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About AHCJ: General News

Presidential candidates answer questions from AHCJ members Date: 01/02/08

Jan. 2, 2008

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Len Bruzzese , AHCJ executive director, 573-884-5606

Candidates' responses

Election 2008

See AHCJ's Election 2008 resource, with news and links to the candidates' statements about health care issues.

Columbia, Mo. - As balloting gets under way in the 2008 presidential primary season, three leading candidates have outlined their views on health care in response to questions posed by members of the Association of Health Care Journalists, the nation's leading group of health journalists.

Democrats Hillary Clinton and John Edwards and Republican Ron Paul answered 15 questions on such topics as universal insurance coverage, their own family's experiences without health insurance, Medicare, pay for performance initiatives, long-term care, and ways to ensure that federal agencies are objectively reporting information on controversial health issues of the day.

The other candidates either refused to participate or did not submit responses.

"We are pleased several presidential contenders saw the importance of clearly articulating their views on health care in response to journalists' questions," said Len Bruzzese, executive director of the association, based at the University of Missouri. "We hope other candidates will answer these important questions so the public and journalists can know where they stand."

The answers include Paul's views that government mandates in health care are inappropriate and Edward's and Clinton's plans to expand health insurance coverage.

Paul wrote that members of his own family have had lapses in health insurance and that "The sky-rocketing costs of health care make being uninsured in America a scary proposition. As a doctor, I have seen the problems of the uninsured dramatically worsen over the years."

Edwards wrote that he was lucky that no one in his family had gone without health coverage. "Since my wife, Elizabeth, was diagnosed with breast cancer, having health insurance has taken on a new level of importance for us. I want anyone who faces a diagnosis like Elizabeth's, or any other illness, to have the same high quality care that she has received."

Clinton did not directly answer the question on whether she or anyone in her family had gone uninsured, but wrote, "Throughout my campaign, I have traveled across the country, listening to Americans talk about the challenges and struggles they face today. Health care - or lack thereof - is one that comes up consistently."

In addition to the candidates' answers, the Association has links to candidates' health proposals and other resources to help journalists cover the important issue during the upcoming campaign. The tools are available at healthjournalism.org/election08.