AL GORE: Takes Baton, Talks Health Care to Michigan Crowd
During yesterday's staged rally to "symbolize the passing of leadership" from President Clinton to Vice President Al Gore, the leaders spoke to a crowd of 15,000 in Monroe, Mich. (Bendavid, Chicago Tribune, 8/16). Clinton heavily credited Gore in his discussion of the booming economy, saying, "The things that have happened in the last eight years, the good things, are nothing compared to the good things that can happen in the next eight years." Taking the podium, Gore addressed his health care agenda: "Because of all we've achieved, we have a chance that is rare in our history to see to it that our prosperity enriches not just a few, but all working families. ... let's invest in health care." Gore called big tobacco, HMOs and insurance companies "obstacles and powerful interests" and touted his ability to challenge them, saying, "we must take the medical decisions away from the young bureaucrats at the HMOs and insurance companies, and give those decisions back to the doctors and the nurses and the health care professionals." His agenda includes the protection of Medicare with an "ironclad lock box" and a pledge to veto any legislation that spends Medicare dollars; the passage of a patients' bill of rights; the promotion of prescription drug coverage for seniors through Medicare; and the effort for universal health care coverage. Gore said, "At a time of almost unimaginable health and medical breakthroughs, it's time to fight for affordable health insurance for all Americans ... so patients ... are not left powerless and broke. If you entrust me with the presidency, I'll move toward universal coverage ... starting with coverage for every single child in America within the next four years" (Transcript, Office of the Press Secretary, 8/16).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.