GEORGE W. BUSH: Pushes Health Plan to Seniors in Florida
Campaigning in Florida yesterday, Texas Gov. George W. Bush (R) told a group of seniors that his health care proposals would "give them control over their health care," the New York Times reports. Bush compared his plan to Vice President Al Gore's, which would offer seniors "only 'a government-run'" HMO, according to Bush. Speaking at a retirement center, Bush said, "Seems like to me we need to trust seniors to be able to tailor a plan to meet each person's needs. The federal government ought to be humble enough to allow you to make choices." By describing the federal government as "big, scary [and] arrogant," Bush "sought to distill his policy differences with" Gore, who has called for adding a prescription drug benefit for seniors within the existing framework of Medicare. Bush charged that under the vice president's plan, seniors would have to make "binding decisions" about their insurance before they turned 65 and might have to pay higher prescription drug costs. "Tell your friends and neighbors to use the calculator to make sure you look at the fine print ... before people buy into a program that's going to mean more of the same," Bush said. He added that his plan could "actually be enacted," a reference to the failed health care proposals of the Clinton administration. Gore's campaign responded that Bush's claims were "misleading or erroneous," and spokesperson Douglas Hattaway said that "Bush puts seniors off on the tender mercies of the insurance companies," while Gore's plan would give "older Americans a guarantee of benefits that Bush would not" (Bruni, 9/12).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.