Monday, September 17, 2007

John Edwards : We Didn't Get Healthcare, We Got NAFTA

Today, addressing the Laborers Leadership Convention in Chicago, John Edwards pressed Hillary Clinton on her newly unveiled health care plan. Today, Clinton became the third Democrat to unveil a plan for universal health care. Sen. Edwards led on this this issue by being the first of the candidates to announce a plan and provide the details. Today, Edwards took Clinton to task for continuing to take money from some of the same interests who help derail her 1993 plan. Edwards said:

"The cost of failure 14 years ago isn't anybody's scars or political fortune, it's the millions of Americans who have now gone without health care for more than 14 years and the millions more still crushed by the costs."

Edwards was referring, of course, to Clinton's typical "I have the scars to prove it" retort when challenged about her failed efforts on health care in 1993 and her advocacy for inviting special interests to the table now. To the labor union audience, Edwards pointed out that in 1993, the President (Clinton) strongly supported universal health care, none the less, thanks to the influence of lobbyists and special interests, we didn't get health care, but we did get NAFTA.

Edwards attempted to put bite in his growl today by saying that when he is elected, he will submit legislation that ends health care coverage for the president, all members of congress and all senior political appointees on July 20, 2009, unless we have passed universal health care. I don't imagine he's going to find a whole lot folks in Congress lining up to support that legislation....but, he made his point. What's good enough for the rest of us, is good enough for politicians in Washington.


Open+Transparent said...

Watch the video, read the transcipt, listen to the podcast.
Features a single mom from McDonough. This is a defining (domestic) issue. So, Dem's, step up united and definte it.

GOVERNOR PERDUE: We can do no more.

CONGRESSMAN DEAL: (LAUGHTER) But on a broader scale of that you have to say, "Well-you know, what are the responsibilities of the parents in those situations?"

"We can do no more"...or Nathan Deal's blame it on the parents attitude...if you can't take that and run with it...

If every Dem doesn't vigorously stand for health insurance for uninsued children, then the party stands for nothing.


HINOJOSA: At this point, there isn't a single state or federal program that will help pay for Ashley's medicine. Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue, a Republican, says there's pain out there because the federal government is not fulfilling its obligation to pay its share of S-CHIP.

We met a young woman named Ashley who um has diabetes. Her father just lost his job. It will cost her $908 a month, literally, to survive. Um they don't have the money. And because of the fact that enrollment is frozen, right now, she can't get help. So what do you say to a young woman like Ashley?

GOVERNOR PERDUE: That's why she should call her Congress-members, and say; We want this resolved right now. Let me-let me really clear about this. Georgia stands ready, is ready. We're currently funding the federal portion now, as we've run out of money. We're doing our part and the federal part. We're doing all that we can. To blame us for freezing a part-where our federal partners are not fulfilling their obligation, is not right, and I won't accept that blame. We're doing our part. You tell her to call her Congressman.

HINOJOSA: And I'm sure if I called her and said; Listen, the Governor says you should call your member of Congress. She would say, "That's not gonna pay what I need to survive. So the next thing you would say to her would be?"

GOVERNOR PERDUE: We can do no more. We're doing the State's portion and the federal portion. For you to take an individual and wanna' cast blame on the State of Georgia, and me, and what would I do, and what would I offer her. I-I do take offense to that.


HINOJOSA: That reauthorization bill isn't expected to be voted on anytime soon. If anything, the debate will only intensify as the September 30th deadline draws closer. No one knows how it will end. And in the meantime, enrollment in Peachcare Is still frozen.

So, essentially, you're saying if there's a kid who is frozen out of Peach Care because of where SCHIP stands right now, that child should turn to their community and hope that someone steps up to the plate and says, "We'll treat you for free because we're good people"?

CONGRESSMAN DEAL: (LAUGHTER) Well, that's certainly one of the choices that many communities are making, mine being one of them. But on a broader scale of that you have to say, "Well-you know, what are the responsibilities of the parents in those situations?"

Amy Morton said...

Should've given DK appropriate props. Sorry about that, but Obama did not come out with Universal Health Care until Edwards did, and now here come Hillary, months behind the pack. Her campaign wants to say that she's been talking about this all along, and that's sort of true. She's been talking generalities, though, and that was my point. Even now, she somehow thinks that she can solve th problem while in bed with, well, the problem.

Amy Morton said...

Track, I just watched the video. You could see Sonny seething. Individuals do matter in this debate. The Governor should spend a day at a pharmacy, turning away patients. Retreating to the ivory tower of hypothetical political discourse is a copout. You are right on this. If Democrats in Georgia-and nationally-cannot run and win on healthcare-THE domestic issue of our time-we have no vision and no business in office. I would add reforming lobbyist spending to that as well. Let the republicans run against us on "we're doing all we can" and "lobbyist $$ doesn't influence me, really. I swear." It just drips of BS.

Open+Transparent said...

There are so many single mom's out there who are busting their tails trying to raise kids the right way. I have a job where I interact with them daily. SCHIP is not welfare. These mom's are trying, but need a lil help.. But they are fucking ignored by elected officials and the main stream media.

I'm getting grief for giving DuBose and Calvin a hard time. One of DuBose's guys has been snooping around about me.

Well DuB and Calvin, and every Dem, this is the opportunity to define yourselves. Have some intestinal fortitude and fight, fight, fight for SCHIP. Or be labled as sniveling, unredeemable, candyass cowards.

Open+Transparent said...

sorry about that triple post

Amy Morton said...

Track: I'm going to fix the duplicates.

Button Gwinnett said...

Edwards makes great points about Hillary's "I've got the scars to prove it" bit. She's working with some of the very people who are the cause of why we don't have better healthcare coverage in this country.

What's really disapointing about this is seeing her make the same mistake twice. Her lobbyist friends can only keep themselves in a job if they continue to make the healthcare industry so very profitable. They are paid to keep their clients' best interests at heart, not the average American's. And Hillary isn't going to be allowed to enjoy the generosity of their contributions without something in return. Think about it. If they thought she was a real threat to change our current system that benefits them so much, would they be backing her?

With Hillary, I fear that what we would end up with is some watered down version of something that does not solve the problem, yet allows her to say she did something about it.

Button Gwinnett said...

Oh and the NAFTA vs. healthcare thing is also a valid point. It's too bad that NAFTA was given a higher priority in 1993. It has weakened the infrastructure of our country. And in a roundabout way it has contributed to our healthcare problems.

Think of all of the good paying jobs with benefits that have been lost in this country over the last 13 years or so because of NAFTA. Not all of those people fall into jobs that give them the same kind of coverage that their former jobs did. In fact, I know people that are working two jobs just to make what their old salary was and still don't have the same healthcare benefits.