Kerry Announces Plan To Introduce Legislation To Insure All Children
Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) on Friday announced plans to introduce legislation to expand health coverage to all U.S. children when the Senate reconvenes in 2005, a "scaled-back version" of his health care proposal during the presidential campaign, the Washington Post reports. In an e-mail to campaign supporters, Kerry asked recipients to sign a pledge to support passage of the measure. Although sponsors of such legislation typically would seek a co-sponsor, Kerry "is reaching first to his base of Internet supporters," in an indication that he "hopes to keep those supporters bound together behind him and his causes," according to the Post.
Health care's position on Kerry's post-election agenda shows the senator's willingness to "tread on turf long claimed by other Democrats," including Sen. Edward Kennedy (Mass.), the Post reports. Kerry aides said he is considering whether to run for president in 2008. Stephanie Cutter, who was the communications director for the Kerry presidential campaign, said, "John Kerry's making clear that although he is ready to work together on strengthening America, he is not going to sacrifice what's important, like affordable and accessible health care."
In the e-mail, Kerry stated that President Bush has reconfigured his Cabinet to "rubber stamp policies that will undermine Social Security, balloon the deficit, avoid real reforms in health care and education, weaken homeland security and walk away from critical allies around the world." Kerry said that the e-mail effort marks "the beginning of a second-term effort to hold the Bush administration accountable" (Balz, Washington Post, 11/20).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.