Health Plan :: Edwards releases universal health coverage plan

Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards on Monday proposed a universal health coverage plan that would raise taxes and impose health insurance mandates on employers.

Edwards said the plan would provide coverage by 2012 for the estimated 47 million uninsured U.S. residents and would cost between $90 billion and $120 billion per year.

Under the plan, employers would be required to provide health insurance for employees or contribute 6% of their payrolls to a fund that would help individuals purchase their own insurance.

The proposal also would allow employers and individuals to join regional health insurance pools to purchase coverage. The federal government would be required to help states or groups of states establish the not-for-profit purchasing pools or markets.

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