Oooooh, watch out. John Edwards has a new ad and he’s threatening to take away health insurance from members of Congress unless they pass his Hillary-style universal health care plan:
SCRIPT: John Edwards: “When I’m president I’m going to say to members of Congress and members of my administration, including my Cabinet: I’m glad that you have health care coverage and your family has health care coverage. But if you don’t pass universal health care by July of 2009 — in six months — I’m going to use my power as president to take your health care away from you. There’s no excuse for politicians in Washington having health care when you don’t have health care. I’m John Edwards and I approve this message.”
Except there’s a little catch. According to ad watchers, Edwards wouldn’t have any power to make good on his threat. The superpowers are all in his head:
Edwards would require employers to cover their workers or help pay for their insurance; he would expand Medicaid and a federal health insurance program for children and would create regional insurance markets to broaden purchasing power. But in stating that he would use his power as president to do away with the health coverage enjoyed by members of Congress, Edwards leaves out one major step. “Offhand, I don’t have a clue as to where he would get the power to do that,” said Christopher Schroeder, a law professor and expert on constitutional separation of powers at the Duke University School of Law. “Perhaps it would be his bully pulpit power.” Indeed, a president has no power to unilaterally cut off congressional benefits.
John Edwards refuses to commit to supporting Hillary if she’s the nominee. Another empty threat, I’d say.