Edwards to Officials: Pass Universal Health or Lose Your Coverage

November 14, 2007 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - Under a plan being unveiled by Democratic presidential hopeful John Edwards, Congressional lawmakers and members of the next administration will lose their health coverage if they do not approve a universal health plan within six months.

A new Edwards commercial reflecting the new position echoes a theme Edwards sounded at a Democratic fundraising dinner last weekend, according to an Associated Press news report.

“When I’m president I’m going to say to members of Congress and members of my administration, including my Cabinet: ‘I’m glad that you have health care coverage and your family has health care coverage,'” Edwards says in the new commercial airing in Iowa. “‘But if you don’t pass universal health care by July of 2009 – in six months – I’m going to use my power as president to take your health care away from you.'”

Also Edwards will propose spending $2 billion a year to help states create family leave programs that offer workers at least eight weeks of paid time off to care for a newborn or an ill family member, according to the news report. The proposal is similar to those offered by his rivals, but Edwards would put up more money. New York Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton’s plan calls for $1 billion a year; Illinois Senator Barack Obama’s proposal calls for $1.5 billion.

Edwards said he also would set a national goal of eight weeks of paid leave for all by 2014 and would require all businesses to offer their workers a minimum of seven paid sick days a year, the news report said.