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Edwards would choose universal health care and lifting people out of poverty over deficit reduction

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DeepModem Mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-01-07 04:58 AM
Original message
Edwards would choose universal health care and lifting people out of poverty over deficit reduction
NYT/AP: Edwards Touts Investments in Health Care
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published: December 31, 2006

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Democratic presidential contender John Edwards says it is more important to invest in universal health care and lifting people out of poverty than to reduce the budget deficit.

The 2004 vice presidential nominee said in an interview broadcast Sunday said ''there is a tension'' between the two directions, but he has made his choice.

''If I were choosing now between which is more important, I think the investments are more important,'' he said on ABC's ''This Week.''

Edwards' proposal, which includes tax cuts and a million housing vouchers for the poor, may place him at odds with Democrats in charge of the congressional spending committees.

The incoming Senate and House Appropriations Committee chairmen, Sen., Robert Byrd of West Virginia and Rep. David Obey of Wisconsin, have announced a plan to fund most domestic agency accounts at 2006 levels....

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/us/AP-White-House-2008.html
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Selatius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-01-07 05:06 AM
Response to Original message
1. You can do both if you adopt single-payer universal health care.
Kucinich commissioned a study by the GAO in the early 1990s, and it said then that if the US transitioned to single-payer, Americans would not only save in out-of-pocket expenses but that it also could be done without raising taxes. The money saved could be used to help pay for deficit reduction. I am pretty sure if you go through and eliminate sweetheart deals and other special interest pork from the bills that come out of these committees, you can go a long way towards restoring annual budget surpluses, which could go towards paying into the Social Security Trust Fund and paying off the national debt. I'm not against raising taxes as long as the rich are the only ones subject to such taxes, but I felt I had to shoot down a potentially false dichotomy between universal health care and deficits.
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Jim Sagle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-01-07 05:23 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. That's a very good point.
Edited on Mon Jan-01-07 05:24 AM by Jim Sagle
But Paul Krugman raised another good point - that so long as the Republicans are radical big spenders, it makes no sense for the Democrats to act responsibly and pay down the debt and build up surpluses. The Republicans will simply steal it all.
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I_Make_Mistakes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-01-07 06:22 AM
Response to Reply #1
6. I worked for insurance companies in the past, look at their exec.
pay and profits, for ex. in 1988, the company did not have a good year because they only made 8bn. It's the executive pay (please incl. bonuses (which is where the real $$$$ is)), that is destroying our ability to succeed.

That, and the Wall St. expectations for quarterly earnings, what a ridiculous web we have weaved. I really do fear for our country because GREED has overtaken reason.
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TheFarseer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-01-07 10:46 AM
Response to Reply #1
8. That makes no sense
explain to me how providing additional services will save the US government money.
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Selatius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-01-07 12:55 PM
Response to Reply #8
12. Well, for one thing, if you don't allow Medicare to negotiate prices, you pay more.
Edited on Mon Jan-01-07 01:02 PM by Selatius
Under a single-payer system, you save money by invoking collective bargaining power. Under current laws, Medicare is not able to negotiate drug prices of all things, so we pay more now. Providing more services won't save money for the government in this arena, but it will save money for average people, which is where the bulk of the cost savings will come from. Those deficits will have to be reversed, and that debt has to be paid off, but it could likely be done at the same time through adjusting tax brackets and cutting pork.
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loyalsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-01-07 02:30 PM
Response to Reply #8
15. You get more tax payers
A significant amount of that money is going to pay for people who are required to maintain a state of poverty so that they can simply operate in the world.
If people with disabilities receive some basic services otherwise unavailable, they become tax payers.
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Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-01-07 11:59 AM
Response to Reply #1
11. A simple step like bringing younger, healthier people into Medicare
would accomplish two things:

1) Increase affordable access to preventive and maintenance care, which is what uninsured and under-insured people skimp on

2) Help with Medicare's financial state, since it's the rare, unfortunate younger person (say, age 50) who has the number and severity of medical problems that the average 80-year-old does. The younger enrollees would be paying premiums but using fewer services.
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ashling Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-01-07 05:07 AM
Response to Original message
2. Not only is this the right thing to do
but it would help the economy a hell of a lot more than giving tax cuts to the super rich.
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Leilani Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-01-07 05:23 AM
Response to Original message
4. Good to know info
Our country is going bankrupt, & that's not a priority?

One more reason I can't support him.
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luckyleftyme2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-01-07 05:35 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. it would reduce the defecit
Edited on Mon Jan-01-07 05:36 AM by luckyleftyme2
Since we don't have national health care-billions are being siphoned off in sweet heart deals.
It only stands to reason that if you got one hand tied behind your back you cannot compete.
How can american companies compete with countries that have national health-care. answer: they
can't.
the result is many of our major companies are foreign owned or crumbling from the burden of health ins.
what happens to the companies that sell to foreign buyers= they raid the pension funds and eliminate their share of health costs. who picks up the tab=YOU!
WAKE UP AMERICA -ITS TIME FOR NATIONAL HEALTH CARE=THE REST OF THE WORLD KNOWS IT =SO SHOULD WE!
WE'RE RUNNING ON SQUARE WHEELS!
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Leilani Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-01-07 06:25 AM
Response to Reply #5
7. I agree that the system does not work
& also, US firms find it harder to compete, & yes, something needs to be done.

But our country is about to go bust financially. I am hoping with the Dems taking over Congress, they will restore fiscal sanity.

The Boomers are about to retire, & entitlements are about to become a larger portion of the budget. We will have less disposable money in the budget, & to add new programs will not fly.

And if new programs are installed, major spending cuts or an increase in taxes, or both will be needed.
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citizen snips Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-01-07 10:50 AM
Response to Original message
9. "Socialist health care"
that is what the republicans will call it. Edwards should be ready to counter this ridicules attack.
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loyalsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-01-07 02:33 PM
Response to Reply #9
16. As they age.....
even republicans are finding it more and more difficult to deny that we as a country really need to do this.
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gristy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-01-07 11:00 AM
Response to Original message
10. Krugman voiced this view a week ago
Seemed to get a lot of play on the internets. Google "given a choice between cutting the deficit and spending more on good things like health care" and you'll see.

Democrats And The Deficit
By PAUL KRUGMAN
Published: December 22, 2006

Now that the Democrats have regained some power, they have to decide what to do. One of the biggest questions is whether the party should return to Rubinomics -- the doctrine, associated with former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin, that placed a very high priority on reducing the budget deficit.

The answer, I believe, is no. Mr. Rubin was one of the ablest Treasury secretaries in American history. But it's now clear that while Rubinomics made sense in terms of pure economics, it failed to take account of the ugly realities of contemporary American politics.

And the lesson of the last six years is that the Democrats shouldn't spend political capital trying to bring the deficit down. They should refrain from actions that make the deficit worse. But given a choice between cutting the deficit and spending more on good things like health care reform, they should choose the spending.

http://select.nytimes.com/search/restricted/article?res=F10F11FF3A550C718EDDAB0994DE404482
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Clarkie1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-01-07 02:13 PM
Response to Original message
13. This is a false choice.
We need to do both, and can do both with a more progressive tax code.

I disagree with Edwards completely on this.
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Mr_King Donating Member (354 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-01-07 07:03 PM
Response to Reply #13
18. Hmmmm...
And what is Mr. Clark's solution to the problem?
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Clarkie1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-02-07 12:51 AM
Response to Reply #18
21. I'm not sure what the "problem" is you are defining, but you can start here.
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Mr_King Donating Member (354 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-02-07 07:19 PM
Response to Reply #21
24. Ahhhh.....
It sounds a lot like Kerry's plan back in 04. "The Clark plan also would allow Americans without access to job-based insurance to purchase coverage through the same system that insures members of Congress."

Kerry's Health Care Plan back in 04:

"John Kerry believes that your familys health is just as important as any politicians in Washington. Thats why he will give every American access to the health care plan that the President and Members of Congress already have."

http://www.independentsforkerry.org/uploads/media/issue-healthcare.html

Sounds like Kerry's plan covers more people and people with job-based insurance would probably lose their insurance if they lost their jobs under the Clark plan.

Though I wondered what Clark's plan is for 2008 not 2004.

Still IMO Edwards' plan is the best.
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Clarkie1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-03-07 01:44 AM
Response to Reply #24
25. Well, most candidates haven't declared yet
Edited on Wed Jan-03-07 01:44 AM by Clarkie1
So your question is premature, to say the least.
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Mr_King Donating Member (354 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-03-07 03:33 AM
Response to Reply #25
28. I just asked a simple question.
Edited on Wed Jan-03-07 03:35 AM by Mr_King
People are quick to point out the problems but yet don't offer solutions to those problems.

No need to get defensive.

It still sounds like Kerry's plan from 04 though.
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FrenchieCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-03-07 01:51 AM
Response to Reply #18
26. Clark is currently endorsing transition to Single-Payer health system
In 2004, Clark stance on the issue: "Supports universal health coverage"
Clark said he supports universal health coverage that includes preventive care.
http://www.ontheissues.org/2004/Wesley_Clark_Health_Care.htm

As of January 2006, Wes Clark has talked about phasing into Single-Payer Health Care system in this country cause that's where we need to end up. Can't get there in one fell swoop because of the logistical nightmare that would involve though.......


Wes Clark Endorses Transition to Single-Payer
by Scott Shields, Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 05:34:10 PM EST

Even using the phrase "single-payer system" is a somewhat gutsy move on his part. As President Bush is set to announce his 'less insurance, not more' plan for HSAs, Clark is boldly willing to move the other way, not just accept compromise. Of course, he's talking about an eventual transition, but at least he acknowledges that it is the ultimate goal. The proposals many Democrats have put forward in the past have been pretty sound (like Kerry's call for government-sponsored catastrophic reinsurance), but too many seem to shy away from explicitly endorsing the one system that makes the most sense. I'm glad to see Clark join the ranks of Democrats who aren't afraid of speaking up.
http://www.mydd.com/story/2006/1/30/17455/5250
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citizen snips Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-01-07 07:50 PM
Response to Reply #13
19. Edwards wants tax cuts for the poor
I have no problem with that but only if the rich are being taxed.
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FrenchieCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-03-07 02:11 AM
Response to Reply #19
27. Clark proposed that back in 2004......through his tax plan.
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high density Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-01-07 02:21 PM
Response to Original message
14. We can't afford what we've currently bit off
Edited on Mon Jan-01-07 02:22 PM by high density
He's putting the cart before the horse... It's time to get spending and corporatism under control (i.e. end this fucking Iraq war) before we attempt universal health care. China owns us in pretty much every way now and I don't think that's a good thing.
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Ninja Jordan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-01-07 06:31 PM
Response to Reply #14
17. This is a good point. Edwards often....
talks about China as an economic threat, yet he (apparently) fails to see the role that America's trade deficit has in the equation. Prioritizing defcit reduction should be a clear plank of his platform IMO.
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DemBones DemBones Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-01-07 09:57 PM
Response to Original message
20. I'm with Edwards that people need help now. The GOP caused the deficit

so why should a Democratic president have to pay it down? Reagan caused a huge deficit, Clinton paid it down, Bush ran up another one. Clearly, we need to keep Republicans out of power! They are no longer fiscal conservatives, they are only interested in increasing profits for their cronies.
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FrenchieCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-02-07 01:14 AM
Response to Original message
22. So is Edwards "for" a single payer Health Insurance system.....
Cause that's not what "universal Health Care" means (and I don't recall any of the Dems running being against Universal Health Care in 2004.....)?

Also, what's his specific plan on changing how health care is currently run? Is it different from his '04 plan, or has he offered a new plan for his 2008 run?
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AlGore-08.com Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-02-07 02:25 AM
Response to Original message
23. I agree this is a false choice. And it's bad policy and bad politics
Running up the deficit for any reason does real harm to the economy. Those of us who were working adults in the 1990s know that a runaway federal deficit slows job growth, then hits a tipping point and we go into a major recession. And - - hello! - - any job loss will make his overall goal of combating poverty harder, not easier.

What he should have done is included a way to pay for his plan IN his plan, whether that was through shifting the tax burden or cutting spending in other areas. (Or he should have hired somebody who could come up with a way to pay for his plan.)

Coming out and saying that he's willing to run up the deficit (for any goal) just gives his opponents (primary as well as general) a great big "gimme". They can come out and support the same idea, only with a plan to pay for it. Which leaves Edwards looking like he's not ready for prime time.

P.S. What's with Krugman on this issue? Is he on crack?
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