Elizabeth Edwards: "Reform Health Care Responsibly, Morally, and Aggressively."

As today marked the 30th anniversary of the “War on Cancer,” Elizabeth Edwards and Lance Armstrong appeared at a US Senate Committee Panel to push for a renewed fight against cancer.

Elizabeth Edwards, one of the nation’s most outspoken and effective advocates for universal healthcare coverage, takes this issue very personally. A survivor of breast cancer, Elizabeth told a panel led by Senator Ted Kennedy, “…we’ve chosen as a nation to turn our backs on some of us who have the disease. I urge you to reform health care responsibly, morally, and aggressively.”

Elizabeth opened her testimony by describing an interaction that she had with a mother who had a lump in her breast but was afraid to get it checked out because she did not have health coverage. As Elizabeth noted, those who are uninsured are "more likely to die within the five year period." Elizabeth went on to discuss the impediments to adequate health insurance, cancer prevention, and early detection aspects.

Watch Elizabeth Edwards’ main testimony here:

Elizabeth on Cancer Prevention and Detection

Elizabeth Edwards and Lance Armstrong are backing legislation “sponsored by Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., and Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson, R-Texas, to create a more comprehensive approach to fighting cancer.”

The measure seeks to improve the coordination of cancer research, prevention and treatment while giving more money to the National Cancer Institute and other public research agencies.

"We think the American people want action - and they deserve action," said Kennedy. "It's a complex disease and it requires comprehensive strategies to fight it."

Lance Armstrong, a survivor of metastasized testicular cancer, told the panel that “for us to win, we also have to be ruthless and renlentless.”

"This is a major fight." This is a major war. And this is something, as I said, it doesn't care if you're Republican or you're Democrat, if you're young or you're old, if you're black or you're white, Native American, you're rich or you're poor. It comes and it comes hard. And it is ruthless and it is relentless. And for us to win, we also have to be ruthless and relentless. And so I encourage all of us to do that. Renew the war on cancer, renew a comprehensive war on cancer, and ultimately make sure that our kids and our grandkids don't have to face this."

Watch Lance Armstrong’s testimony here:

With healthcare coverage being a top issue of the campaign season, there is no better time to “whisper in the right person’s ear” about this issue. Both Democratic Presidential candidates, Obama and Clinton aim to provide healthcare coverage for all while Republican Presidential candidate McCain’s disastrous healthcare plan “will be prohibitively expensive or gone if you have a pre-existing condition” Only those who are “healthy and wealthy” will benefit from McCain’s plan.

Overall, the McCain plan would raise taxes on workers in an effort to eviscerate the current health care system in the name of free market idolatry. To the extent it fails to completely destroy the existing system--as McCain's advisor anticipates--it would saddle the average family with $24oo in extra taxes to penalize them for having employer-sponsored care. And if the McCain plan succeeded in killing the current system, it would leave tens of millions unable to buy any care, until he comes up with some new safety net, details to be provided later, i.e. never.
McCain’s HealthCare Plan

IOW, McCain is willing to give the corporate industries a “free ride on the backs of sick people.” As Elizabeth Edwards stated today, "this is an issue that has no political boundaries, it has moral boundaries."

Whisper it in the right person's ear.