Heinz Kerry pushes health-care plan in Reno stop | NevadaAppeal.com

Heinz Kerry pushes health-care plan in Reno stop

BRENDAN RILEY

RENO – Teresa Heinz Kerry pitched John Kerry’s proposals for improving health care and safeguarding Social Security benefits during a campaign stop Thursday that coincided with Northern Nevada visits by President Bush and Laura Bush.

“It doesn’t require rocket science. It requires will,” Heinz Kerry said in promoting the plans during a low-key “Conversation with Teresa” event in a Hispanic area of south Reno – a world apart from the upscale, gated Lake Tahoe community where Laura Bush spoke on Thursday.

During a 40-minute talk and follow-up remarks that stretched the event into nearly two hours, Heinz Kerry gave a detailed description of how the Kerry-Edwards health care plan would expand an existing insurance system for federal employees to private citizens – if they want it.

“All children will be insured,” Heinz Kerry said as she told several hundred listeners how the plan would expand federal support to state-administered health insurance for children.

Heinz Kerry also criticized the Bush administration for not supporting Canadian prescription drug imports and allowing Medicare to negotiate bulk purchasing from drug companies, saying, “This isn’t necessary. This is not just.”

While overall costs of Kerry’s health proposal have been estimated at nearly $900 billion over 10 years, Heinz Kerry said billions of dollars could be saved by expanding programs that help to prevent illnesses such as diabetes.

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Heinz Kerry also said that the Social Security system “should not be used to balance the budget of the United States.” That followed John Kerry’s comment during his Wednesday debate with Bush that the president’s plans for the system amounted to “an invitation to disaster.”