"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.



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