Democratic presidential hopeful John Edwards said on Sunday that his universal health care proposal would require that Americans go to the doctor for preventive care.
"It requires that everybody be covered. It requires that everybody get preventive care," he told a crowd sitting in lawn chairs in front of the Cedar County Courthouse. "If you are going to be in the system, you can't choose not to go to the doctor for 20 years. You have to go in and be checked and make sure that you are OK."
He noted, for example, that women would be required to have regular mammograms in an effort to find and treat "the first trace of problem." Edwards and his wife, Elizabeth, announced earlier this year that her breast cancer had returned and spread.
Edwards said his mandatory health care plan would cover preventive, chronic and long-term health care. The plan would include mental health care as well as dental and vision coverage for all Americans.
"The whole idea is a continuum of care, basically from birth to death," he said.
The former North Carolina senator said all presidential candidates talking about health care "ought to be asked one question: Does your plan cover every single American?"
"Because if it doesn't they should be made to explain what child, what woman, what man in America is not worthy of health care," he said. "Because in my view, everybody is worth health care."
Edwards said his plan would cost up to $120 billion a year, a cost he proposes covering by ending President Bush's tax cuts to people who make more than $200,000 per year.
While Edwards is pushing for government-funded, mandatory checkups, here's a 2003 New York Times article that questions their necessity even in a private system: Annual Physical Checkup May Be an Empty Ritual
[I]n a series of reports that began in 1989 and is still continuing, an expert committee sponsored by the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, an arm of the Department of Health and Human Services, found little support for many of the tests commonly included in a typical physical exam for symptomless people.
On the topic of universal health care, from the Ayn Rand Institute: No Right to "Free" Health Care by Onkar Ghate.
Health insurance costs so much today because the government, on the premise that there exists a "right" to health care at someone else's expense, has promised Americans a free lunch. When a person can consume medical services without needing to consider how to pay for them--Medicare, Medicaid, or the individual's employer will foot the bill--demand skyrockets. The $2,000 elective liver test he or she would have forgone in favor of a better place to live suddenly becomes a necessity when its cost seems to add up to $0.
You might recognize Edwards' pose and line from this poster, which we decided to parody.
Posted by Forkum at September 4, 2007 03:14 PM