BUSH/GORE: Americans Fail to Understand Rx Proposals
Although 50% of Americans report that they were following September news stories about the prescription drug plans offered by Texas Gov. George W. Bush (R) and Vice President Al Gore, the majority do not understand "the essential difference between the Gore and Bush Medicare drug proposals," according to a new Kaiser/Harvard/Health News Index survey. Of 949 adults polled, nearly 60% were unable to identify which candidate's plan relied on Medicare versus private insurance; 27% knew that Gore's proposal would expand Medicare to cover drug costs and 24% knew that Bush's plan depends primarily on private insurance drug coverage. American seniors were more attentive to this issue, as 67% "closely followed" Bush's plan and 59% "closely followed" Gore's plan, but 60% still could not differentiate between the plans. Kaiser Family Foundation President Drew Altman said, "There are fundamental differences between the Bush and Gore Medicare drug plans. This survey shows that more needs to be done to explain those differences to the voters so they can make an informed choice on election day." The full results of the survey, which has a margin of error of +/- 3 percentage points, are available at www.kff.org/content/2000/3068/ (Kaiser Family Foundation release, 10/12).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.