Elizabeth Edwards, the wife of former Democratic presidential contender John Edwards, said she and John McCain have one thing in common: "Neither one of us would be covered by his health policy."
Edwards lodged her criticism of the presumptive Republican presidential nominee's proposal Saturday at the annual meeting of the Assn. of Health Care Journalists.
Under McCain's plan, insurance companies "wouldn't have to cover preexisting conditions like melanoma and breast cancer," she said.
McCain has been treated for melanoma, the most serious type of skin malignancy. Edwards in 2004 was diagnosed with breast cancer, and announced a year ago that it had returned and spread into her bones, meaning it no longer could be cured.
McCain's plan focuses on offering new tax breaks for individuals who buy their own health insurance. But critics say the Arizona senator's proposal avoids giving insurers requirements on whom they must cover and how much they may charge.
His plan would make it difficult for people with preexisting conditions, but who aren't covered by a government- or job-sponsored plan, to buy individual coverage, Edwards said.
Cancer survivors are routinely denied insurance when they try to purchase it as individuals, health experts say.