US Adults Believe Obama Will Expand Health Insurance To All Residents

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About four in 10 U.S. adults believes that President-elect Barack Obama will have the ability to expand affordable health insurance to all residents, and almost half believe that he will not have the ability to meet his campaign promises on health care, according to a recent Bloomberg/Los Angeles Times poll, the Times reports.

The poll, supervised by Times Poll Director Susan Pinkus and conducted between Saturday and Monday, included responses from 1,000 adults nationwide about their opinions on Obama and his ability to address various issues. The poll has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points (Barabak, Los Angeles Times, 12/10).

When asked about issues other than the economy, adults ranked health care as the second most important issue after the war in Iraq (Jensen/Dodge, Bloomberg, 12/10).

Consumer Advocacy Groups Call for Public Health Agency Funds

Consumer advocacy groups have asked Obama to ensure full funding for agencies charged with "protecting public health and natural resources from pollution" -- such as CDC, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Geological Survey, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. According to the groups, under the Bush administration, the agencies experienced significant budget reductions or "were thwarted from carrying out their missions," and EPA allowed companies to reduce reports on the release of toxic waste and eliminated or decreased the scope of "more than a dozen essential monitoring programs," the Chronicle reports.

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Reid Cherlin, a spokesperson for the Obama transition team, said, "The president-elect made it clear throughout the campaign that restoring scientific integrity and environmental protection will be a top priority of the Obama administration." He added, "He strongly believes that we can't afford to ignore these problems any longer and that we need to restore the protections that ensure clean air, clean water and responsible stewardship of public lands."

Last week, the Natural Resources Defense Council released a report on a number of Bush administration policies that have raised public health concerns (Kay, San Francisco Chronicle, 12/10).

Possible Surgeon General Nominee

Obama might nominate neurosurgeon Gail Rosseau as the next U.S. surgeon general, the Chicago Tribune reports. Rosseau, chief of neurosurgery at the Neurologic and Orthopedic Institute of Chicago and an assistant professor of neurosurgery at Rush University Medical Center, has spoken about and published a number of articles on issues related to neurosurgery and women's health. Rosseau said that she remains "early in the (vetting) process" but added that she would accept the nomination.

According to the Tribune, the surgeon general is "seen as the administration's bully pulpit when it comes to health issues that range from combating obesity to curtailing smoking" (Japsen, Chicago Tribune, 12/10).

Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view the entire Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report, search the archives, and sign up for email delivery at kaisernetwork.org/email . The Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. © 2007 Advisory Board Company and Kaiser Family Foundation. All rights reserved.

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