Examining Voters Opinions On Providing Health Care

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The AP/Miami Herald on Tuesday examined how it is not always"easy figuring out exactly what [U.S.] voters want when it comes tohealth care." According to a Galluppoll released earlier this year that offered 12 different proposals to expandhealth insurance, each plan received support from a majority of respondents,the AP/Herald reports. However, a Gallup poll released late last month foundthat most respondents are satisfied with their health insurance and the amountthey pay for coverage. Voters "support the principle" of expanding ofhealth insurance to "millions of people, but only so long as they are notnegatively affected by the potential trade-offs" -- such as increasedcosts or reduced access -- a "long-standing conflict" that has becomea "dilemma for the presidential candidates," according to the AP/Herald.

In response, presidential candidates from both parties have decided to focus onthe broad outlines of their health care proposals and are "content toleave many of the details for later," the AP/Herald reports(Freking, AP/Miami Herald, 12/11).

Additional Coverage

Summaries of two otherrecent developments in the presidential campaign related to health care appearbelow.

  • Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.): Former President Bill Clinton, husband of Hillary Clinton, on Monday in Ames, Iowa, discussed her proposal to expand health insurance to all residents. Bill Clinton said that she would have more ability to revise the health care system than rival Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.). He said, "It's one thing to have good intentions; it's another thing altogether to change the reality of people's lives" (Kornblut, "The Trail," Washington Post, 12/10).

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  • Former Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.): The Washington Post on Tuesday examined how Edwards, the first major Democratic candidate to announce a proposal to expand health insurance to all residents, hopes that "his emphasis on domestic issues, rural policies and middle-class economics -- coupled with his sharp tongue and broad electoral appeal -- will be enough to push him ahead of Clinton and Obama" (Kornblut, Washington Post, 12/11). According to the Post, Edwards supports a nationwide ban on smoking in public places to help prevent cancer, a "position that goes against one of North Carolina's most powerful industries" (Solomon/Shackelford, Washington Post, 12/11).

Editorial ExaminesHuckabee Record

The "overallthrust" of the political record of presidential candidate and formerArkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) "appears to be big-governmentliberalism," with support for a number of health care programs, accordingto a Washington Times editorial.

During his presidential campaign, Huckabee endorsed the "massive"Medicare prescription drug benefit and "was the only Republicanpresidential candidate who refused to support" a presidential veto oflegislation that would have reauthorized and expanded SCHIP, the editorialstates. In addition, as governor, Huckabee opposed the repeal of a sales tax onfood and medications and signed legislation that increased the state cigarettetax, according to the editorial (Washington Times, 12/11).

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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