May 30, 2007 — -- It's the issue of the day for Democrats: health care.
Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., released his plan for what he calls "universal" health care Tuesday, announcing, "As president, I will sign a universal health-care plan into law by the end of my first term in office."
Universal health care is something the majority of Americans -- 56 percent -- say they want, according to an ABC News poll. While Obama's plan may curry favor with voters, it's making him a target among his fellow contenders.
Immediately after Obama unveiled his plan, Democratic candidate John Edwards called it "simply inadequate."
Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., commended Obama for "entering" the debate, but took a shot at the coverage of his plan, saying, "We have to achieve true universal health care."
While Clinton's efforts to promote universal health care nearly sank her husband's presidency in 1993, in the upcoming election, a health-care plan is emerging as a "must have" for every serious candidate. Some say for Democrats, it needs to be universal.
"This is really an issue for everybody, because health-care costs are skyrocketing," said Ron Pollack, executive director of Families USA, a health-care advocacy organization.
But the candidate to keep up with may be a Republican. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is using his state's universal plan as one of his greatest legislative achievements.
Some say the issue could soon get even hotter with the release of Michael Moore's new film, "Sicko," his scathing look at the American health-care system.