CommunityPam's House Blend

As Digby said, hell froze over. CNN’s Bill Schneider actually had a hard-hitting piece on Bush’s health care flip-flopping, particularly how the flu shot shortage points out how the reality of this administration’s actions represent the very things Bush slams Kerry’s approach to health care for. Transcript from CNN:

“WILLIAM SCHNEIDER, CNN SR. POLITICAL ANALYST: That’s right. This week there was an issue that hit home with voters and forced the candidates to rethink their scripts. It even walked off with the political play of the week.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) SCHNEIDER (voice-over): They’re standing in line in Florida and Michigan, in New Jersey. The line goes around the block. Eager swing state residents lining up to vote? Not exactly. They’re lining up for flu shots.

DR. CHARLES GONZALEZ, INFECTIOUS DISEASE SPECIALIST: It’s incredibly serious. We have half as much vaccine as we should have.

SCHNEIDER: How did that happen?

BUSH: We relied upon a company out of England to provide about half of the flu vaccines for the United States citizens.

SCHNEIDER: Uh-oh. Sounds like outsourcing. The president had a solution.

BUSH: We’re working with Canada, hopefully they will produce a — help us realize the vaccine necessary.

SCHNEIDER: But hasn’t Bush expressed problems with drug imports from Canada?

BUSH: My worry is, it looks like it’s from Canada, it might be from a third world. We have to make sure before somebody thinks they’re buying a product, that it works.

SCHNEIDER: President Bush made a plea to the public.

BUSH: If you’re healthy, if you’re younger, don’t get a flu shot this year.

SCHNEIDER: Sounds like rationing, something the president said would result from Kerry’s health care plan.

BUSH: Government sponsored health care would lead to rationing.

SCHNEIDER: The government has the situation under control the president says.

BUSH: The CDC responsible for health in the United States is setting those priorities and allocating the flu vaccine accordingly.

SCHNEIDER: Isn’t that government control?

BUSH: My opponent wants the government to run the health care.

SCHNEIDER: Maybe the answer is legal reform.

BUSH: Vaccine manufacturers are worried about getting sued, and so therefore they have backed off from providing this kind of vaccine.

SCHNEIDER: Kerry says the issue is the whole health care system.

KERRY: There still aren’t enough flu vaccinations. What’s the president’s solution? He says, don’t get one if you’re healthy. That sounds just like his health care plan to me, hope and pray you don’t get sick.

SCHNEIDER: The flu bug has infected the campaign. The side effect was the political play of the week.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding