John Edwards unveils an ambitious plan to fight HIV/AIDS. The Democratic presidential candidate calls for $50 billion over five years and would expand Medicaid to cover HIV-positive people before they progress to AIDS or are otherwise disabled. The senator's hits all the right notes 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 black or Latino.
Edwards also discussed the need for universal health care: "We can't talk seriously about ending HIV/AIDS without guaranteeing health for every single man, woman and child in America. If you don't have health insuranceâgood health insuranceâyou are substantially more likely to die from this disease." The candidate also proposes worldwide, universal access to anti-retrovirals.
Edwards slammed President George W. Bush's threatened veto of a proposed expansion of the Children's Health Insurance Program for working poor families. "Here is health insurance for children who have no health insurance. I canât even imagine what the argument is honestly...I just donât think this is where America is. Iâm not sure exactly what the presidentâs thinking."
Some Background ...
News: Bush to Veto Kids Health care [R20]
Primetime Reports Black HIV Epidemic [After Elton]
Edwards: Universal Coverage [R20]
Edwards Campaign Launches 12-City Poverty Tour [R20]
Democratic Debate Addresses Homophobia, Race [R20]
"Out of Control: AIDS in Black America" [R20]
Phill Wilson: Candidates Must Address HIV/AIDS [R20]
POZ Examines Race and the Down Low [R20]
HIV Rates Rise Among NYC Black Gay Men [R20]