Boxer Re-Elected to Senate
Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) on Tuesday retained her seat, defeating former Secretary of State Bill Jones (R), the Los Angeles Times reports (Martelle/Arax, Los Angeles Times, 11/3). With all precincts reporting, Boxer received 58% of the vote, while Jones received 37.7% (Secretary of State Web site, 11/3). Boxer "consistently led polls by double digits" throughout the campaign for her third term in the Senate, according to the Sacramento Bee (Bluth, Sacramento Bee, 11/3). Summaries of Boxer's and Jones' health care positions appear below.
- Boxer has introduced legislation to allow health insurance to be tax deductible, allow U.S. residents to buy into the health insurance program available to members of Congress (Boxer Web site). Boxer in June 2003 voted to approve $40 billion annually for a limited Medicare prescription drug benefit (Issues 2004 Web site). Boxer has called the new Medicare law "a transfer of money from the pockets of our grandmothers and grandfathers to the pockets of the drug companies and the HMOs" (California Healthline, 9/9). Boxer also supports legislation that would allow the importation of prescription drugs from Canada. Boxer in June 2001 voted to allow patients to sue HMOs and collect punitive damages. In May 2003, Boxer signed a letter from 30 senators to HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson to allow states to make bulk prescription drug purchases. She also has voted to increase funding for HIV/AIDS initiatives (Issues 2004 Web site).
- Jones believes that an increase in unnecessary medical malpractice lawsuits has contributed to rising health care costs and has forced doctors to leave their practices or leave the state (Issues 2004 Web site).