Today we join the many who mourn the loss of Elizabeth Edwards. Earlier this week, when she announced that she was stopping her cancer treatment, our friends at Think Progress posted a moving tribute to her and her hard work for health care reform.
Through congressional testimonies, public speeches, blog posts, and countless television appearances, Elizabeth emphasized the human and moral dimension of the health care debate. She pressed lawmakers from both sides of the aisle to pass a law that not only offered insurance to those who went without it, but did so at affordable rates. After all, nine out of every ten people who sought individual coverage in the current system “never got it,” Elizabeth reminded the protectors of the status quo. “People who have had cancer are denied coverage and those who get cancer run the risk of simply being dropped by their insurer for any excuse that can be found.” Elizabeth also highlighted the inequality facing women, who pay more for health insurance than men because they can potentially become pregnant.
We will remember Elizabeth as a champion for the people and for her example of resilience and grace when faced with extraordinary personal circumstances. Our thoughts are with her young children.