Related story: Democrats Differ on Health Care Solutions
George W. Bush (R):

“The president’s plan proposes to address this problem through over $117 billion in initiatives to make good health care coverage more available and affordable. The president’s budget proposes $89 billion in new health credits to make private health insurance more affordable for low- and middle-income American families who do not have employer-subsidized insurance.” (Quoted on

Wesley Clark (D): “My plan would extend health insurance to 32 million Americans, including all 13 million children and college-age students who currently lack health insurance. Every American without other means to buy insurance would have access to the same health plan as members of Congress; tax credits and other measures would make this coverage affordable.” (Quoted on
 Howard Dean (D): “For a year now, I have been traveling this country advocating a repeal of Bush's tax cuts so that we can provide universal health care and restore fiscal discipline. Many have questioned the political wisdom of challenging the president on politically popular tax cuts. I believe, however, that given a choice between having health insurance or keeping all of the Bush tax cuts in place, most Americans will choose health insurance. My plan will cost $88.3 billion -- less than half of the president's tax cut -- with money left over to pay down the deficits run up by this administration.” (Quoted on
 John Edwards (D): “The signature piece of [Edwards’] plan is to provide coverage for every child. It will be affordable and easy for parents to cover their children. His plan will cut costs and increase coverage.” (Edwards’ New Hampshire Deputy Press Secretary Tait Sye, Nov. 17, 2003)
 Dick Gephardt (D): “Congressman Gephardt thinks that the federal government should guarantee that every single American have access to quality health insurance that can never be taken away. He’s got the best plan to do it. It’s the biggest, it’s the most expensive, but it’s a big problem and it needs a big solution.” (Gephardt’s Iowa press secretary, Bill Burton, Nov. 18, 2003)
 John Kerry (D): “Senator Kerry wants to provide health care regardless of whether people are part of a group or not. He wants to guarantee insurance to all citizens.” (Sid Tickoo, a consulting intern for Kerry’s national campaign, Nov. 14, 2003)
 Dennis Kucinich (D): “He supports a single-payer universal health care system that’s publicly financed. He’s against privatizing just about everything. The important thing to remember is that the money is already there. His plan won’t cost any extra money. He’s taking profit out and emphasizing the patient.” (Kucinich issues coordinator Julia Prange, Nov. 17, 2003)
Joe Lieberman (D): “He believes the federal government plays an important role in providing health insurance. He wants to expand health insurance to the millions of Americans who do not currently have insurance by repealing the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans and restructuring corporate tax loopholes.” (Lieberman’s national campaign spokesperson, Adam Kovacevich, Nov. 19, 2003)
Carol Moseley Braun (D): “Carol supports a single-payer universal health care system based on an already existing plan, the federal employees’ plan, which
would provide coverage to all Americans without increasing the cost of health care.” (Moseley Braun strategy and policy researcher Aliya Hague, Dec. 16, 2003)
 Al Sharpton (D): “I can support all of the other Democratic candidates' plans as a step in the right direction because they are all an improvement, in varying degrees, over our current health care system. Yet these don’t guarantee a single standard of high quality because they are state-based in many cases. … Those in Congress who believe the right could be achieved through a Medical Savings Account could write their legislation, and those who believed in a single-payer approach could write their legislation. … In a practical sense, it might take some combination of all of the above to achieve the desired approach and meet a constitutional standard.” (Quoted in "A Health Care Constitutional Amendment, Its Meaning,” previously posted on the Iowa for Health Care Web site,

Quotes compiled by Shelbi Thomas and Sara Westergaard

E-mail Shelbi Thomas at [email protected] and Sara Westergaard at [email protected]

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