Elizabeth Edwards said that she was incredibly impressed with the South County Health Center. This remark, from the wife of N.C. Sen. John Edwards, the Democratic vice-presidential candidate, came during a panel discussion held at the center Wednesday.
She came to discuss healthcare issues, and after a short tour of the clinic by Christina Stevens, program director of the Community Healthcare Network, Edwards joined five panelists and a packed audience for a discussion of the issues.
“The ground rules are that there are no ground rules,” Edwards said. “I’m here to talk about healthcare, but if you want to talk about education, that’s OK too. I know that you don’t get much of an opportunity to ask somebody close to the campaign [about issues] and you deserve it.”
Joining Edwards on the panel were: Elliot Horowitz, Corrie Monroe, Rochelle Diaz, Joni Fitzgerald and Faisa Chaudri. The panel members came from all walks of life, working as an educator, small business owner, nurse, former Foreign Service Officer and a doctor, respectively.
After Edwards spoke about the center and how effective government and business partnerships can be, she also noted that not everybody in the United States is lucky enough to have such a center. She went on to give some figures: 45 million uninsured, 5.2 more in the last three years, 22 million uninsured women and 36 million living in poverty.
“The trend is going the wrong way,” Edwards said. “Kerry and Edwards have ideas to reduce those numbers.”
Edwards went on to talk about some of those ideas. She then addressed multiple questions from panel members before opening up the discussion to the floor. The event lasted several hours.