Edwards Targets 'GAP' in McCain Plan

When is "guaranteed access" not really much of a guarantee?

John McCain sought to quell concerns about his health-care plan by announcing Tuesday in Tampa, Fla., that he would work with the states to create non-profit entities that would contract with private insurers to cover Americans with pre-existing conditions.

"The details of a Guaranteed Access Plan will be worked out with the collaboration and consent of the states," said McCain. "But, conceptually, federal assistance could be provided to a nonprofit GAP that operated under the direction of a board that included all stakeholders groupsĀ -- legislators, insurers, business and medical community representatives, and, most importantly, patients."

McCain's health-policy experts told Politico that the federal government's possible commitment to the states for the new GAP plans would be in the ballpark of $7 billion per year.

On a Tuesday conference call with reporters, Elizabeth Edwards ripped the $7 billion offer of help as a "gross underfunding."

"[McCain] said . . . when he was on George Stephanopoulos, that 72 percent of our health-care costs are attributable to five of the chronic conditions that might be described as pre-existing conditions," said Edwards. "If five of them represent 72 percent of our health-care costs, and if our health-care costs are $2 trillion, a $7 billion a year high risk pool cannot possibly cover it."

"We're talking about $1.4 trillion . . . not $7 billion," she added. "We're talking about the most radical plan ever suggested by a presidential candidate."

So will Elizabeth Edwards, who has endorsed Hillary Clinton's health-care plan, make an endorsement before North Carolina votes on May 6?

"I'd be surprised, but things can happen any day. Never say never," she told MSNBC.

A Politician Breaks from His Pastor:

Six weeks after saying that he can "no more disown" the Rev. Jeremiah Wright than he can "disown the black community," Barack Obama recalibrated his stance towards his former pastor.

"The person I saw yesterday was not the person I met 20 years ago," Barack Obama said Tuesday at a press conference in Winston Salem, N.C. "His comments were not only divisive and destructive, but they end up giving comfort to those that prey on hate."

"When he states and then amplifies such ridiculous propositions such as the US government somehow being involved in AIDS; when he suggests that Minister Farrakahn somehow represents one of the greatest voices of the 20th and 21st century; when he equates the US war time efforts with terrorism, then there are no excuses," Obama continued. "They offend me, they rightly offend all Americans and they should be denounced."

"What Rev. Wright said yesterday," he added, "directly contradicts everything I have ever done during my life."

TiVo alert:

Hillary Clinton appears for the first time Wednesday on the Fox News Channel's "O'Reilly Factor."

The kicker:

"We'll find out."

--Barack Obama on whether the Rev. Jeremiah Wright will hurt his White House bid

On the campaign front. . .


-- Attends events in Indiana

-- 8:30 pm ET: Attends rally with voters, Bloomington, IN


-- 9:45 pm ET: Attends rally with voters, Kokomo, IN


-- 7:45 am ET: Attends event with voters, Apex, NC

-- 9:15 am ET: Attends event with voters, Sanford, NC

-- 10:45 am ET: Attends event with voters, Lillington, NC

-- 12:00 pm ET: Attends event with voters, Dunn, NC

-- 1:45 pm ET: Attends event with voters, Hope Mills, NC

-- 3:30 pm ET: Attends event with voters, Lumberton, NC

-- 5:30 pm ET: Attends event with voters, Whiteville, NC

As for the Republicans. . .


-- 2:00 pm ET: Attends town hall meeting with voters, Allentown, PA

-- 3:45 pm ET: Holds media availability, Allentown, PA

At the White House and Beyond. . .


-- 11:00 am ET: Participates in photo opportunity with 2008 National and State Teacher of the Year, Washington, DC

-- 11:15 am ET: Delivers remarks to the 2008 National and State Teachers of the Years, Washington, DC

-- 3:20 pm ET: Participates in photo opportunity and delivers remarks to the New York Giants, Washington, DC

-- 6:55 pm ET: Attends National Republican Congressional Committee reception, Fairfax, VA


-- 8:30 am ET: Releases first quarter GDP figures


-- 8:30 am ET: Releases first quarter Employment Cost Index


-- Addresses a joint session of Congress, Washington, DC


ABC News' Ed O'Keefe: Obama Condemns Wright's Defense LINK

ABC News' Jake Tapper: Wright Raising Questions About Obama's Electability LINK

ABC News' Karen Travers and Teddy Davis: Elizabeth Edwards Considers Pre-North Carolina Endorsement LINK

ABC News' Nitya Venkataraman: Gingrich: Wright May Be Deliberately Trying to Hurt Obama LINK

ABC News' Teddy Davis and Mike Elmore: McCain Once Worried About Impact of Long-Term US Presence in Iraq LINK

ABC News' Jake Tapper: Obama Presser Today LINK

ABC News' Eloise Harper: Clinton vs. O'Reilly: The Interview LINK

ABC News' Jake Tapper: Huckabee on Rev. Wright: 'I Wonder if Hillary Is Really Paying for His Security Force' LINK

ABC News' Eloise Harper: Clinton Makes Rocky Balboa Look like a Pansy? LINK

ABC News' Jake Tapper: RNC Tries to Stop DNC Ad Against McCain LINK

ABC News' Kate McCarthy: Gov. Jindal Flattered by V.P. Rumors LINK

ABC News' Jake Tapper: Clinton on Easley Street LINK

ABC News' Sunlen Miller and Eloise Harper: Dems Draw Distinctions on Gas Tax Plans LINK


Obama: Wright Defense a 'Spectacle'
Sen. Obama: "The person I saw yesterday was not the person I met 20 years ago." LINK

Bush Plays Presidential Politics
Bush on the most significant issues for '08, adding McCain will win the race. LINK

McCain Seeks to 'Restore Control' over Health Care
McCain: Universal coverage would cause "irrationality and uncontrolled costs." LINK

Giuliani in Holy Hot Water
The former N.Y. mayor is under fire for taking Communion during pope's visit. LINK

Bush Stays Neutral on Gas Tax
Bush refuses to engage in specifics on the idea of a gas tax moratorium. LINK

NC Gov: Clinton Makes Rocky Looks Like A 'Pansy'
Governor Easley endorses Sen. Clinton and takes subtle knock at Sen. Obama. LINK

Obama Shoots Hoops With Tar Heels
Sen. Obama makes a stop in Chapel Hill, NC to play basketball with the Tar Heels. LINK

Newt and Hasselbeck: Hillary Will Win
"View" co-host and Gingrich believe Clinton will beat Obama for the nomination. LINK

Obama Confetti Rains on California
A plane drops confetti over Coachella music festival and nearby neighborhoods. LINK

Bush Blames Congress for Slow Economic Progress
President Bush holds a press conference in the White House Rose Garden. LINK

Newt Gingrich's Election Predictions
The former House speaker co-wrote the historical novel "Days of Infamy." LINK

'The View' Battles Newt on Terror
Some of the ladies lock horns with Gingrich on his remarks about terrorism. LINK

Obama's Pastor Problem
Will the Rev. Jeremiah Wright drag the Illinois senator's campaign down? LINK

Photo I.D. Required to Vote
Supreme Court upholds Indiana law requiring voters to show photo identification. LINK