Presumptive Democratic Presidential Nominee John Kerry To Launch Health Care Campaign
On Monday, presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Sen. John Kerry (Mass.) will launch a four-day health care-centered campaign and release a staff report that says health insurance premiums have increased more than $2,700 per family over the last four years, the AP/Las Vegas Sun reports. According to the AP/Sun, Kerry's campaign is part of "a carefully coordinated national push," in which Democratic National Committee officials are planning events around the country. According to the AP/Sun, Kerry will not introduce new health care policies during the campaign, but he will use the report to say that "the nation's health care crisis has grown to a proportion where it's not simply a social issue, but has become a drag on the economy." During prepared remarks he will deliver at the campaign's first stop at Erie, Pa.-based Edinboro University, Kerry is expected to say, "It's not acceptable to do nothing while those premiums are rising four times faster than workers' earnings." Kerry is expected to "target key battle-ground states" with his health care-focused campaign, meeting with health care workers and "those who have struggled with paying for care" in Kentucky, Florida and Little Rock, Ark., the AP/Sun reports. Kerry maintains that he has listened to peoples' concern about health costs, while President Bush has created a situation where people in the United States pay more than any other nation's residents for health coverage -- with an average family policy costing nearly $10,000 per year. But Bush spokesperson Steve Schmidt said, "President Bush has a plan to lower health care costs which will allow more people to have health insurance." Kerry aides countered that a recently released analysis shows Kerry's health care plan would extend coverage to 27 million people, while Bush's proposal would cover 2.5 million (Glover, AP/Las Vegas Sun, 5/10). Bush's plan would cost $90 billion, compared with Kerry's $653 billion plan, according to a 10-year cost projection analysis released by Emory University health economist Kenneth Thorpe, a former Clinton administration health adviser who does not receive funding from any campaign for his research. According to the analysis, in 2008 Bush would spend an estimated $3,800 per new person covered, while Kerry would spend less than $3,200 per person (California Healthline, 5/6).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.