Bob Graham Formally Announces He Will Seek 2004 Democratic Presidential Nomination
Sen. Bob Graham (D-Fla.), yesterday in Miami Lakes, Fla., formally announced that he will seek the 2004 Democratic presidential nomination and said that as president he would protect programs such as Medicare, the St. Petersburg Times reports (Adair, St. Petersburg Times, 5/7). Graham delayed the announcement three months because of his open heart surgery in January and the war with Iraq (Silva, Orlando Sentinel, 5/7). Graham also has said that he will call for a prescription drug benefit as part of Medicare reform in his campaign (California Healthline, 2/28). He also has said he supports an incremental, rather than large-scale, expansion of health coverage for the uninsured. Last week, Graham criticized a proposal by presidential candidate Rep. Richard Gephardt (D-Mo.) that would provide health coverage to most uninsured U.S. residents with funds made available by the repeal of Bush administration tax cuts. Graham said that he would first move to expand health coverage to children through an expansion of the CHIP program, followed by seniors and low-income workers. In addition, Graham has said that he supports increased flexibility in income eligibility requirements for Medicaid (California Healthline, 4/28). Some political analysts have called Graham a "long shot" for the Democratic presidential nomination, the Miami Herald reports. Others in the race include Sens. John Kerry (D-Mass.), Joseph Lieberman (D-Conn.) and John Edwards (D-N.C.), as well as Gephardt and former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean (D) (Bridges, Miami Herald, 5/6).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.