US Adults Favor Health Care Proposals From Democrats

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Health Care Proposals

U.S. adults favor health care proposals fromDemocratic presidential candidates more than plans from Republicancandidates, according to a recent Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg survey. The survey, conducted between Friday and Monday and supervised by TimesPoll Director Susan Pinkus, included responses from 1,209 adults, witha margin of error of plus or minus three percentage points.

Accordingto the survey, 62% favor a requirement that large employers offerhealth insurance to employees -- a provision included in health careproposals from Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) and Barack Obama (D-Ill.) and former Sen. John Edwards(D-N.C.) -- and 31% oppose such a requirement. Fifty-one percent favora requirement that individuals obtain health insurance -- a provisionincluded in the Clinton and Edwards proposals -- and 39% oppose such arequirement, the survey found.

Forty-four percent favor taxcredits to help individuals purchase private health insurance -- aprovision included in health care proposals from former New York CityMajor Rudy Giuliani (R) and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R) -- and 45% oppose such tax credits, according to the survey.

Inaddition, the survey found that 53% favor an expansion of Medicare toall U.S. residents and that 36% oppose such an expansion. The surveyalso found that 23% cite employers as responsible for the provision ofhealth insurance, compared with 24% who cite individuals and 19% whocite both. Twenty-nine percent said the government is responsible forsecuring health insurance. "In one of the most politically significantresults, the poll finds that independents and moderates were generallylining up with Democrats in the health care debate," the Times reports (Alonso-Zaldivar/Hook, Los Angeles Times, 10/25).

Republican Candidates To Appear at Iowa Forum

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.)and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee on Thursday will appear at a town hall forum in Sioux City, Iowa, that will focus on health care, CongressDaily reports.

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According to CongressDaily, the forum -- sponsored by Divided We Fail, a campaign launched by AARPand other groups that seeks to focus the 2008 presidential election onhealth care and financial security issues -- originally was intended asa "nationally broadcast debate-style production" but "has beendowngraded" after Romney and Giuliani declined invitations to appear.The decision of the candidates not to appear at the forum "might betied to traditional Republican suspicion about AARP's politicalleanings" and "underscore that health care policy has not become thekey issue" for Republican presidential candidates, CongressDaily reports (Dann et. al., CongressDaily, 10/25).

Clinton Speaks About Family Medical Leave

Clinton on Wednesday delivered the Mary Louise Smith Chairlecture at Iowa State University, during which she said that thefederal and state governments should seek to provide working mothersand lower-income workers with more paid leave, the AP/Atlanta Journal-Constitutionreports. In addition, she advocated an expansion of the federal Familyand Medical Leave Act, which currently requires companies with 50 ormore employees to allow workers to take unpaid leave to care for sickfamily members or infants, to companies with 25 or more employees.

Clintonsaid, "What we have done is to give advantages, again, in our societyto higher-paid workers," adding, "I think we need to do more to have aset of family policies that create a context in which you can make thedecisions that are best for you" (Lorentzen, AP/Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 10/24).

Republican Candidates Discuss End-of-Life Care

Giuliani, Romney and McCain earlier this week at a debate sponsored by Fox News Channel and the Republican Party of Floridasaid they disapproved of the decision by Congress in 2005 to becomeinvolved in the Terry Schiavo case, an indication of a "sharp departurefrom past Republican strategy" on end-of-life care for patients, the Boston Globereports. According to Giuliani, the decision on care for Schiavo shouldhave remained with the family. Romney said that the "decision ofCongress to get involved was a mistake," and McCain said that Congress"acted too hastily." Huckabee said, "I wasn't sure how the federalgovernment had a role in all that" (Kranish, Boston Globe, 10/25).

Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. Youcan view the entire Kaiser DailyHealth Policy Report, search the archives, and sign up for email deliveryat kaisernetwork.org/email. The Kaiser Daily HealthPolicy Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of The HenryJ. Kaiser Family Foundation.

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