CONCORD - Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards said it's "absolute nonsense" to suggest he's grandstanding with his vow to take government health coverage away from Congress if it fails to adopt a plan that insures all Americans.
"It is nonsense, absolute nonsense. We are going to have to have someone who goes in and shakes things up," Edwards said Monday during "The Exchange with Laura Knoy" on New Hampshire Public Radio.
Critics of the former North Carolina senator point out it would take a change in federal law, not an executive order, to remove health care from Congress, which has the same plan as all federal government employees.
Health care has emerged as the most important domestic issue to New Hampshire voters behind only the war in Iraq in recent, statewide surveys.
Edwards said his plan covers all Americans, while pointing out that under the plan of his primary rival, Illinois Sen. Barack Obama, insurance would be voluntary.
"He thinks his plan is better. My health-care plan mandates coverage. It is truly universal. His is different. It does not," Edwards said.
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