Edwards mandates COVERAGE: official response

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.

Here is the relevant section of his plan.

(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

Tags: 2008 elections, Drudge Report, Ezra Klein, Health care, health insurance, Iowa, John Edwards, mammograms, mandate, preventative care, Primaries, universal health care (all tags)



Re: Edwards mandates COVERAGE: official response

I don't like being told by my prospective President when to go to the doctor, that is socialism, not a democracy! it is all about your choice, not about his choice.

by American1989 2007-09-05 04:25PM | 0 recs
Re: Edwards mandates COVERAGE: official response

Did you read the diary? He's not telling you when to go to a doctor.

by sirius 2007-09-05 04:26PM | 0 recs
Re: Edwards mandates COVERAGE: official response

He didn't read the diary. That much is clear.

by bruh21 2007-09-05 05:11PM | 0 recs
Re: Edwards mandates COVERAGE: official response


(Even if it were the case, it wouldn't be socialism any more than deciding when you want to go the doctor has anything to do with democracy.)

by justinh 2007-09-05 04:43PM | 0 recs
Re: Edwards mandates COVERAGE: official response

Uhm- do you even have health insurance?

by bruh21 2007-09-05 05:11PM | 0 recs
Re: Edwards mandates COVERAGE: official response

I very much doubt you're a Democrat, as using the word "socialism" to denigrate things that are nothing like socialism is a wingnut calling card.

by Steve M 2007-09-05 08:26PM | 0 recs
Thanks for clearing things up!

It is too bad that reporters don't check their facts a little better before they run with a story. This diary will help get the word out about Edward's true meaning. He has a strong plan, with good ideas for preventative care making it even better!

by bettync 2007-09-05 04:25PM | 0 recs
Drudge is absolutely atrocious

with this out context crap they push.  You would figure the media would stop running with this guy already.

First Michelle Obama then this case.  What's next?


by lovingj 2007-09-05 04:34PM | 0 recs
Well, Thank You.

I posted how strange this was and that Edwards needed to clarify his remarks.  Thanks SO MUCH.  I knew that sounded strange.  Leave to the media.

by bookgrl 2007-09-05 04:36PM | 0 recs
I didn't hear or read his original statement

So I don't know if the rightwing is telling lies and blowing it all up from nothing, but talk radio is basically saying he is going to mandate that people go to the doctor at risk of penalty if they do not.  

Whatever he said he is getting hit hard over it.  

by dpANDREWS 2007-09-05 04:38PM | 0 recs
Re: I didn't hear or read his original statement

Makes you wonder just how stupid their listeners are.

by justinh 2007-09-05 04:45PM | 0 recs
Re: Ezra's take

OE on Dkos made this post and I think it was great and should be repeated here.

Ezra Klein's full post was a lot better, but this part explained it better than the Edwards folks did.

Edwards will require Health Care Markets and public plans to pro-actively monitor chronically-ill patients' health to reduce complications and hospitalizations, and he will offer private plans incentives to do the same. Vermont is demonstrating that this kind of new approach to managing chronic care can improve patients' health and save money. He will also require preventive care coverage, with public plans offering preventive care without co-payments, and provide incentives for patients to participate.


So the public plans, and those participating in the public insurance markets, will have to include provisions for health maintenance among their chronically sick members. Preventive care will be covered, and in the public plan, it will be free. Patients will have incentives to avail themselves of preventive options. But there won't be any mandate for X doctor's visits every Y years. Insofar as anyone has to do anything, the insurers will have to offer patients the option of preventive care. That's a perfectly defensible, even worthwhile, policy position.

End of story.  I don't know what could be clearer than that.  The media hates John Edwards.  He should really try and coordinate some of his efforts with people like Klein.

by pioneer111 2007-09-05 04:46PM | 0 recs
Re: Edwards mandates COVERAGE: official response

I often  visit the refuges of the right wing crazies...they are going nuts over this...
they all mention 1984 big brother stuff...
They fact that Edwards has replaced Hillery in the past month in these places speaks volumes....
example from Wizbang

........................................ ......
"Behaviors deemed "risky" can become outlawed -- for your own good, of course. No smoking, no drinking, no fatty foods... and anything else they declare "bad for you".

And over at Hot Air, a reader left a chilling comment:

   "Ironically (or maybe not), if this gets put through, the forced abortions are coming if you have a disabled unborn child, cause it'll be too expensive for the "free medicine" system to care for."

Not to mention those folks who have cancer or another life-threatening disease that will cause tremendous expenses for the system. We'll start seeing euthanasia, infanticide, and abortion forced by the government.

This isn't about healthcare; it's about the government asserting total control over our lives. And they call us Nazis?

So much for "land of the free", huh?

A lot of people will read this and say, "Well gee Cassy, aren't you overreacting? The government will never go so far as to engage in infanticide and euthanasia, or to force us to work out every morning, or any of those other awful things you said! He'll never take it that far!"...
........................................ ........
My new campaign slogan?
Edwards..He really pisses off the Right

by DenverD 2007-09-05 05:33PM | 0 recs
Re: Edwards mandates COVERAGE: official response

I like Edwards, but I see NO role for for-profit insurance companies in health care.  Kucinich has the idea - single payer, NON-PROFIT payer, like a Medicaire for all

by dogenman 2007-09-05 06:05PM | 0 recs
Edwards has the best health care plan

The beauty of the Edward's plan is that it provides mechanisms for the transformation to single payer. His plan will regulate the private insurance companies and force them to compete with the expanded medicare options. His plan is the best so far proposed in that it will provide universal coverage within a five(5) year span.

The Kucinich plan, HR 676, proposed by John Conyers four years ago, hasn't gathered enough support in congress to make it viable at this point. This plan suggest a fifteen(15) year period for implementation. During this fifteen(15) year period, private insurance companies will be providing insurance as they are now, they will be negotiating with the government for compensation, and forced to function under new regulations. To imply they the Kucinich plan, that is HR 676, eliminates the role of private insurance companties isn't exactly accurate.

I agree that single payer is the best, most effective and most efficient way to deliver health care to everyone. But, in order to get to this goal, we will need to find the best methods for delivering health care universally first. The Edward's plan does this. Once everyone is covered, we can evolve to the best system, which is single payer.

by jfoster 2007-09-06 03:53AM | 0 recs
Edwards mandates COVERAGE: official response

Whether or not Edwards gains any traction as a candidate this proposal should be a part of any universal health care policy.

by DoIT 2007-09-05 06:25PM | 0 recs
Edwards is going to win.

Forget traction.

by cosbo 2007-09-05 08:16PM | 0 recs
Thank you Sirius for doing what

the professional media has failed to do: inform voters of policies critical to this election.

If you can fact check, why can't they?  Laziness?  Incompetence?  Deliberate sabotage?

The MCM seems to excel most at disinformation.  It does not seem to worry them that so many people feel no confidence in their facts.

by ashlarah 2007-09-05 07:51PM | 0 recs
Re: Thank you Sirius for doing what

Thanks, but I just posted the diary. Someone else in the EENR group checked it with the campaign and asked me to put up a diary.

by sirius 2007-09-06 06:55AM | 0 recs


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