September 24th, 2007
02:30 PM ET
15 years ago

Edwards announces HIV/AIDS plan

Edwards unveiled his plan to combat HIV/AIDS Monday.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Trying to reclaim the health care spotlight from campaign rival Hillary Clinton, Democratic presidential hopeful John Edwards unveiled his plan to combat HIV/AIDS during an appearance at the Families USA/Kaiser Foundation Health Care Forum on Monday in Washington, D.C.

The former North Carolina senator argued that, in order to better combat HIV/AIDS domestically, Medicaid needs to provide more extensive coverage for HIV-related treatment. He also advocated teaching age-appropriate sex education and ending the federal ban on needle exchange programs. Turning his attention to the worldwide scale of the epidemic, Edwards argued that the United States should invest an additional $50 billion in global HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment over a five-year period. Additionally, he proposed bypassing the FDA and relying on the World Health Organization to provide approval for new AIDS drugs in the developing world.

The former senator used the occasion to highlight the racial disparity in new rates of HIV/AIDS infection. “This is a disease that hits people of color much harder than others,” he said, explaining that, in the U.S., two out of every three newly diagnosed cases are with Americans of color.

Edwards also took advantage of the forum to slam President Bush’s threatened veto of a proposed expansion of the joint state-federal children’s health insurance program. “Here is health insurance for children who have no health insurance,” said Edwards. “I can’t even imagine what the argument is honestly…. I just don’t think this is where America is. I’m not sure exactly what the president’s thinking.”

Edwards, who was a trial lawyer before seeking elective office, took issue with the belief that legal malpractice judgments are largely responsible for rising health care costs. He dismissed that particular argument as “mostly insurance company-driven hysteria.” Edwards claimed that the “reality is that the costs associated with legal cases is well under one percent of [total costs in the] health care system.” Nevertheless, the presidential hopeful did unveil a proposal to contain legal malpractice costs by placing more responsibility on lawyers to file only cases with substantial legal merit.

In a short press conference after the forum, Edwards criticized the health care reform proposals of the GOP White House hopefuls. “None of them seem serious to me,” he said. “They’re not universal. They’re not comprehensive health care reform. They seem to be a reiteration of the same old, tired Republican efforts of the past, [such as] health savings accounts.”

–CNN’s Silvio Carillo and Martina Stewart

Filed under: John Edwards
soundoff (23 Responses)
  1. Jennifer, Houston, TX

    Trying to steal the spotlight from Hillary Clinton? Did he mention that? Any chance he's been working on this plan for awhile, and planned on releasing it around this time?

    Nice editorializing, CNN.

    September 24, 2007 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  2. laurinda,ny

    Edwards and his wife are no longer considered by anyone to be in the running. His wife was to rude, he squandered money on his hair cuts and he is actually starting to resemble a goldfish when he talks. Just watch his mouth.

    September 24, 2007 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  3. Chris, Middletown, CT

    "should invest an additional $50 billion " – where does his "free" money come from?? I mean when he was a lawyer – and sued insurance companies – we knew where that "free" money came from....WAIT A MINUTE – I just put that together – insurance is so expensive because of scumbag lawyers like people ...the money isn't free – his house and private jet are paid for from the insurance policies you pay...and a "additional 50 billion" – would come from higher taxes....its the left wing way of and spend baby! We need a moderate – fiscally conservative and socially liberal – Giuliani...theres only one running on either side.

    September 24, 2007 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  4. Wilson Tramtetter, Phila., PA

    Ok...we all know your father was a millworker...
    Next constituency to pander to,
    'people of color'
    I sincerely hope that no one buys your calculated act.
    I certainly don't.

    September 24, 2007 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  5. Steve, Indianapolis, IN

    And for Edwards next plan he plans to throw $250 billion into the ocean. Edwards says about his plan, "The environment is precious, and we need to make an investment in it."

    September 24, 2007 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  6. Kyle, Pasadena, CA

    Since when was Giuliana a moderate? last I looked he has made a hard rightward dash. One might even say he's a flip-flopper. His pandering appearance at NRA meeting is recent strong evidence of such.

    September 24, 2007 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  7. Ed,Ellenville,New York

    Rudy is a liberal,not a moderate.His entire facade is just a phony.I remember his tenure as mayor and it wasn't anything like the persona that he's pushing now.I hope he gets the red nomination because if the choice is between two liberals,America wins.Rudy will swing so far left that there will be gay weddings on the white house lawn.It's Hillary that might be too hawkish.Rudy's a powderpuff.

    September 24, 2007 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  8. portland, Oregon

    I think Mr Trump is right but it doesn't take much brain power to realize that Bush has made one big mess and cost a lot of life's.Don't expect the next president no matter who it is to clean this mess up in a short time if ever. My vote will be going to the Clinton's, I did real well when Bill was in office and I think his wife will do very well.
    Chuck Peterson

    September 24, 2007 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  9. Adam, Boston, Mass.

    Okay, enough Edward's bashing everyone. Fmr. Sen. Edwards is the smartest candidate running for the Democrats, and the only one with actual foresight into the future. While the plan sound expensive, it is necessary to fight the plague, yes plague, that is HIV/Aids.

    Healthcare, education, Iraq, these are the policies that will make up the 2008 election, and John Edward's is the only one with a sensible plan for each.

    Mr. Edwards, if America ever needed you , now is the time.

    September 24, 2007 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  10. Kimberly, Ann Arbor, MI

    I think John Edwards is an intelligent man who would make an excellent President for the United States. I also believe that his comments are not far off. Healthcare, our educational system, the national debt, Iraq, and much more are issues that need to be tackled. Nothing bad comes from an open forum of both parties looking for a solution or at a minimum a plan to start the solution to these issues. We went from a nation respected to a nation dis-respected. I for one look forward to Mr. Edwards name on the ballot!

    September 24, 2007 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  11. Julie, Atlanta, GA

    Yes, Adam...Now is most certainly the time.

    The media has all but crowned Hillary...NOT SO FAST, I say.

    John Edwards' policies are so right on...The only choice for the other candidates is to cut/paste his thoughtful ideas. UGH...After the disastrous elections of 00 and 04, isn't it past time for a president we can actually BE PROUD OF? One we can actually LOOK UP TO?

    America deserves an Edwards administration.

    GO JOHN GO!!!

    September 24, 2007 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  12. Raymond, El Paso TX

    I find it amusing to see comments portraying Democrats as a tax and spend bunch any time they propose viable solutions to the problems we face. Yet, they deny the Republican propensity to spend and spend some more, cut taxes but only for the rich, support corporate welfare, trickle-down economics and let the bills keep piling up for future middle-class generations to pay. In fact their answer to every problem continues to be "let big business dictate the solutions".

    The U.S. needs a Democrat in the WH right now and judging by the last mid-term election, this is also what the majority of Americans think.

    September 24, 2007 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  13. AJ; Montpelier, VT

    Oh please, Edwards "AIDS/HIV Plan" has about as much chance of seeing the light of day as a pig has of sprouting wings a flying. Mr. Edwards is a homophobic bigot that would be content to have the entire gay population perish of AIDS. An Edwards administration would do nothing more that it was forced to do on the HIV/AIDS front, regardless of the fact that it is not a disease that discriminates as to whom it strikes.

    September 25, 2007 08:29 am at 8:29 am |
  14. Laura - Tulsa OK

    AIDS-HIV is one condition that largely is the result of choice; the lifestyle contributing to AIDS is a choice. Im not favoring paying $50 mill in tax money for that.

    September 25, 2007 08:51 am at 8:51 am |
  15. TW. Indianapolis, IN

    AJ. Sorry you are dead wrong about John Edwards.

    September 25, 2007 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  16. David, Arlington, VA

    Laura, what lifestyle are you referring to in your enlightened comments on HIV/AIDS (which, by the way, is a disease, not a "condition")? You don't favor spending tax dollars on prevention, treatment, and working towards a cure because it results from what you describe as a lifestyle or choices? Perhaps you feel the same way about certain cancers or heart disease, which can result from the choices people make when they eat poorly or don't exercise. Scientific and medical advancements should not be subverted by such narrow-minded thinking.

    September 25, 2007 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  17. Matt, North Carolina

    For those who are concerned about the cost of Mr. Edwards plans for healthcare, aid/hiv,education plans and their costs, where is your concern for the money we are spending on the opened ended war in Iraq? We have spent $454 Billion in Iraq by some estimates. Also, if a Dr. improperly performs a surgery on you and harms your quality of life or kills you, you shouldn't be able to file a malpractice lawsuit? Yeah that sure does sound like a good idea! Right??

    September 25, 2007 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  18. Chris, Middletown, CT

    I keep thinking by pointing out that Hillary and the rest of the Democrats pack is left wing (which would represent 30% of the party) – and the Republican pack (except Giuliani) is all right wing...that we might need a moderate...someone who doesn't embrace the Christian Right Wing....nor do they pander to the Unions and the left that point...there is one candidate....and thats Giuliani – to say that he's a liberal....or a conservative is so far from the truth – he is pro choice and fiscally conservative – (that makes him a moderate) – we don't need the left....nor do we need the right – everyone looking to go back to the Bill Clinton era...need to understand that he is a left winger...who was forced to be a moderate after the makeup of the senate and the house was turned over to the Republicans....a forced moderate is not what we need....we need an actual moderate....thats why Rudy will win in 2008...hands down

    September 25, 2007 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  19. Maurice Harris - Germantown, MD

    HIV/AIDS is a racist disease ? Someone go inform Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson & co.

    I'm fine with John Edwards' proposal to help combat a global epidemic. But the money to fund this project had better come from spending cuts and/or tax increases, not "created out of thin air", Bush-style.

    September 25, 2007 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  20. Susan, Fort Pierce, Florida

    John Edwards is THE MAN! Hillary is THE WOMAN! Lets go for a Clinton/Edwards ticket!!

    September 25, 2007 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  21. ryan indianapolis

    This man makes me sick,, he lives in a 28,000 square foot house and his platform is Poverty and ONE AMERICA...what a lil wimpy sell out

    September 25, 2007 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  22. Laura - Tulsa, OK

    OH, John Edwards is a real "man of the people". Surely he could find a haircut for less than $400. Supercuts charges less than $20, he could give the remaining $380 to a Katrina charity.

    September 25, 2007 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  23. AJ; Montpelier, VT

    Laura from Tulsa gets the dunce of the year award!! Condition of choice? Maybe if she hugs her bible tightly all of "those people" will just disappear. Or better yet, if nothing is done about AIDS they will just all die an agonizing death, that'll teach 'em huh Laura?

    September 26, 2007 08:43 am at 8:43 am |