Candidates Should Catch Up To American People On Universal Coverage

Tomorrow, ThinkProgress will be in Las Vegas to cover the New Leadership on Health Care presidential forum. The forum will force presidential candidates to go on the record about their proposals for systemic health care reform. Currently, the “U.S. health care system is a scandal and a disgrace,” as nearly 47 million Americans lack health insurance, health care premiums continue to rise, and 71 percent of Americans believe our health care system is in a state of crisis.

The dire situation has led more and more Americans to support universal coverage. Polling done over the last decade shows support for guaranteed health insurance has consistently grown:

“Maybe, just maybe, 2007 will be the year we start the move toward universal coverage,” New York Times columnist Paul Krugman wrote recently. But as Drew Altman of the Kaiser Family Foundation and Robert Blendon from the Harvard School of Public Health argue, “ [W]hat health needs most to rise up in American politics is for national political candidates, whether from the political left, right, or center, to begin talking about the issue again as they did in the early nineties. Most important of all are the presidential candidates, who receive so much national media attention.”

The forum includes a interactive candidate response round that will allow readers to ask questions of each presidential candidate in real-time. Here’s how it will work:


1. During the forum, ThinkProgress will feature streaming video and and a form for you to submit follow-up questions to the candidates.

2. The submissions will be filtered to a panel of health care experts who will select the best entries.

3. Towards the end of each candidate’s question-and-answer period, the moderator will ask the candidate a selected question from readers.

We hope you’ll join us tomorrow morning.