Democratic presidential hopeful John Edwards says negotiating with insurers and pharmaceutical companies is not the best way to overhaul the health care system.

Those groups will not give up their power voluntarily, the former North Carolina senator said Sunday.

"I've been fighting these people my whole life and have beaten them my whole life," said Edwards, a former trial lawyer. "I think the time to talk to them is after you've beaten them."

Edwards has proposed requiring employers to provide insurance or contribute to the coverage of every worker. The government would pay for insurance for lower income people and subsidize what other families pay.

He also would cap the amount insurance companies can charge for profit or overhead at 15 percent and would pay for the $90 to $120 billion a year plan by repealing President Bush's tax cuts for people who make more than $200,000 a year.

"How long are we going to let insurance companies and drug companies run this country?" he said.