Bush Remarks On Health Care, Economy Overshadowed By Iraq Issue
During his campaign trip to Minnesota, President Bush touted his economic record and pitched his health care plans and criticized Sen. Kerry's. In fact, the Minneapolis Star Tribune notes today that "about two-thirds" of Bush's "42-minute speech was devoted to detailing his domestic agenda." While Bush's remarks garnered some coverage, his attempt to shift the debate to Kerry's home ground was largely overshadowed by the campaign's exchanges over Iraq. NBC Nightly News showed Bush saying, "More than half of the Americans currently uninsured are small business employees and their families. I want to change law to allow small firms to pool together so they can purchase insurance at the same discounts that big companies can purchase insurance." NBC then added that the Kerry campaign "countered by insisting that during the Bush presidency, five million Americans have lost health insurance."
ABC Analysis Favors Kerry Plan.
ABC World News Tonight last night compared the health proposals put forth by President Bush and Sen. Kerry. "When it comes to the details of how to lower the cost of health care, Mr. Bush and Mr. Kerry have distinctly different philosophies," said ABC. "Here are the basics. President Bush favors tax breaks that he says would encourage individuals and small businesses to use health savings accounts." Prof. Uwe Reinhard, Princeton: "He essentially is dreaming of a world where there is no employer-provided insurance." Snow: "Health savings accounts make a lot of sense for healthy Americans who buy insurance with a low premium and a high deductible, but they are relatively untested. One independent group estimates they'd only save about 1% or 2% on health costs overall. Senator Kerry's idea? Create a voluntary program in which businesses would provide health coverage in exchange for having the federal government pick up most of the tab for catastrophic cases. . . . The Kerry plan would likely reduce the premiums many Americans pay. It would cover many more people. But to do that, would cost about four-times as much as the Bush plan."