Edwards: Congress Shouldn't Have Health Care if Americans Don't

Second major New Hampshire ad highlights plan to hold Congress accountable for passing universal health care

(Manchester, NH) - Senator John Edwards begins a new wave of New Hampshire television advertisements later today with an ad that features Edwards’ plan to hold Congress accountable for passing universal health care within six months after he takes office as President. The ad will run statewide.

“We all want universal health care – but just having a plan is not enough,” Edwards said. “We've seen plans fail before in Congress, and they will fail again unless we have a new approach. We have to be willing to take on the drug companies, insurance companies, and their Washington lobbyists who killed reform last time. But if you're defending the system, taking money from their lobbyists and giving them a seat at the table, reform is just not going to happen.”

On the first day of Edwards’ administration, he will submit legislation that ends health care coverage for the president, all members of Congress, and all senior political appointees in the legislative and executive branches of government on July 20th, 2009 – unless Congress has enacted universal health care reform.

Edwards will require Congress to pass universal health insurance that meets four principles: (1) It must be truly universal; (2) Anyone who has health care must be able to keep it and pay less for it; (3) Anyone who doesn’t have health care must get it, with help if they can’t afford it; (4) Doctors and patients, not insurance companies and HMOs, must have control over health care decisions.

The ad runs 30 seconds and is posted on Edwards’ webpage – http://www.johnedwards.com/watch/health-care-ad/. The transcript of the ad follows:

“When I’m president I’m going to say to members of Congress and members of my administration, including my cabinet: I’m glad that you have health care coverage and your family has health care coverage. But if you don’t pass universal health care by July of 2009 – in six months – I’m going to use my power as president to take your health care away from you. [Applause] There’s no excuse for politicians in Washington having health care when you don’t have health care. I’m John Edwards and I approve this message.”

Today’s announcement builds on Edwards’ growing momentum in New Hampshire over the past month, including:

  • November 11: Edwards releases an 80-page policy book, The Plan to Build One America, and announces that more than 70,000 copies will be delivered to New Hampshire voters during ongoing statewide canvasses.
  • November 9: The Edwards campaign announces 433 New Hampshire Women for Edwards as Cate Edwards and President Emeritus and Founder of NARAL Pro-Choice America Kate Michelman campaign across the state.
  • October 31: Edwards earns the endorsement of the 10,000-member strong New Hampshire State Employees Association (SEIU Local 1984).