Edwards proposes $120B universal health plan

Democratic presidential hopeful John Edwards has done what it seems all presidential candidates will need to do this season. He's come out with a broad-based plan to expand health coverage, a plan which would, in his case, require all employers to provide their employees with health care coverage.

In addition to requiring employers to pony up, his plan would also take other steps currently contemplated by state and federal proposals, such as expanding Medicaid, offering tax credits and focusing on healthcare cost containment. Interestingly, Edwards would also create regional "Health Markets," giving U.S. citizens the chance to purchase group health insurance, a move which hints at the proposals made by the Clintons back in the 90s. Once these changes are in place, all citizens would be required to carry health coverage. The idea would be to see to it that all U.S. citizens had health coverage by 2012.

A potentially controversial part of Edwards' plan is that it would be paid for, in part, by raising taxes on households making at least $200,000 annually, a step which would reverse income-tax cuts for this bracket enacted in 2001.

To learn more about Edwards' proposals:
- read this piece in the Des Moines Register
review Edwards' proposal featured on his campaign Web site