News Release

Beyond Debate for Bush and Gore

STEFFIE WOOLHANDLER
Co-director of the Center for National Health Program Studies at Harvard University, Woolhandler said today: “On Medicare, Gore supports what is happening now — seniors slowly being forced into HMOs — while Bush supports accelerating the process. Bush cloaks his privatization of Medicare as ‘choice,’ but it means choosing between restrictive HMO ‘A’ or restrictive HMO ‘B.’ Neither candidate noted that 42 million people, 15 percent of the population, have no health insurance…. We need real regulation of drug prices, which is what every other developed country has done to control drug costs (that’s why we pay 60 percent more than Canadians for the same drugs). Gore is proposing throwing some money at the problem that will help seniors a little bit, but doesn’t solve the problem.”

RUTH BRANDWEIN
Author of Battered Women, Children and Welfare Reform: The Ties That Bind and a visiting scholar at the University of Washington, Brandwein said: “Gore boasted: ‘Our country has cut the welfare rolls in half…we’ve moved millions of people in America into good jobs.’ But most of the people leaving the welfare rolls do not have good jobs — many are working, but still are unable to support their families. Having a livable wage needs to become a central issue in this campaign.”

ALI ABUNIMAH
Vice president of the Arab-American Action Network, Abunimah said today: “Every year American taxpayers are asked to spend billions of dollars on weapons for Israel. We are told that these weapons are designed to protect Israel from columns of armor streaming down the Golan Heights. In fact, we are seeing attack helicopters and armor-piercing missiles being used against Palestinian civilians in the occupied territories. It is a shame that neither candidate explained to the American people why we should be supporting regimes that abuse human rights in this way, and how it accords with our interests or values.”
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MARK WEISBROT
Co-author of Social Security: The Phony Crisis, Weisbrot is co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research. He said today: “Bush repeatedly claimed that putting Social Security money into the stock market would yield higher returns. However, when one takes into account the current overvaluation of stocks and projected growth rates for the economy, this is extremely unlikely. Bush does not take into account that Social Security provides not only retirement income, but more than $12 trillion in life insurance — more than the entire private life-insurance industry — and disability insurance as well.” Weisbrot, who also wrote “Globalization for Dummies” in the May 2000 Harper’s, added: “Despite the fact that the overwhelming majority of Americans correctly believe that our trade and commercial agreements such as NAFTA and the World Trade Organization have cost jobs and wages…there was no mention of trade policy in this debate.”
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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; David Zupan, (541) 484-9167