Gubernatorial candidates took the stage to discuss health care

Long term health care is a major issue among Kentucky residents. Health care providers have long been discussing how to bring health care reform to aging Kentuckians. On April 25, 2007, gubernatorial candidates took the stage to discuss health care.

The panel of governor hopefuls were hit with a question on malpractice lawsuits. They each told how they would save taxpayers from bearing the financial burden of these sometimes frivolous lawsuits.

All five men said if elected they would create a watchdog group that would evaluate the validity of these suits before they went to court.

"I think we should be in a position where we can have legal experts review those occasionally and make judgments on frivolous cases," said Bruce Lunsford.

"I want to put medical malpractice lawyers out of business. Not by closing the courthouse doors but by making sure patients aren't injured in the first place," said Daniel Mongiardo.

Current Governor Ernie Fletcher said he would like to see and economic cap placed on these malpractice suits.

"You no longer have a jackpot liability system where folks are trying to roll the dice and hit the jackpot," Fletcher said.

Democratic candidate Steve Henry told the crowd that he would like to have a surgeon general elected to make sure health care is given the attention it deserves.

"A surgeon general, I think, would oversee all the cabinets, and everyday that person would be thoughtful about how to take care of our citizens.," Henry said.

While the panel was split on whether or not universal health care should be implemented. The group did agree on the need to update the current health data system and do away with paper records.

"Certainly I do support the e-health where information is electronically provided rather than manually provided," said House Speaker Jody Richards.

The panel of gubernatorial candidates also agreed its the job of governor and health cabinet to make sure people are able to afford insurance and medicines.

All five gubernatorial candidates discussed how the state has already begun to change its health care misfortunes by creating wellness and preventative health programs. They all said they plan to continue to harvest programs like that if elected.

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