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Special Event

Bush Holds Forum on Health Care in Orlando, Florida

Aired September 12, 2000 - 10:44 a.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

DARYN KAGAN, CNN ANCHOR: Now we want to talk more politics and go to Orlando, Florida, where Texas Governor George W. Bush is speaking on health care today.

(JOINED IN PROGRESS)

GOV. GEORGE W, BUSH (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Tell me how cancer treatment has changed since you got out of medical school? I know you're Kay's doctors and...

FORUM PARTICIPANT: Exactly, Kay is one of my patients. Kay has done exceedingly well. We obviously hope that she continues to do well and hope that Jack does well through his therapy. One of the concerns we talk about, and that's that HCFA had threatened to cut back reimbursements to outpatient chemotherapy. As we just heard from the governor, it looks as though HCFA may be backing off of this threat, which would have really forced the majority of patients from an outpatient setting to actually a more costly inpatient setting.

One of the problems that I see on a routine basis is that, under the present health care plan that has been developed over the last eight years, access particularly to specialists has really been cut down. And, in fact, the name of the game in health care today is not so much getting the patient to the proper person, but it's really trying to prevent them, in many respects, from getting to a specialist because the theory is that it costs more money.

But it's clearly been shown in ovarian cancer, for example, that the sooner you get to the GYN oncologist, that is who takes care of you, the more likely it is that you're going to be a long-term survivor. Kay is a perfect example.

And I think one of the things we need to look forward to in our new health care system is the patient's rights to gain access to the proper physician.

BUSH: Right, that's part of what the patients' bill of rights can do, if properly structured. And I -- the thing about the Medicare reform, as well, the notion of providing Medicare patients with more options, one of those options is fee-for-service. One of those options is that Medicare patients, if you so choose, if you decide you're not happy with the government program, there's a fee-for- service plan available to you. And it becomes competitive, and the fee-for-service plans would then enable the patient to have the direct access to the doc.

KAGAN: We have been showing you an event here from Orlando, Florida. George W. Bush visiting that state. This has become a battleground state in the race for president in the year 2000.

George W. Bush doing two things: focusing on health care, an issue important to Floridians; and also taking his event smaller, doing more town hall meetings, showing off his strength in that event -- in that type of event, even better than a larger event.

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