Health Care a Recurring Issue in Presidential Race
Presidential candidates Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) recently discussed health care at campaign events in New Hampshire and Iowa, respectively, and the New York Times examined candidate and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani's (R) handling of health issues after the Sept. 11, 2001, World Trade Center attacks. Summaries of the coverage appear below.
Clinton on Friday appeared in New Hampshire with three local mothers to discuss what she called "inequities and absurdities" that make it difficult for children to receive quality health care, the AP/Foster's Daily Democrat reports.
Clinton said there is enough money in the federal budget to fund universal health care for children. She said, "You think you've taken care of your family. You've been paying your insurance premiums, and when you need it the most it's not there for you," she said.
Clinton said, "It's one of the reasons we need to change the whole system, but until we can change the whole system, we have to try to get rid of the inequities and absurdities that stand in the way of people getting the care they deserve and need" (Ramer, AP/Foster's Daily Democrat, 5/12).
The New York Times on Monday examined how "many regard Mr. Giuliani's triumph of leadership" in the wake of the WTC attacks "as having come with a human cost" after "thousands of people who worked at ground zero have become sick."
According to the New York Times, Giuliani's administration "seized control and largely limited the influence of experienced federal agencies" and "never meaningfully enforced federal requirements that those at the site wear respirators." The administration also "warned companies working on the pile that they would face penalties or be fired if work slowed," while officials "on some occasions gave flawed public representations of the nature of the health threat," the New York Times reports.
In doing so, Giuliani "might have allowed his sense of purpose to trump caution in the rush to prove that his city was not crippled by the attack," according to the New York Times (DePalma, New York Times, 5/14).
Government subsidies to private Medicare Advantage plans should be cut by $150 billion over the next decade, Obama said at a campaign event in Des Moines, Iowa, the Los Angeles Times reports. Obama said that money saved from cutting subsidies could be used to strengthen the Medicare program overall, including reducing prescription drug prices for seniors.
Lawmakers have not yet cut reimbursements because "we are not setting the agenda in Washington -- insurance companies and drug companies are. That's what people want to turn the page on," Obama said, adding, "We want a system that's fair and sensible to everyone" (Los Angeles Times, 5/12).