HEALTH CARE: Issue May Surge Ahead of Education
Predicting that health care will move to the forefront as a major concern among voters, George Skelton writes in today's Los Angeles Times "Capitol Journal" that education has peaked as a hot-button issue. According to GOP pollster Steve Kinney, "Health care is charging to the top," as seen in polls conducted at the end of 1998 that showed education still hovered in the No.1 position but that health care was climbing. Eighty percent of those polled indicated that on a scale of one to 10 gauging voter intensity, education was a "10," while 67% of voters gave health care a "10." Davis pollster Paul Maslin agreed that health care will gain speed, saying, "As the baby boomers get older, health care will become a lot more personal and worrisome." However, Maslin said it would likely take five years before health care replaced education as the top issue. Suggesting that some "Democratic legislative leaders seem more on the cutting edge of future issues" than Davis, Skelton notes that Assembly Speaker Antonio Villaraigosa (D-Los Angeles) is pushing health care legislation. Skelton concludes: "Davis should get out front and lead on these emerging issues, show he can handle more than one problem at a time. The Legislature won't wait. And if the pollster is right, the public may not either" (3/8).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.