsibility to provide universal health care..." Key to financing the reforms would be a repeal of the Bush Tax cuts on people earning more that $200,000.00 - which was also a campaign point in Edwards failed Vice-Presidential bid with Running Mate John Kerry in 2004. Other sources of revenue for the health insurance plan will be better reporting of capital gains. Mr. Edwards said that statistics show that nearly 15 billion dollars in capital gains taxes go uncollected every year due to inadequate reporting of capital gains from stock sales. Under Edwards proposal, brokerage houses would be required to report capital gains from stock sales to the IRS, just as they are now required to report interest and dividend payments. Much like the plan currently in effect in the home State of his 2004 running mate, Massachusetts - Edward's plan would provide heavy subsidies for those who cannot afford to purchase private health insurance, and would provide insurance for all children. Also the plan would set up a government health insurance agency that would eventually be the arbiter of a single payer system, and do away with private health insurance.
While one of Mr. Edwards closest rivals in the democratic race, Senator Hilary Rodham Clinton has yet to announce her own health insurance plan - industry observers recognize how several of the elements of Edwards plan are similar to Bill Clinton's then unpopular 1994 Heath Insurance reform ideas. Many of which, as you may recall were largely spearheaded by Mrs. Clinton. Most conspicuously is the plans call for businesses to pay up to 6% of their payrolls into a Government fund for health insurance if they do not provide health benefits to their employees, and the creation of regional health insurance markets.
Neither Mrs. Clinton nor Senator Edward's other close rival for the democratic nomination, Senator Barack Obama of Illinois have offered any comment on his plan.