About 800 people crowded into a Drake University auditorium yesterday to hear the health care plans seven of the Democratic presidential candidates are advocating. Health care reform has become one of the hallmark issues of the 2004 presidential campaign, but will it be a deciding issue for voters? Most of those who sat in the yesterday’s audience work in health care, but few said they would base their votes solely on a candidate’s health care plan. Pam Walker of Mondamin, a public health nurse in western Iowa’s Harrison County, says, though, it’s time for the government to guarantee health care for all. She says she sees folks through the public health system who don’t go to the doctor because they can’t afford the cost of a visit. Andrew Gross, drug and violence prevention coordinator for Des Moines Public Schools, sees kids who suffer at school because they are uninsured, and he says good health is key to success in school and beyond. Jane Degooyer, a nurse in Des Moines, says a candidate’s approach to health care issues will play a big role in her decision-making, though. Many said a candidate would have to offer a serious and specific health care reform plan to have a chance of getting their vote.
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