The Truth-O-Meter Says:

"When Sen. Edwards ran in 2004, he wasn't for universal health care. I'm glad he is now."

Hillary Clinton on Thursday, November 15th, 2007 in Las Vegas

Edwards was worried about cost

In fending off attacks on her as someone who equivocates, Hillary Clinton singled out John Edwards for changing his mind on health care.

"When Sen. Edwards ran in 2004, he wasn't for universal health care. I'm glad he is now," she said.

Clinton is correct. In 2004, when he was running for president, Edwards favored universal coverage for children but stopped short of proposing universal coverage for adults. At the time, he was concerned that true universal coverage would be too costly. "What we ought to be doing is something that No. 1 is achievable and No. 2 is responsible," he said at a debate in Manchester, N.H., on July 28, 2003.

Edwards released a health care plan in February 2007 that mandates universal coverage. At a debate a few months later, moderator Tim Russert charged Edwards with changing his position.

"That's true and so has America," Edwards responded. "I proposed universal health care for children at that point, and what is clear from this presidential campaign is I was the first presidential candidate — others have followed me now, and that's a good thing, good thing for America — but I was the first presidential candidate to lay out a specific, truly universal health care plan. And the one thing I can tell you ... anybody who knows me knows I will never give up."

Edwards did release his plan before Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, but Dennis Kucinich released a proposal for universal health care before Edwards.

About this statement:

Published: Thursday, November 15th, 2007 at 12:00 a.m.

Subjects: Health Care


Washington Post, "Edwards Advances Health Insurance Plan in N.H.; Focus Is on Children, Low-Income Adults," July 29, 2003

MSNBC, Democratic Presidential Debate transcript, Sept. 26, 2007

The Kaiser Family Foundation, 2008 Presidential Candidate Health Care Proposals

Written by: Angie Drobnic Holan
Researched by: Angie Drobnic Holan
Edited by: Amy Hollyfield

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