John Edwards on Health Care and Lawyers

April 6, 2005

Former Senator and VP candidate John Edwards, speaking at a national health care symposium at an event sponsored by Arizona State University, said all kids need to be insured. That, he said, would improve preventive care and reduce costly emergency services.

I’m sure if I’m wrong some medical practitioner will tell me, but I have five kids who we regularly take to the doctor and can’t think of one time we’ve been spared a trip to the emergency room. No matter what the doctor does in the exam — which is usually, thank goodness, just checking them over and saying they’re OK — that has ever prevented our trips to the emergency room — and we’ve had plenty of those late night trips. Perhaps what Edwards is talking about is

that the uninsured only see doctors in the emergency room because they can’t get care elsewhere. That is probably true, and it is true that emergency care costs more. But I still doubt that the reason the uninsured end up in the emergency room is because they lacked preventive care. I’m all for preventive care, but I still would wager that most uninsured children end up in the emergency room for conditions that might not have been preventable with regular checkups. If I’m wrong, so be it. But at least, by law, all people who need health care in this country are treated by hospitals.

Edwards also blamed lawyers for driving up health care costs through frivolous lawsuits. You just have to wonder about this guy’s sincerity. Well, actually you don’t. But I’m just curious whether any frivolous lawsuit is as frivolous as his claim to a jury that he was able to channel with a dead person. There is shamelessness and there is shamelessness.

Query: If Johnnie is touting universal health coverage for kids, how does he intend to distinguish himself from John Kerry or Hillary, for that matter, in 2008? He’s going to have to find a new issue — quick. The other two own it.