Politics & Government

Elizabeth Edwards calls McCain plan 'dangerous'

CARRBORO - Elizabeth Edwards called presidential candidate Sen. John McCain's proposed health care plan "truly dangerous to our health-care system" at a round table discussion Wednesday.

Her comments were accompanied by a report asserting roughly 610,000 North Carolinians would lose employer-sponsored health insurance under McCain's plan.

The report was written by the Center for American Progress Action Fund, a self-described progressive Washington think tank, where Edwards is a senior fellow. It is supported by Change to Win, a coalition of U.S. labor unions formed in 2005 that is backing presidential candidate Barack Obama.

The report says McCain's proposal to eliminate employer health-care tax benefits would cause many small businesses to drop group insurance. It also suggests insurance companies would cover only individuals without expensive health problems and would be able to avoid state regulations intended to ensure a higher standard of coverage.

Edwards led a discussion at Piedmont Health Services Carrboro Community Health Center, where more than half the patients lack insurance.

State Rep. Verla Insko, a Chapel Hill Democrat; State Sen. Ellie Kinnaird, an Orange County Democrat; Carl Taylor, Piedmont Health Services' pharmacy director; David Tempest, lead provider at the Moncure Community Health Center; and Ida Fikes, a user of the center's services, joined Edwards at the table.

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