Monday, July 31, 2006

John Kerry Lays Out Health Care Plan, Calls for Universal Health Care Coverage by 2012

In a speech today at Boston's Faneuil Hall, Senator John Kerry put forth his comprehensive health care plan, which lowers the cost of and improves quality of health care, covers every child in America, and ensures that every American has access to the same type of health care that members of Congress give themselves.

Kerry’s plan will guarantee that every American has health insurance by 2012.

A fact sheet on Kerry’s plan is available here. Below are John Kerry’s remarks as prepared for delivery:

“Health Care for All Americans”
Senator John Kerry
July 31, 2006
Faneuil Hall, Boston, Massachusetts

Faneuil Hall, as you know, is more than an historic building. This birthplace of American freedom has also been a keeper of the American conscience. Here, where we gather today, abolitionists dreamed of and demanded a nation that would live out its founding ideal that all are created equal. From the fight for women’s suffrage to the fight against Fascism, from McCarthyism to civil rights to Vietnam, these walls have rung with words of honor, dissent, courage, and principle.

We strive to live up to that heritage even if we sometimes fall short. Each time I come here, I feel that obligation and that privilege.

This is the place where I began my presidential campaign—and the place where I ended it almost two years ago. But I said then that we had “to make a difference… to stand true to our best hopes and ideals.”

And since then I have returned to Faneuil Hall to speak the truth that the Iraq War was rooted in deception and waged with self-deception—that saving lives is more important than saving face—that we must offer the leadership that makes America more secure and brings our forces home from the wrong war in the wrong place at the wrong time.

I have returned here also to bear witness to the ideal that dissent is not a threat to-- but the very safeguard of -- democracy—that it is right to stand up to a President who ignores the Constitution and Vice President who acts as if he had never read it—to insist that our leaders are strongest when they believe the future belongs not to fear but to freedom; and that America is strongest when we don’t just permit free speech, but we listen to it.

Last month here in the cradle of American independence, I joined you to set out a strategy to make America energy independent-- to propose specific steps for an energy revolution as far-reaching as the industrial revolution. And to oppose the procrastination, the Washington evasion and the Cheney-run secret task forces by and for big oil.

Now, today, I return to discuss health care—which is not only the great unfinished business of half a century, but a matter of fundamental moral values. I would remind those who invoke values for their own narrow political purposes that the Scriptures do not command us to “heal the sick” only if they have the money to pay for it.



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