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Edwards: Leave insurers out of health care reform discussions

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Author Topic: Edwards: Leave insurers out of health care reform discussions  (Read 13 times)
Garrell Hughes
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« on: December 31, 2007, 10:54:54 pm »

Edwards: Leave insurers out of health care reform discussionsBy TONY LEYS REGISTER STAFF WRITER December 31, 2007

John Edwards is using a recent medical tragedy to illustrate why he thinks the president can't include health insurers in health-care reform discussions.

The story involves Nataline Sarkisyan, 17, of California, whose doctors said she needed a liver transplant. Administrators of her insurance company refused to pay for it.

"The doctors pleaded, the nurses pleaded, and finally, Americans started literally picketing and walking outside their offices," Edwards told about 260 people here today. "And they finally gave in, and notified the family that they'd pay for it. But then a few hours later, she died. Because it was too late."

The candidate paused for a second to let this sink in. Then his voice rose in indignation. "And people say to me that as president of the United States, they want me to sit at a table and negotiate with these people? Never. It will never happen."

 Edwards' universal health-care plan is similar to those of his main Democratic rivals, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. But he is positioning himself as the one who would be most willing to fight health-insurers and drug companies, which he says stand in the way of real changes.

The former North Carolina senator has vilified the leaders of such companies, saying they're only interested in ever-fatter profits. "How much money do they need? I mean, really."

He did not name Sarkisyan, but he added her to a list of people who he contends are having their lives destroyed by greedy corporations. He includes workers whose jobs have been shipped overseas, veterans who are homeless and families living in poverty.

"The very richest are getting much richer," he said. "The big companies are making more money than ever. But at what price? At what price? The promise of America being available for children. That's the price. The destruction of the middle class in this country. That the price."
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