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Aug 28,2007
Dems divided on role of healthcare lobby
by UPI

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - U.S. Democratic presidential hopefuls are united on the need for universal healthcare but divided over the role of the healthcare industry.

At a forum on cancer, former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards chided New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton for accepting donations from healthcare lobbyists, the Chicago Tribune reported Tuesday.

"If you give drug companies and insurance companies and their lobbyists a seat at the table, they'll eat all the food," Edwards said Monday at the forum sponsored by the Lance Armstrong Foundation.

Clinton maintained industry donations have not stopped her from pushing expanded healthcare initiatives and changes in pharmaceutical regulations.

"I believe in working with everybody and being influenced by nobody," she said.

Clinton, Edwards and rivals New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson and Ohio Rep. Dennis Kucinich all said they supported universal healthcare and the need to shift the nation's priorities from the war in Iraq to a war against cancer and other illnesses, the Tribune reported.

Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois did not attend the forum and was spending time with his family, the Tribune reported.

Copyright © 2007, by United Press International. All Rights Reserved.

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