Dems At Cancer Forum
by Jeff Dinelli
There was a cancer forum today in Iowa for Democratic candidates sponsored by MSNBC and LIVESTRONG, the organization headed by Lance Armstrong. Sen. Clinton accused President Bush of essentially waging a war against science by blocking stem-cell research and for not funding the National Cancer Institute. "What really bothers me is that we are on the brink of so many medical breakthroughs right now and instead of pushing forward with the resources and the focus that is needed, the current administration has really called a halt in the war against cancer," Clinton said.
John Edwards spoke about his own wife's cancer and how deeply involved he already is with this disease. He warned that true reform will not be accomplished so long as health care lobbyists have their fingers in the pie, denying coverage to people who have insurance by sending out bizarre literature. "Here we have two lawyers, married, one of them diagnosed with breast cancer...and we get statements from the insurance company about what's covered and what's not. I have absolutely no idea what those things mean. I can't make any sense out of 'em. I don't know any reasonable person can," Edwards said.
Bill Richardson spoke of hindering insurance companies' current practices of denying coverage for those with pre-existing conditions, and of American citizens taking personal responsibility for their health.
I was able to see Dennis Kucinich's turn while I was having a PB&J at lunch and he was totally impressive, generating a lot of audience applause. He made sure to point out he's the only candidate with pending legislation in Congress to provide universal health care coverage through a not-for-profit system with no premiums, deductibles or co-payments. DK said the insurance lobbyists wouldn't bother him because it's well known that he's "not for sale." He said, "Cancer is an insidious and devastating disease, and the cost of treating it is beyond the reach of millions of Americans. As long as the for-profit insurance companies and pharmaceutical firms remain in control of how health care is delivered and rationed in this country, millions of people will be denied the care they need, and millions of others will face financial bankruptcy in an effort to save the lives of their loved ones." Good stuff, Dennis.
Sen. Obama said...well...actually Sen. Obama wasn't there. Biden, Gravel and Dodd were also no-shows. Tomorrow is the Republican's turn, but I heard only two of them have volunteered to show up.