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At the Lance Armstrong LIVESTRONG Presidential Cancer Forum in Cedar Rapids, Senator John Edwards left the pack by being the only top tier candidate that has a truly Universal Health Care plan and named the corporate beast which has and continues to have a disproportionate amount of influence on our healthcare legislation.

EDWARDS LEAVES THE PACK

At today's LiveStrong Forum, John Edwards, the only top tier candidate with a truly Universal HealthCare plan, challenged Democratic and Republican candidates who don't have HealthCare plans that will cover everyone, to explain why certain Americans wont be covered under their plans.

"What do you plan to do for the thousands of Americans who die from lack of health insurance and no money for treatment?"

"There is an easy answer to that. I am proud that I came out with a truly universal health care plan that requires every single man and woman in America to have health care coverage. I actually think that is a question that should be put to every candidate, Democratic or Republican: If your health care plan doesn't cover everybody, then you should have to explain what this particular woman or child is not entitled to health care? Because my view is every single one of us have equal value and equal worth, and everybody's life is precious... Every single man and woman in this country should have health care coverage."

Don't all Americans deserve to be covered? Who will get left behind to die? Which Americans will have to give up their savings they've worked their entire lives for to cover care, possibly having to declare bankruptcy just to stay alive? Who will decide who gets to live and who will die from lack of coverage? I think we know the answers.

John Edwards in NH on HealthCare Costs

"There is no excuse for her or anyone else to be left out." ~Elizabeth Edwards

EDWARDS NAMES THE BEAST

Compromise and negotiating with drug and insurance corporate lobbyists will only lead to millions of Americans getting left out, left to die from lack of care, as we have seen in the past. In fact, as Senator Edwards pointed out today, it was drug and insurance corporate lobbyists that killed Hillary's healthcare bill in the nineties. As Edwards stated, "If you give drug and insurance company lobbyists a seat at the table, they'll eat all the food."

Why is the U.S. the only economically advanced country that does not have health coverage?

"[Sen. Clinton’s] lesson is to give them a seat at the table. I think if you give drug companies and insurance companies a seat at the table, they will eat all the food. I think you have to take power away from them. I do not think they're ever going to voluntarily give away their power. You have to take them on, confront them, and fight them. I think that is the way we have universal health care – you have to take them on, confront them, and fight them."

"If you can do it by compromise and negotiation, why don't we have Universal Health Care?"

Earlier at the LiveStrong Forum and in the past, Hillary Clinton defended her decision to accept corporate lobbyist donations. In fact, today, when asked about what she thought about Michael Moore's charge that multimillion dollar donations from drug and insurance lobbyists to her campaigns have influenced her, Hillary laughed it off and denied their influence stating she will work with "everyone" (read corporate lobbyists).

Allison Rose Levy, of Vineyard Journal summed up John Edwards' stand on HealthCare well in her blogpost, "The Valor of John and Elizabeth Edwards:"

THE COMPROMISE OF DEMOCRACY WROUGHT BY CORPORATE POWER

Edwards has left the pack and named the beast -- the compromise of democracy wrought by corporate power, and near universal buy-ins and cooptation of government, media, and the health care establishment. Life circumstances (his son's tragic death and his wife's diagnosis concurrent with a lost or stolen election) have eaten away the comfort that leads to compromise. Yes, Hillary has the lead. But this slender man, physically recalling Robert F. Kennedy Sr,. has got the edge. He's been in a Bush-era presidential race. He will not easily concede.

"Our job is replacing a corrupt system," he told the Vineyarders. "We don't have universal health care because the drug, insurance companies, and corporate system prevent it. They stand between us and the change we need. Their voices already prevail. If we give these folks a seat at the table, they'll eat all the food. Being political and cautious will not do it. It's our responsibility to show some backbone."

Click here to watch the full segment of John Edwards at today's LiveStrong Presidential Forum

For John Edwards' National Strategy On Cancer Survivorship, check out his Comprehensive Plan which Support for Families, Investments in Research, Reducing Risk Factors and Closing Health Disparities with Universal Health Coverage.

Originally posted to NCDem Amy on Mon Aug 27, 2007 at 04:03 PM PDT.

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