Monday, July 31, 2006

Kerry calls for health insurance for all by 2012

BOSTON --Sen. John Kerry on Monday proposed requiring all Americans to have health insurance by 2012, "with the federal government guaranteeing they have the means to afford it."

The Massachusetts Democrat, his party's 2004 presidential nominee, repeated his campaign call for expanding the federal Medicaid program to cover children; creating a program to cover catastrophic cases so an employer providing insurance doesn't have to pass the cost to his other workers, and; offering Americans the ability to buy into the same insurance program used by federal workers such as members of Congress.

Kerry proposes to pay for the program by repealing tax cuts enacted during the Bush administration that benefit those earning over $200,000 annually. He did not immediately elaborate on how he would enact his insurance mandate.

"One of my biggest regrets is that fear talk trumped the health care walk, and that we are less safe abroad and less healthy at home because of that," said the prepared text of a speech Kerry planned to deliver at midday at Faneuil Hall. The senator has already delivered two other speeches at the Revolutionary War meeting house laying the ground work for a second presidential campaign.

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