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I'm turning over a new leaf. I'm gonna tell you what I think.

Here's what I think, and as always, you're free to disagree. John Edwards deserves a big damn pat on the back.

John Edwards pledged some time ago, to strip congresspeople and senators of their health coverage. Let these miserable bastards walk in our shoes. For one day. One week. One month. One year.

This is long overdue. This is not harsh, this should have happened ages ago. We've been discussing this on Daily Kos for about a million years.

Why in the world are we subsidizing health care for the criminals Congressfolk who deny it to us? Are we stupid?

Edwards very logical pledge was met with some skepticism on Daily Kos and among the pundit class.

Today in Iowa, he was again asked whether, and how, he would make good on his pledge.

Here's what this good man had to say.

ALGONA, IOWA -- John Edwards, who has pledged that as president he would strip health coverage from congressional members if they did not adopt universal healthcare, faced sharp voter skepticism Sunday over whether he could achieve that and other campaign goals.

On the first day of a two-day drive around iced-over north-central Iowa, Edwards was asked by 62-year-old retired teacher John Nordman whether it was "credible" for Edwards to say that as president, he would have the power to strip Congress of its health coverage.

He was asked a question, and oh my God, he answered it--honestly.

Edwards, a former North Carolina senator, acknowledged that he could not do it unilaterally and would have to use political pressure to force Congress to act. It could be done by submitting a bill forcing members to either vote for universal healthcare or lose their own coverage -- a measure that would target Republicans because, he said, all Democrats would support it.

"I want to see a Republican senator or congressman take the position that they're going to defend their healthcare and vote against healthcare for their constituents," Edwards said. "I will make sure every voter in their state knows they are protecting themselves against the interests of the people that they represent. I'm telling you, this will work."

The problem the next Democratic  president of the United States will immediately confront is one they already know about but won't discuss publically. The American model--for-profit healthcare is not a cost minimizer but a profit maximizer. It is simply unsustainable. The insurance industry have found that raising revenues by exploiting loopholes--delaying and denying care, and lobbying politicians adds far more to the bottom line than improving efficiency or quality.

But despite their silence on this issue and the urgent need to move to a single-payer system, all of our Democratic candidates are moving--slowly, slowly, in the correct direction.  Maybe they're even listening.

And perhaps John Edwards has become the healthcare pace car.

"We have to be willing to take it on. We have to be willing to shake it up," Edwards said, arguing that nominating a candidate who is part of the Washington power structure -- a clear reference to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) -- would not shift power in the capital from corporations to individuals. "If you're sitting at a table negotiating with drug companies about universal healthcare, you've already lost. It's not the job of the president of the United States to negotiate away what the American people need because these people have money."

So tonight, John Edwards gets the Daily Kos Award for the Monday Evening Best Person in the World.

Originally posted to nyceve on Mon Dec 03, 2007 at 04:36 PM PST.

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