Poll suggests public support for Medicare bill wavers
The American public initially supports Medicare legislation providing help with prescription drugs, but that support fades when presented with criticism of the bill signed into law this year, a poll released Saturday suggests.
Asked whether they support "a Medicare bill which among other things provides prescription drug coverage and allows private companies to provide some services," almost two-thirds, 63 percent, said yes, according to the poll by the National Annenberg Election Survey.
When those polled were presented with opponents' arguments that the bill won't help seniors that much and cutting costs will eventually destroy Medicare, support faded. After hearings those arguments, only one in five of the total sample, 21 percent, supported it and another two in five said they were unsure.
The poll of 1,615 adults was taken from Dec. 8-23 and has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.
Kerry speech hammers Dean
John Kerry laced into Howard Dean on Saturday with a speech that questioned the judgment, temperament and political values of the Democratic front-runner, suggesting Dean would almost certainly lose the 2004 election if pitted against President Bush.
Ticking off a series of recent Dean statements, including his comment that America was no safer with the capture of Saddam Hussein, Kerry said, "You don't have to listen too carefully to hear the sounds of champagne corks popping in Karl Rove's office," a reference to Bush's chief political strategist.
The speech represented one of the most pointed attacks of the Democratic primary fight and came at a venue chosen to send a symbolic message beyond Kerry's strong words. The broadside was delivered at the downtown Manchester Public Library, 11 days after Dean stood in the same spot and assailed his Democratic rivals -- Kerry among them -- as spineless members of Washington's "politics as usual club."