Survey: Democrats Would Address Health Care
Sixty percent of U.S. adults believe Democrats would work to provide health insurance to the uninsured if they take control of Congress after the midterm elections, according to a USA Today/Gallup poll released Thursday, USA Today reports. For the poll, 1,002 adults from Friday through Sunday were surveyed about their expectations regarding a takeover of Congress by Democrats.
According to the poll, 52% of respondents believe Democrats would allow the purchase of prescription medications from abroad and 72% would approve of such a move. In addition, 79% of respondents would approve of efforts to expand health insurance to the uninsured.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said she would work to lift a ban on federal negotiations with pharmaceutical companies for lower drug prices for Medicare beneficiaries. Pelosi likely would become the first female House speaker if Democrats take control of the chamber.
"Most Americans predict Democrats will win control of the House of Representatives in the elections Nov. 7," according to USA Today. However, some analysts say that if Democrats win the majority in Congress, "leaders would need to take care not to overreach," USA Today reports (Page, USA Today, 10/26).
In related news, CongressDaily on Thursday featured the eighth installment in a series examining potential issues Democrats would address if they take control of Congress after the November elections.
According to CongressDaily, Democrats' "first priority ... in their effort" to reduce the number of uninsured residents would be to address funding shortfalls in SCHIP, which is slated for reauthorization next year. Democrats "hope to expand eligibility and increase the number of low- and moderate-income children enrolled in the program," CongressDaily reports.
In addition, Democrats will look to "correct what [they] consider flaws" in the Medicare prescription drug benefit, according to CongressDaily.
Democrats also will look to confirm a permanent FDA commissioner and increase oversight of the agency. Other issues a Democratic Congress would address include stem cell research and health care information technology legislation that would authorize greater federal funding to help physicians and hospitals purchase new technology and would mandate privacy protections, CongressDaily reports (Lee, CongressDaily, 10/25).