Republican Debate Includes No Questions On Health Care

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EightRepublican presidential candidates on Wednesday participated in a debate in St. Petersburg, Fla.,sponsored by CNN and YouTube that "passed without any questionsabout health care," the SanFrancisco Chronicle reports (Garofoli, San Francisco Chronicle, 11/29).

During the debate, moderated by CNN anchor Anderson Cooper, the candidatesanswered some of the almost 5,000 questions submitted through YouTube(Reinhard/Klas, Miami Herald, 11/29). An analysis of the first3,000 questions submitted found that 15% focused on health care (Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report, 11/28).

According to the New York Times, "there was no discussion ofhealth care proposals" during the debate, but the candidates "managedto illuminate some of their differences" on the issue during a discussionon immigration (Cooper/Santora, New York Times, 11/29). FormerMassachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney criticized former New York City Mayor RudyGiuliani for his efforts to challenge a federal law that requires employees toreport undocumented immigrants who seek emergency health care and otherservices (Miami Herald, 11/29).

Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, Rep. Duncan Hunter (Calif.),Sen. John McCain (Ariz.), Rep. Ron Paul (Texas), Rep. Tom Tancredo (Colo.) and former Sen. Fred Thompson(R-Tenn.) also participated in the debate (Milligan/Helman, Boston Globe, 11/29).

Clinton, Obama ContinueHealth Care Proposal Criticism

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In other election news,presidential candidate Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) on Wednesday duringan appearance at Des Moines Area Community College in Iowa said that presidentialcandidate Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) is "betraying the Democratic Party'sprinciples" because his health care proposal would not expand healthinsurance to all U.S. residents, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports (O'Toole, PittsburghPost-Gazette, 11/29).

Clinton said,"If anything, Democrats should believe in universal health care,"adding, "We should fight for it." Under her health care proposal, U.S. residentswould have to obtain health insurance. Obama's plan provides access toinsurance for everyone along with subsidies for lower-income residents, butdoes not include a requirement to obtain coverage except for children. Accordingto Clinton, theObama proposal "does not and cannot cover all Americans."

In a conference call with reporters, Obama said, "Until she clarifies whatexactly she intends to do to enforce this mandate ... this is more of apolitical point that she's trying to make than a real point" (Mehta, Los Angeles Times, 11/29). "Demonizing anyonewho doesn't share her exact plans on health care is exactly why Hillary Clintonflunked the opportunity she had to pass universal health care in 1993,"Bill Burton, an Obama spokesperson, said.

Presidential candidate Former Sen. John Edwards on Wednesday described how theindividual requirement to obtain insurance under his plan would be enforced,including requiring proof of insurance when filing income taxes and whenobtaining health care services, as well as garnishing wages of and usingcollection agencies for people who don't pay their premiums (McAuliff, New York Daily News, 11/29).

Reprintedwith permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view the entire Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report, search the archives, and sign upfor email delivery at kaisernetwork.org/email . The Kaiser Daily Health PolicyReport is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of The Henry J.Kaiser Family Foundation.

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