Elizabeth Edwards on Health Policy
Elizabeth Edwards, wife of the former senator and presidential candidate, is bringing her first-hand experience to the public policy debate about America's ailing health-care system.
First diagnosed with breast cancer in October 2004, Edwards announced in early 2007 that the cancer had returned and spread to her bones. Doctors say it is not curable.
In a recent appearance at George Washington University, she criticized insurance companies for being shortsighted about costs, focusing on immediate savings that may cost much more in the long run.
"I had a bad mammogram in the 1980s and then for a long period of time I didn't have any mammograms," she said.. "So they thought, 'That's all right with us, you know. Save us a couple hundred dollars when she doesn't get that mammogram.' Only they're paying that every couple weeks now."
She did not explain why she stopped getting mammograms for several years. Annual mammograms are recommended for women beginning at age 40 -- earlier if there are other known risk factors or a family history of cancer. Overall, she advocates a greater emphasis on prevention. "We've just got our priorities all wrong," she said.
A proponent of universal coverage, Edwards said she is not satisified with either of the presidential candidates' plans for health reform. But she has endorsed Democrat Barack Obama and praised him for promises to cover every child.
Edwards, a lawyer who is now a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, dismissed arguments that consumers ought to be making more of their medical decisions, saying the subject is far too complicated.
"I'm unequipped -- and I feel like I spend a lot of my time thinking about health care," she said
-- Ceci Connolly
Posted by: win_harrington | November 4, 2008 8:25 AM | Report abuse
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