Most of the candidates who’re seeking the Democratic Party’s 2004 presidential nomination will be in Iowa this weekend. This morning, Massachusetts Senator John Kerry is scheduled to give a speech outlining his health care proposals. This afternoon, Missouri Congressman Dick Gephardt will meet with a group of Iowans to discuss the health care plan he’s advanced.Gephardt says it’s going to be one of the main issues in the campaign. Gephardt says he wants to offer voters a real choice on all the important issues the country faces, including the economy, energy, agriculture and health care. Gephardt says Democrats can’t win by “trimming around the edges” and “trying to be Bush Lite.” Gephardt was criticized yesterday by the Democratic Leadership Council, a group of moderate Democrats, who accused him of catching the “pander virus” and proposing a health care plan that’s way too expensive. Gephardt defends his plan from the critics. Gephardt says everybody wants good health insurance, and he says his plan is the best one to get good health care for every citizen in the country. Gephardt’s plan would force businesses to provide health care benefits to workers, and award a tax credit to businesses worth 60 percent of health care premium costs.
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