Former Rep. Dick Gephardt (D-MO) is urging the White House to defer the goal of expanding access to health insurance “until it enacts cost-saving reforms in health care delivery.” But during the 2004 presidential campaign, Gephardt, who now lobbies for PhRMA, among other corporate interests, promised that if he were elected president, he would “immediately” ensure that “everyone who works will have health coverage.” In fact, the former House Majority Leader argued that “access to quality health care is the moral issue of our time” and portrayed himself — in a rather dramatic fight with Gov. Howard Dean (D-VT) — as the only candidate who could address the health care crisis:
– “Howard Dean and the other candidates may think leaving tens of millions of Americans uninsured is acceptable. … I think they’re wrong.” [NYT, 01/03/2004]
– “It is immoral to have people without health insurance,” he said, speaking to about 70 people on the lawn of a Manchester home. “This issue is in my heart. It’s in my head. It’s in my soul. I will not rest until I get the people health insurance.” [Chicago Tribune, 07/22/2003]
The Wonk Room has more here.