Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry is to hold a “town meeting” in Des Moines today to discuss health care policy. Yesterday afternoon, in advance of Kerry’s appearance, Kerry backers held a news conference in Des Moines to attack President Bush for announcing a 17 percent increase in the premiums elderly Medicare recipients pay.Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller says that premium increase will cost Iowa’s seniors 64-and-a-half million dollars. MIller says that “very, very substantial increase” comes as Social Security benefits increase only three percent. Miller says it’s another example of how President Bush’s domestic agenda is out-of-kilter. Miller says the President has decided tax cuts are “where it’s at domestically” and health care “can take care of itself.” Miller first endorsed Connecticut Senator Joseph Lieberman, then when Lieberman dropped out, Miller endorsed Kerry before the Iowa Caucuses in January. On the republican side today, President Bush’s daughters will campaign for their father in three Iowa college towns today. Jenna and Barbara Bush will speak at the UNI Student Union later this morning, then make a mid-day stop in Iowa City before appearing in Ames this afternoon. None of the events are open to reporters.
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