As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Progressive Leaders

Elizabeth Edwards is a godsend. Seeing that the Clinton/Obama pie fight has prevented anyone of stature from focusing on John McCain, she came out with a broadside against McCain's useless health care plan, which wouldn't cover anyone with a pre-existing condition - like McCain, or herself:

ARLINGTON, VA. -- Elizabeth Edwards, the wife of former Democratic presidential contender John Edwards, said she and John McCain have one thing in common: "Neither one of us would be covered by his health policy."

Edwards lodged her criticism of the presumptive Republican presidential nominee's proposal Saturday at the annual meeting of the Assn. of Health Care Journalists.

Under McCain's plan, insurance companies "wouldn't have to cover preexisting conditions like melanoma and breast cancer," she said [...]

Douglas Holtz-Eakin, senior policy advisor to McCain, said Saturday that Edwards' comments were disappointing and that they revealed she did not understand the comprehensive nature of the senator's proposal.

Holtz-Eakin said McCain's policy would harness "the power of competition to produce greater coverage for Americans." Because McCain's plan would lower the cost of healthcare through competition, Holtz-Eakin said, it would reduce costs for consumers with or without preexisting conditions.

Which is the biggest non-answer you can get. Responding to "your plan wouldn't cover me," Holtz-Eakin says "but that non-coverage would be cheaper!"

Well, Edwards didn't stop there, she took to the Wonk Room to respond to Holtz-Eakin. It's good and comprehensive and allows Holtz-Eakin with no wiggle room, mocking McCain, who has absolutely no interest in health care or the problems of regular people.

I am not confused about your reputation: you are the straight-talker, you like to say. This is about health care, Senator McCain. Doesn’t the American voter deserve some straight answers to these questions? As one of those with a pre-existing condition, I sure would like some straight talk.

We live in a time where doctors, who ought to know, support a universal health care plan by a wide margin. But without the moral authority from someone who's been through the health care system, a progressive leader smart enough to know the policy inside and out and bold enough to call out the liars, progress will always falter. If Sen. Obama wants to outsource his health care policy, he can do worse than Elizabeth Edwards. But that won't happen. In fact, New York Magazine reports that it was the health care policy that caused a big fight between Elizabeth and Obama and ended up ruining any chance for a John Edwards endorsement. You know I think we'd be better off right now with Sen. Edwards fighting for the nomination. Maybe a progressive leader like Elizabeth can help hold whoever makes it to Denver and the White House accountable.

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