As the presidential election draws near in the United States, both candidates continue touring the so-called swing states to try to win over undecided voters. Healthcare is high on the agenda. President George W. Bush, speaking in Pennsylvania, criticised his rival’s programme: “The Kerry plan would move America down the road toward federal control of healthcare which would lead to lower quality and healthcare rationing,” he said.
“Other countries have tried to centralise healthcare and it didn’t work. We have great quality healthcare in America because it’s a private centred system and I intend to keep it that way.”
In Colombus, Ohio, Democratic candidate John Kerry likened Bush’s policy on stem cell research to favouring the candle over electricity. He was joined by the widow of paralysed actor Christopher Reeve who died earlier this month. “It is wrong to tell scientists that they can’t cross the frontiers of new knowledge,” said Kerry. “It is wrong morally and it is wrong economically and when I am president, we will change this policy and we will lead the world in stem cell research.”
An earlier attempt by Kerry to reach out to gun owners by donning a camouflage jacket on a hunting trip sparked a torrent of ridicule from the deeply conservative National Rifle Association. Both candidates stand neck and neck in the polls.