US Presidential hopeful reveals AIDS plan

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Senator Hillary Clinton may be leading the Democratic Party for the Presidential candidacy, but John Edwards is not ready to give up the fight.

This week, the former Vice Presidential candidate unveiled a health care package which would help fight against the HIV/AIDS epidemic, and stated he would enforce legislation that would take away health care for the President and Congress members unless a universal health care plan was enacted.

Mr Edwards’ proposal came during an appearance at the Families USA/Kaiser Foundation Health Care Forum on Monday in Washington.

His new plan comes just a few days after Senator Clinton detailed her own health care strategy which would benefit all Americans once she was in office.

Edwards expressed his commitment to resolving the Aids epidemic saying, “This is a fight for people’s lives. HIV is a preventable disease, but an estimated 40,000 new HIV cases were reported in the U.S. last year.

“What’s more, HIV/AIDS is a treatable disease, yet 17,000 Americans and 3 million people globally died from it in 2005.

“We have a moral imperative to do much more and do it much better.”

HIV/AIDS health care advocates supported and commended Mr Edwards for his proposal, stating that he is the first presidential candidate who has actually addressed the call to action necessary to stop the spread of the disease and to supply treatment for those currently living with HIV/AIDS.

Rebecca Haag, executive director of AIDS Action, said:

“He is definitely listening to the hundreds of organisations, groups and individuals that understand the need for a committed public health approach to HIV.”

Along with condemning the Bush Administration for its current insufficient policies on health care, Mr Edwards pledged to submit legislation on the first day of his administration that would end health care coverage for the president, all members of Congress, and all senior political appointees unless universal health care legislation meeting non-negotiable principles had been passed.

This plan included extending coverage to all Americans in need, and he proposed to expand Medicaid to cover HIV-positive individuals before they reach later stages disabilities and AIDS.

The scheme also calls for universal global access to HIV/AIDS medicine, investing $50 billion dollars (£25bn) to make it easier for people infected with HIV/AIDS to get the treatment they need.

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