Both Hillary Clinton and John Edwards today used a forum sponsored by one of the nation's most famous cancer survivors to unveil their plans to fight one of the biggest killers of Americans.
At cyclist Lance Armstrong's LIVESTRONG event in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, both of the Democratic presidential contenders offered blueprints to boost research, improve care, and support families.
Clinton vowed to double the National Cancer Institute's budget in 10 years, require insurers to cover services to prevent cancer, and to fund demonstration programs for comprehensive care.
Edwards, whose wife Elizabeth is battling breast cancer, also called for increasing federal research funding and requiring low-cost preventive screenings. He also said his plan for universal health insurance coverage would protect families from being bankrupted by the costs of treating cancer.
In separate appearances, Edwards and Clinton still managed to continue their tussle over accepting campaign contributions from powerful health care groups.
According to the Associated Press, Clinton defended her decision to accept the donations, saying she has a long track record of fighting for national health care that demonstrates she's not influenced by special interest giving. "My record shows I've been very effective in that," the New York senator said. "I believe in working with everybody and being influenced by nobody."
The AP said Edwards warned that powerful interest groups killed efforts to create universal health care when Clinton, as First Lady, spearheaded the effort of her husband's administration.
"I think the lesson from that, my lesson, is not the same as hers," Edwards said. "Her lesson is give them a seat the table. I think if you give the drug companies, insurance companies and their lobbyists a seat at the table, they'll eat all the food."