Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.) became the latest Democratic presidential candidate to take aim at the nation's healthcare system by unveiling a wide-ranging, $53 billion plan today. Edwards' plan seeks to provide coverage to 21 million Americans, lower overall healthcare spending and improve the quality of care. The centerpiece of his proposal calls for the coverage of the nation's 12 million uninsured children with the help of a tax credit for families with children. The amount of the credit would depend on income and family size, and is available for a family of four making less than $75,000 per year. For families with more than four members, the income limit is $100,000. All children under 21 would be required to have insurance. His plan also includes $25 billion in tax credits to provide coverage for more than 8 million uninsured adults by creating more insurance options for small business owners and their employees. Edwards also would provide funding to states to include adults making up to 250% of poverty in Medicaid. The senator's plan also calls for the creation of a national database of patient medical records allowing for portability of such records. The former trial lawyer also aims to cut down on frivolous malpractice lawsuits by requiring a doctor to attest that real malpractice has occurred before a suit can be filed. -- by Tony Fong
Edwards proposes tax credits for uninsured
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