I've been going through the Divided We Fail site's list of candidate statements on where they stand on the various issues of affordable health care. This is an interesting site: nobody called the candidates and asked them questions. It's excerpts from their web site articles and speeches that relate to the Divided We Fail issues. You have to give AARP credit for a lot of research to dig all that out and post it, with links.
I notice a certain lack of detail on the "how" in all these fine statements. Everybody says that health care will be "affordable", and no one will be able to refuse you for a pre-existing condition. (They're not dumb, they know what the issues are.) What I don't see is how the candidates expect to compel the existing health insurance industry to sell health care insurance policies if they don't think they can make a profit on them. You can make laws and rules that say, if you're going to sell health insurance policies, they have to meet these criteria; but what happens when all the major vendors say, we can't make any money at that, we withdraw from that market. They've done it before: there are areas in the hurricane belt where certain insurance companies won't sell homeowners' insurance any more. They're not really interested in "insurance" as it was originally developed; they only want to play the game if the dice are loaded so they can always win. The only way to do this is to take profit out of the medical game altogether and run it as a subsidized public service.
The only one who comes right out and says, we're going to have universal publicly financed health care, is Dennis Kucinich; and he may be a fine man but he has about as much chance of winning this election as he has of being elected Pope. John Edwards at least admits that "the health system could evolve into a single-payer plan." Single-payer is ultimately the way we have to go; otherwise we can't get away from the insurance companies trying to squeeze out every last premium without ever paying out on a claim.