Jonathan Cohn's recent TNR piece about why Obama's proposed health plan--which will "wade into" universal health coverage--isn't as easy to get behind as John Edwards's--which will create a mandate for all children and adults to obtain coverage--may not be very helpful to the cause of the Democrats or to the uninsured. He implies that by wading in and focusing on other matters--"actually making medical care less expensive by eliminating waste"--he's leaving uninsured American adults on the side of the road for a few years. But he's wrong to harp on this point, and wrong that building a plan like this shouldn't take some time. Edwards's mandate is the kind of grandiose, all-encompassing proposal a Republican might put forth about another issue (say, war?). Obama shows reason and knowledge. And while he hasn't come out and said it clearly, he also shows that he's the most committed candidate to patient advocacy and sniffing out fraud: insurance fraud, billing scams, and overpriced nonsense (such as charging extra multi-hundred-dollar fees to walk into a building where you will then pay thousands for, say, an MRI). Whether or not this will hurt patients currently being denied expensive, necessary immune-modulating therapies like IVIG all over the country, it's hard to say--they may have no candidate to endorse. But at least Obama isn't screaming "universal healthcare" from the tops of buildings in an attempt to win a popularity contest. He's thinking about how to best achieve it--and given Cohn's example of a family dealing with the aftermath of cancer--how to help those with complicated medical histories who actually have coverage but now must work all day long to continue to afford it (much more Americans than you would think). So far, no candidate, to my knowledge, has addressed the growing fraud problems, but Obama looks somewhat trustworthy on this issue. Just don't discount him because he isn't promising to mend overnight the country's problem with a giant (potentially disappearing) band-aid that will hurt as many people as it will help.