Monday, July 31, 2006

Kerry proposes universal coverage by 2012

As a recently uninsured person, I have a new appreciation for how important health care is. I have catastrophic coverage to protect against anything major, but I am paying out of my own pocket and will probably put off any regularly scheduled preventative trips to the doctor until I can regain employee sponsored coverage. Hopefully this is only temporary, and I remain healthy during this period, but now I understand the dilemma facing millions of American families. It’s not right.

Kerry is leading on this issue within his own party and clearly ahead of the Republican party on this important issue. -IFK Editor

Read full text: Kerry proposes universal coverage by 2012

BOSTON - Sen. John Kerry on Monday proposed requiring all Americans to have health insurance by 2012, "with the federal government guaranteeing that they have the means to afford it."

The Massachusetts Democrat, whose name is figuring prominently in 2008 White House speculation, repeated his 2004 presidential campaign call for expanding the federal Medicaid program to cover children. He also proposed creating a program to cover catastrophic cases so an employer providing insurance doesn't have to pass the cost to his other workers, and; offering Americans the ability to buy into the same insurance program used by federal workers such as members of Congress.

Kerry proposes to pay for the program by repealing tax cuts enacted during the Bush administration that benefit those earning over $200,000 annually. He did not immediately elaborate on how he would enact his insurance mandate, but one aid said he would do so with a requirement written into the legislation spelling out that the government covers anyone who is uninsured.

"One of my biggest regrets is that fear talk trumped the health care walk, and that we are less safe abroad and less healthy at home because of that," Kerry told a crowd of several hundred during a midday speech at Faneuil Hall. The senator had previously delivered two other speeches at the Revolutionary War meeting house laying the ground work for a second presidential campaign.


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