Candidate: President Bush
Images: A woman, two couples and a man looking at computer screens that detail Bushs plan and the attack on John F. Kerrys plan.
Time: 30 seconds
Audio: On health care, President Bush and our leaders in Congress have a practical plan: Allow small businesses to join together to get lower insurance rates big companies get. Stop frivolous lawsuits against doctors. Health coverage you can take with you.
The liberals in Congress and Kerrys plan: Washington bureaucrats in control. A government-run health care plan. $1.5 trillion price tag. Big government in charge. Not you. Not your doctor.
Analysis: The ad relies on a study by the right-leaning American Enterprise
Institute in charging that Kerrys health plan would cost more than twice
as much as the senators campaign has estimated. But the same study says
that while Kerrys plan would provide insurance to 27.3 million Americans
now lacking coverage, the Bush proposal would cover only 6.7 million.
Kerrys approach is more expensive by his own accounting, but far more
The Kerry camp, which relies on a cost estimate by an academic who was an
official in the Clinton administration, challenges AEIs methodology and
says its plan would cost $653 billion over 10 years. Bush says his would
cost $128 billion.
The ad accurately describes the presidents proposals, but it is not clear
how broad an impact small-business pools, malpractice reform and individual
health savings accounts would have.
There is no evidence that the Kerry blueprint is a government-run plan
or would change the doctor-patient relationship. The plan would build on
the existing system, and no one would be required to participate. Companies
could choose to receive federal funding for catastrophic health costs if
they agreed to certain rules, and individuals could choose to buy from a
new, government-defined benefit plan, but from private companies. Federal
funding for children on Medicaid would increase, but only if states chose
to participate. And Kerrys plan is independent of any liberals in
This is the second straight ad in which Bush has tried to neutralize
Kerrys advantage on the traditionally Democratic issue.
Video of this ad can be found at www.washingtonpost.com/politics.