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Edwards Threatens to Strip Health Care Benefits From Members of Congress

John Edwards is airing a new ad in Iowa. In it he repeats the threat to use presidential powers to take away health care coverage from his cabinet and from Congress if they cannot provide universal health care coverage by July 2009.

"There's no excuse for politicians in Washington having health care, when you don't have health care," Edwards says.

Some have questioned whether Edwards' threat to take away the health care of members of Congress violates the 27th Amendment, which states that "No Law, varying the compensation for the services of the Senators and Representatives, shall take effect, until an election of Representatives shall have intervened.

What do you think? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.

-- Ed O'Keefe

By Ed O'Keefe |  November 13, 2007; 11:53 AM ET Ad Watch , John Edwards
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if this admin/body of lawmakers cannot get a plan together to provide insurance coverage to all AND implement it, then i must agree with Edwards. the "plan" must be at least as good as what "they" receive. our lawmakers are too used to being treated like royalty and have abused the privilege of their office (thats our fault)and IF "they" did NOT hold themselves to a higher standard than the public they serve, we would be in a lot better shape as a nation. literally.

Posted by: AJ | November 14, 2007 10:06 AM

Edwards is correct on Healthcare. I am not a proponent of a National Healthcare program run by the government. Just take a look at our VA Hospitals to see how the government would run a health program. There are better solutions. In addition to healthcare, congress should also have to participant in the Social Security system and have their retirement benefits match those of every other citizen. If there daily lives mirrored those of the citizens they were elected to represent,they would have a totally different urgency to get things done. They voted benefits for themselves they are richer than the benefits of the mostly highly paid Executives running the largest corporations in this country. In my lifetime, I do not remember a ballot question where we were asked to vote for a special healthcare and retirement program for our elected officials. Right now they are the problem because they have no urgency to develop a solution.

Posted by: Tony Pascazio | November 16, 2007 11:54 AM

I absolutely agree w/ Sen. Edwards & his position on universal healthcare. I appreciate the fact that he has publically acknowledged the lack of fairness & consistency - regarding the issue of healthcare coverage. (as it pertains to congress)

Members of congress receive healthcare coverage (& hefty pensions) for life. That's truly OUTRAGEOUS. I'm yet to meet an employer that will continue to foot my medical expenses once I leave my job.

Yet, there are MILLIONS of American families struggling with this issue. Either they fall into the categoies of 1) the un/underinsured or 2) are INSURED, but are being screwed over by their insurace providers.

If politicians are entitled to receive such mack-daddy insurance coverage - THEN WHY CAN'T WE??

I feel we are entitled to & deserve accountability from our elected officials. That also means - we need someone in the white house willing to challenge their job performance. And I think suspending their pay raises & insurance coverage UNTIL they introduce AND pass legislation that regulates healthcare coverage & puts a cap on the OUTRAGEOUS profits made by legalized drug dealers (I mean pharmaceutical companies) is the way to go.

We definitely need to elect someone that dismisses special interest & actually starts showing concern for the average American family. And if the 1st step to reform means forcing congress to foot their own healthcare expenses - THEN SO BE IT!!! I definitely won't lose an ounce of sleep.

Posted by: a beautiful mind | November 16, 2007 1:02 PM

Changing the compensation of members of Congress requires legislation. Edwards, as President, can sign legislation into law, but he cannot unilaterally impose it.

Health benefits are "compensation" for services rendered. Edwards plan not only violates the 27th amendment, it violates the Constitution's Separation of Powers. Edwards -- not a fool -- likely knows this. What kind of man does this sort of useless promising make him?

Posted by: Appalled Moderate | November 16, 2007 2:03 PM

I am for stem cell research and further advanement of health care. How does Mr. Edwards feel about healthcare and research inluding further development of research in the health care profession in our country?

Posted by: gail baker | November 22, 2007 10:21 AM

I find it very frightening that a Presidential hopeful is already making promises he does not have the power or ability to deep when or if he would become president. As previously stated there is a seperation of powers, and that ammendment is there for a reason. Congress should not be bullied.

Posted by: speak the truth | December 1, 2007 10:33 AM

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