8) What will your plans cost, and how will you pay for them?
The independent analysis from Ken Thorpe at Emory concludes that the Kerry health plan would cost $653 billion over the next 10 years. And every penny of that would be paid for by rolling back the Bush tax cut for families making over $200,000 per year. That's the top 1.4% of families, keep in mind. That tax rollback is projected to raise $860 billion over the next decade. The difference goes to education.
9) What is your stance on drug reimportation?
John Kerry is in favor of allowing Americans to reimport safe prescription drugs from Canada. I mentioned President Bush's "flip-flop" statements on reimportation, saying he would support it even though he has opposed it for all four years of his presidency. Safety is of course an important issue, but remember that there's not a single documented case of someone being injured by an imported drug from Canada, and prices there are often 50% lower than they are in the U.S., or sometimes even more. Americans should have the freedom to buy those FDA-inspected, FDA-approved prescription drugs. President Bush has blocked it for four straight years, and John Kerry would allow it.
10) What is your stance on stem cells?
Sen. Kerry will end the president's ban on creating new lines of embryonic stem cells because we have very few existing ones under the Bush restrictions. The few we do have, scientists tell us they're contaminated with mouse cells that make them inappropriate for developing new cures. They just don't provide the opportunities we need for the potential wealth of discoveries we could make using stem cell research. Forty-eight Nobel Prize-winning scientists endorsed John Kerry citing the President's ban on federal funding for research using new lines of stem cells as their principal reason. There's also potential in adult stem cell research, of course, but John Kerry is in favor of scientists making decisions about how best to use their money. The National Institutes of Health has a competitive awards process that gives research grants to the most promising research, and Sen. Kerry favors allowing that process to operate without the restrictions that are currently slowing down embryonic stem cell research.