POLITICS
04/10/2008 05:12 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Elizabeth Edwards: Favors Clinton's Health Plan, Says Obama's 'Not Universal,' Slams McCain's As Ineffective

Elizabeth Edwards continued her passionate advocacy of universal health care on today's morning shows, appearing on both The Today Show and Morning Joe. Edwards noted her preference for the health care plan devised by Hillary Clinton, stating that it's mandated coverage made it the only truly "universal" health plan between Clinton and Barack Obama: "It means every American has to be covered. Senator Obama means every child has to be covered. I think we need to go the full nine yards." Edwards also continued to criticize the health care plan put forth by John McCain, saying, "He's the beneficiary of some great government programs. But in terms of private insurance, he would not be guaranteed coverage under his own plan. Neither would I or anybody with a pre-existing condition."

EDWARDS: Senator McCain has a health care policy that frankly does not guarantee him or me or a lot of Americans, certainly the people I'm going to go see this morning to get my treatment next to this morning, those people are not guaranteed treatment, not guaranteed insurance coverage.

BRZEZINSKI: So you're saying that McCain wouldn't get coverage under his own plan?

EDWARDS: He's the beneficiary of some great government programs. But in terms of private insurance, he would not be guaranteed coverage under his own plan. Neither would I or anybody with a pre-existing condition. Imagine how many families that involves across this country.
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SCARBOROUGH: Which plan is better? Which plan covers more Americans? The Clinton plan or the Obama plan?

EDWARDS: In my view, the Clinton plan provides, because it provides a mandate. It means every American has to be covered. Senator Obama means every child has to be covered. I think we need to go the full nine yards and make certain we have -- I'm not very good at cliches, is that the cliche. It ought to be ten yards, wouldn't it?

SCARBOROUGH: Well, not if it's fourth and nine.

EDWARDS: In any event, we want to make certain that every American is covered. In fact, this is also -- Senator McCain does not cover every American. The way that you really keep down the costs of health insurance is that you have universality. You're still going to have everybody cost shifting, trying to cover the cost of the uninsured or cover the cost of people who have an exclusion that doesn't cover this particular condition. You're always going to have this cost-shifting, and that keeps costs up -- to keep costs down, you really need everybody covered.

[WATCH.]

When asked about the possibility of forthcoming endorsements from either her or husband John, Edwards begged off, saying, "We believe both of these candidates would make fine presidents and fine nominees for the party and certainly, particularly with respect to health care, a significant improvement over John McCain and we think our endorsement may be a little less important than y'all do." Edwards also disputed reports of lingering rancor between she, her husband, and Senator Obama: "I did not find him condescending. He was charming...as was Senator Clinton, and I have absolutely no idea where this report comes from."

In related news, Elizabeth Edwards will serve as a visiting fellow to Harvard's Kennedy School of Government next week.