Bush battles health plan opponents

Fighting vigorously for his new healthcare proposals, President Bush is traveling the country making pit stops to defend his ideas. In a speech in Missouri, President Bush fought back against critics who've emerged in the light of his State of the Union health proposals. Bush's plan is under fire as a sop for the rich--critics say that its proposal to offer tax breaks for health insurance costs would help the affluent far more than the poor. Bush, for his part, strenuously argued the point, telling a crowd at a St. Louis-based hospital that his plan would help millions afford private health insurance while lowering taxes for the majority of American workers. He repeated a similar message in Missouri on Thursday, while stressing that his plans did not involve a federal-level (à la Clinton plan) intervention in the system. "We believe the private sector is the best delivery of healthcare," Bush told an audience at St. Luke's Hospital, East, in Lee's Summit, MO. "We know there's a role for the federal government, but it's not to dictate, it's not to be the decision-maker." In this case, in other words, President Bush apparently isn't "the decider," something which may give healthcare execs cause for relief.

To learn more about Bush's health critics:
- read this United Press International article
- check out a video of President Bush's Kansas City speech from the Kansas City Star