Health Care News From the Campaign Trail for the Week of March 14
A new Wall Street Journal Online/Harris Interactive poll found that 44% of respondents trust Democrats to improve the U.S. health care system, whereas 25% said they trust Republicans to improve the system, the Wall Street Journal reports.
The survey, conducted March 6-10, also found that among the presidential candidates, 44% of respondents said they trust Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.), 40% said they trust Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) and 30% said they trust Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.).
Respondents said the top health care issue for the candidates should be providing coverage for the uninsured, followed by slowing medical cost increases.
The poll also found that 60% of respondents believe the government should ensure that all residents have adequate health care coverage (Bright, Wall Street Journal, 3/13).
Advertisements by Clinton Obama have become "increasingly antagonistic" since the March 4 contests, the Wall Street Journal reports.
On Feb. 29, Obama began airing a television ad in Mississippi that combines "stump-speech oratory" with "bullet-pointed messages" about his health care plan and other proposals, according to the Journal.
Ahead of the Wyoming caucuses "both campaigns also [had] positive radio ads playing in the state," including one Clinton spot that focused "on health care, which exit polls showed gave her a major boost in both Texas and Ohio" (Rutkoff, Wall Street Journal, 3/8).
Clinton has begun to air a radio ad in Mississippi that says, "Eighteen years as our neighbor in Arkansas. She worked to improve the schools and expand rural health clinics" (Chandler/Rupp, Jackson Clarion-Ledger, 3/9).
During her campaign, Clinton often has said that she played an important role in the passage of legislation to establish SCHIP, but some lawmakers, staffers and health care advocates maintain that she "had little to do" with the effort, the Boston Globe reports.
Lawmakers in both parties "acknowledge that administration support was needed and appreciated" in the passage of legislation to establish SCHIP but maintain that the "effort was largely driven by [Sens. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.)] and others in Congress," and some lawmakers and staffers are "privately ... fuming over what they see as Clinton's exaggeration of her role in developing" the program, the Globe reports.
Neera Tanden, policy director for the Clinton campaign, said that Clinton had "always been pushing for SCHIP" and that some lawmakers have begun to question the role that Clinton played in the passage of legislation to establish SCHIP because they support other candidates for the Democratic nomination (Milligan, Boston Globe, 3/14).
CBS' "60 Minutes" on Sunday featured a discussion with McCain about issues including his health care proposal (Pelley, "60 Minutes," CBS, 3/9).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.