Of all the presidential candidates, John Edwards probably has the most personal reasons to put health care front and center in his campaigning. Elizabeth Edwards’ breast cancer battle has been in the news off and on for nearly three years. And although he has admitted that they are lucky to have the best care possible for his wife, he has been very outspoken in his belief that everyone in the US should have access to the same care.
Edwards has been talking about revamping the health care system in the US for some time now. His latest point is that preventive health care would be mandatory in his universal health care plan. A major reason that people without health insurance fare worse than their insured counterparts in the face of a health crisis is that initial care is delayed. A person without insurance may wait until symptoms cannot be ignored before seeking treatment, whereas someone with insurance will be more likely to seek routine preventive care, where problems can be caught before physical symptoms manifest. Under Edwards’ proposal, everyone would be insured, and everyone would be required to see a doctor for routine preventive care. And perhaps if we catch medical problems earlier, an added bonus would be that they are less expensive to treat, in addition to being more curable.
For the estimated 768,000 people in Colorado without health insurance, universal health insurance being debated on the national campaign stage must be a welcome noise.