President Bush Promises To Work With Democrats on Health Care Plans
President Bush on Saturday in his weekly radio address promised to work with Democrats on domestic issues, such as medical liability reform, an issue the president highlighted in his re-election campaign, the AP/Albany Times Union reports. Bush said, "We must confront the junk and frivolous lawsuits that are driving up the cost of health care and hurting doctors and patients." He added, "Americans are expecting bipartisan efforts and results. My administration will work with both parties in Congress to achieve those results and to meet the responsibility we share" (AP/Albany Times Union, 11/6).
Meanwhile, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Saturday in the weekly Democratic radio address said that House Democrats "stand ready to work with" Bush on health care reform and other issues. Pelosi also called for "more discourse and less discord" in Congress but added, "There are places where we differ ... and Democrats will stand our ground." She said, "I hope that in this term President Bush will fulfill his renewed promise to be a uniter, not a divider" (AP/Washington Times, 11/7).
Voters in the presidential election cited health care as the fifth-most important issue that influenced their decisions after moral values, the war in Iraq, the economy and terrorism, according to a recent survey sponsored by the America's Health Insurance Plans. According to the survey, conducted by Ayres, McHenry & Associates, 27% of Bush voters said that they trusted the federal government to address their health care concerns, compared with 63% who said that they trusted the private sector.
In contrast, 54% of Kerry voters said that they trusted the federal government to address their health care concerns, compared with 35% who said that they trusted the private sector, the survey found. In addition, 56% of all respondents said that the current medical malpractice system encourages lawsuits and raises health care costs, and 34% said that the system helps patients and encourages improved care, according to the survey (CongressDaily, 11/5).
NPR's "Talk of the Nation/Science Friday" included a discussion of the current number of physicians in Congress and whether they affect legislation on health care issues. The segment includes comments from Chadd Kraus, emergency medicine researcher and graduate student at Johns Hopkins University's Bloomberg School of Public Health (Flatow, "Talk of the Nation/Science Friday," NPR, 11/5). The complete segment is available online in RealPlayer.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.