Role of Health Care Issues in Presidential Election Examined
The Des Moines Register on Friday examined how health care issues are "shaping up as ... key" concerns in the presidential election nationwide and in a "majority of battleground states" -- such as Iowa, Ohio and Florida -- where the "percentage of elderly residents tops the U.S. average." According to the Register, health care costs have become a "major component" of voter concerns about the economy. President Bush is expected to discuss the issue later this month at the Republican National Convention, and Democratic presidential nominee Sen. John Kerry (Mass.) has been "pressing hard" on the issue in the past week with criticism of the new Medicare law.
A survey of seniors released on Tuesday by the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health found that the Medicare law would make some seniors "more likely to vote for Kerry" and other Democrats -- a "sign of trouble for Republicans," who had hoped to use the law to counter the traditional "Democratic edge" on health care issues, the Register reports.
However, a recent CNN poll of seniors found that they remain evenly divided in their support for Bush and Kerry, who have offered different plans to address increased health care costs and expand health coverage (Norman, Des Moines Register, 8/13).
Kerry has proposed a plan that would cost about $653 billion over 10 years and would expand health coverage to an estimated 26.7 million U.S. residents. Kerry has said that he would help finance the plan with the repeal of tax cuts for families whose annual incomes exceed $200,000. Bush has proposed a plan that would cost about $90.5 billion over 10 years and would expand health coverage to an estimated 2.1 million residents (California Healthline, 8/9).
Chris Jennings, a Kerry campaign adviser, said, "There couldn't be a bigger contrast on domestic policy priorities than on health care in the campaign."
Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) said, "There's no doubt it's an economic issue," adding, "The last 65 days of this campaign, I think you're going to see a healthy emphasis on health care" (Des Moines Register, 8/13).
CBS' "Evening News" on Thursday as part of the "What Does it Mean to You?" series about the positions of presidential candidates on different issues reported on how health care plans offered by Bush and Kerry would help veterans. The segment includes comments from American Legion National Commander John Brieden, Bush and Kerry (Strassmann, "Evening News," CBS, 8/12). The complete transcript of the segment is available online. 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.