Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Clinton, Dole Take Aim but Miss Facts Truth on Jobs and Medicare Is Matter of Debate

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Clinton, Dole Take Aim but Miss Facts Truth on Jobs and Medicare Is Matter of Debate

Article excerpt

President Bill Clinton and Republican challenger Bob Dole tussled over government ethics, the FBI files and the future of Medicare in their final debate. How their claims measure up to the facts:

Medicare: Twice, Clinton claimed that the American Hospital Association had predicted the GOP congressional budget "could have closed 700 hospitals." But the group said Wednesday night the president was misquoting the group.

"We never said 700 hospitals would close," said its senior vice president, Rick Wade. Wade said his group identified about 700 U.S. hospitals that rely on Medicare and Medicaid for half or more of their revenue and could have been more seriously affected by some plans the GOP discussed. The group told Congress that if revenue was reduced too severely in these programs, "a variety of things could happen" with those 700 hospitals, including reducing services, cutting costs and "some ultimately might have to consider closing their doors," Wade said. The group told the White House a week ago that it wanted the president to quote its position correctly, Wade said. Clinton-Gore spokesman Don Foley said "we stand by what the president said tonight at the debate." Bankruptcies: Dole blamed Clinton's administration for a record number of bankruptcies, which are on track to surpass 1 million this year for the first time. But bankruptcy filings had their single-largest increases under Presidents Ronald Reagan and George Bush. Between 1985 and 1993, bankruptcy filings tripled to more than 900,000. The increase toward the million mark since then is due mainly to a law Clinton signed and Republicans overwhelmingly supported in 1994 that made it easier to declare bankruptcy. Pardons: Dole also jumped on Clinton for refusing to say he's "not going to pardon anybody he was involved in business with" in the Whitewater investigation. …

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