Edwards mandates COVERAGE: official response
by sirius, Wed Sep 05, 2007 at 04:15:20 PM EDT
Here's an on the record official answer from the Edwards campaign regarding the mandated healthcare controversy. One of our EENR bloggerws sent in a question about Edwards' remarks and Tracy Joan sent her this statement. (Emphasis mine):
"Senator Edwards believes it is critically important to take preventive steps that help reduce health care costs and prevent disease. The truth is many people do not currently seek medical services because they aren't covered or can't afford to see a doctor. That is why Edwards' universal health care plan would require most insurers to cover preventive measures at low or no cost. Through incentives like lower premiums, the Edwards plan would also encourage people to use preventive health care, from checkups to cancer screenings, which will result in lower costs for both the individual and the country."
His plan mandates that insurers must provide coverage for preventive care, not that people must use it. When the campaign says that he will encourage people to use it, I have no doubt that his plan will strongly encourage it, because that does save a lot of money. The bottom line is, nobody is forcing anybody to go to a doctor.
(2) Invest in Preventive Care and Health. Study after study shows that primary and preventive care greatly reduces future health care costs, as well as increasing patients' health, but our health care system is focused on treating diseases, not preventing them. Insurance companies have little incentive to bear these costs. As a result, many people do not receive preventive care such as tests and immunizations. Other Americans suffer from preventable, chronic conditions that can lead to
complications and disability. Edwards will help Health Care Markets lead the effort to realign incentives in the health care system that reward healthier outcomes and lower costs.
* Promote Preventive Care: Health Care Markets will offer primary and preventive services at little or no cost. Incentives like lower premiums will reward individuals who schedule free physicals and enroll in healthy living programs. Edwards will also support community efforts to improve health, such as safe streets, walking and biking trails, safe and well-equipped parks, and physical education programs for children.
Someone named Owen, who was at the Iowa event, had this to say in a comment on Ezra Klein's blog about the issue:
I was at the event in Iowa where he made that statement. It came in the context of him discussing Elizabeth and regular mammograms/cancer screens. I took from what he was saying that his plan would, for the first time, make it easier and cost effective for people to seek preventative medical attention, thus lowering costs.
But... I remember saying to myself, "Gee... taken out of context, that sounds like he's advocating a law demanding people get checkups every year." I was not surprised to see that headline on Drudge that night.
It appears that really what we have is the Drudge report once again twisting the context of a Democratic candidate's remarks. Well, surprise surprise!
Crossposted from Daily Kos