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papau Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 11:45 AM
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Kerry Pans Bush on Healthcare

Kerry Pans Bush on Healthcare

Stepping back into the spotlight after losing in November, the senator sharply criticizes the president's plan and presents an alternative.

By Maura Reynolds, Times Staff Writer

WASHINGTON Sen. John F. Kerry, the former Democratic presidential candidate who has kept a relatively low profile since he lost November's election, returned to the public stage Thursday with a combative speech on healthcare.

Reprising one of the disputes in the 2004 campaign, the Massachusetts lawmaker blasted President Bush's policies and offered an alternative. Perhaps more significantly, the speech coming on the anniversary of his victory in last year's crucial New Hampshire primary signaled to many that Kerry remained interested in seeking the White House.<snip>

Kerry accused Bush of failing "to deal with the real and present healthcare crisis of our nation, even as he seeks to hype a phony crisis in Social Security."

"You know what that sounds like to me? A cradle-to-grave irresponsibility plan," Kerry said.

The plan Kerry introduced Wednesday was similar to one he offered during the campaign; it would provide health insurance for all uninsured children by expanding federal responsibility under Medicaid.

Medicaid is funded jointly by states and the federal government; under Kerry's plan, Washington would pay all the costs for covering children at or below the poverty line. In return, states would expand coverage for the children of the working poor under the Children's Health Insurance Program.
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