Democratic Presidential Candidates Agree On Expansion Of Health Insurance

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Six Democratic presidentialcandidates on Thursday during a debate in Johnston, Iowa, sponsored by the DesMoines Register and Iowa Public Television discussed health care andother issues, the New York Times reports (Healy/Zeleny, NewYork Times, 12/14). According to the Washington Post, the candidates "found generalagreement by promising" that they would expand health insurance to all U.S. residents(Kornblut/Balz, Washington Post, 12/14).

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.) said she "learned a lot" from herefforts to expand health insurance to all residents in the 1990s. She added,"Clearly one of the principal lessons is that you have to have a verystrong communication strategy, and we didn't do that." In addition, Clinton said that aspresident she would ask Congress to "send me everything that Bush vetoed,like stem cell research" and SCHIP bills (New York Times,12/14).

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Former Sen. John Edwards (N.C.) said that previous efforts to expand healthinsurance to all residents have failed because "we have a small group ofentrenched interests, corporate powers, corporate greed, the wealthiest peoplein America,who are controlling what's happening in the democracy." Edwards added,"And we have to take it back" (Beaumont, Des Moines Register, 12/14).

Sen. Joe Biden (Del.)said that he would eliminate $20 billion in annual defense spending to fundhealth care programs.

Sens. Chris Dodd (Conn.), Barack Obama (Ill.) and New MexicoGov. Bill Richardson also participated in the debate. The debate, moderated by Registereditor Carolyn Washburn, marked the last forum that will feature all of theDemocratic candidates before the Iowacaucuses next month (Thomma, McClatchy/MiamiHerald,12/13).

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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