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Iowa Press #3003
September 20 and 22, 2002

Yepsen: THE CAMPAIGN OF 2002 CONTINUES, AND THE ISSUES DRIVING THE CAMPAIGNS CONTINUE TO COME INTO SHARPER FOCUS.   WE'LL DISCUSS THE CAMPAIGN TO REPRESENT IOWA'S THIRD CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT WITH THE INCUMBENT, DEMOCRAT LEONARD BOSWELL, AND WITH HIS REPUBLICAN CHALLENGER, STAN THOMPSON, ON THIS EDITION OF "IOWA PRESS."

ANNOUNCER: FUNDING FOR "IOWA PRESS "   HAS BEEN PROVIDED BY FRIENDS OF IOWA PUBLIC TELEVISION;   BY THE IOWA BANKERS ASSOCIATION...    FOR PERSONAL, BUSINESS, AND COMMERCIAL NEEDS,   IOWA BANKS HELP IOWANS   REACH THEIR FINANCIAL GOALS;   BY THE ASSOCIATED GENERAL CONTRACTORS OF IOWA...THE PUBLIC'S PARTNER IN BUILDING IOWA'S HIGHWAY, BRIDGE, AND MUNICIPAL UTILITY INFRASTRUCTURE; AND BY IOWA NETWORK SERVICES AND YOUR LOCAL INDEPENDENT TELEPHONE COMPANY...    IOWA NETWORK SERVICES,   YOUR CLOSEST CONNECTION.  

ON STATEWIDE IOWA PUBLIC TELEVISION, THIS IS THE FRIDAY,   SEPTEMBER 20 EDITION OF "IOWA PRESS."    HERE IS DAVID YEPSEN.  

Yepsen: FORTY-SIX DAYS REMAIN IN THE CAMPAIGN OF 2002, AS IOWA GOES BACK INTO THE VOTING BOOTH ON TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 5. FEDERAL, STATE, AND LOCAL ELECTIONS ARE ON THE BALLOT, AND TODAY ON "IOWA PRESS," WE CONTINUE WITH OUR FOCUS ON THE CAMPAIGNS FOR THE UNITED STATES HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES.  NOW, YOU MIGHT RECALL THAT WE OPENED OUR THIRTY-SECOND SEASON ON STATEWIDE IOWA PUBLIC TELEVISION, WITH THE DISCUSSION WITH THE TWO MAJOR-PARTY CANDIDATES IN NORTHEAST IOWA'S FIRST DISTRICT, WITH THE REPUBLICAN INCUMBENT, CONGRESSMAN JIM NUSSLE OF MANCHESTER, AND WITH HIS DEMOCRATIC CHALLENGER, BETTENDORF MAYOR ANN HUTCHINSON.THEN LAST WEEKEND WE SHIFTED OUR FOCUS TO IOWA'S SECOND DISTRICT IN SOUTHEASTERN IOWA, AND JOINING US WERE THE REPUBLICAN INCUMBENT, CONGRESSMAN JIM LEACH OF IOWA CITY, AND HIS DEMOCRATIC CHALLENGER, DR. JULIE THOMAS OF CEDAR RAPIDS.WELL, THIS WEEK WE'RE ON TO THE THIRD DISTRICT IN CENTRAL IOWA.   CONGRESSMAN LEONARD BOSWELL OF DES MOINES IS THE DEMOCRATIC INCUMBENT, AND TODAY HE IS SEEKING A FOURTH TWO-YEAR TERM REPRESENTING IOWA IN WASHINGTON D.C.WELCOME, MR. BOSWELL.  

Boswell: THANK YOU, DAVID.   GOOD TO BE HERE.  

Yepsen: HIS REPUBLICAN CHALLENGER IS DES MOINES ATTORNEY STAN THOMPSON, WHO IS SEEKING PUBLIC OFFICE FOR THE FIRST TIME.   WELCOME TO IOWA PUBLIC TELEVISION AND TO "IOWA PRESS."  

Boswell: IT'S GOOD TO BE HERE.  

Yepsen: IT'S GOOD TO HAVE YOU WITH US, MR. THOMPSON.   ALSO WITH US AT THE "IOWA PRESS" TABLE ARE KAY HENDERSON, NEWS DIRECTOR WITH "RADIO IOWA," AND MIKE GLOVER, THE POLITICAL AND LEGISLATIVE REPORTER WITH THE "ASSOCIATED PRESS."  

Glover: CONGRESSMAN, LET'S START WITH YOU. WE LIKE TO GIVE CANDIDATES ON THIS SHOW A CHANCE TO MAKE THE CASE FOR THEMSELVES, ASSUMING THEY WILL AT SOME POINT ANYWAY, SO GIVE US THE CASE.  WHAT'S THE ARGUMENT FOR ANOTHER TWO YEARS IN CONGRESS FOR LEONARD BOSWELL?

Boswell: WELL, THANK YOU FOR THAT QUESTION, MIKE. I THINK IT'S EXPERIENCE. THE EXPERIENCE IS PRETTY IMPORTANT TO US RIGHT NOW, AS WE ARE IN THE TIMES WE'RE IN I THINK ARE PRETENTIOUS TIMES.WE'VE GOT THE SITUATION ON THE WAR ON TERRORISM, IRAQ, FALTERING ECONOMY, THE NEED TO SHORE UP AND BE SURE THAT WE PRESERVE SOCIAL SECURITY AND MEDICARE, TO MAKE OUR SCHOOLS THE BEST WE CAN, OUR CHILDREN, OUR FUTURE, AND TO BE SURE THAT WE KEEP MOVING ON THIS MEDICARE REIMBURSEMENT SITUATION WE'VE FINALLY GOT SOME ATTENTION TO. SO I THINK IT'S VERY IMPORTANT THAT WE BRING THAT EXPERIENCE TO PLAY.  

Glover: MR. THOMPSON, LET'S GO TO YOU HERE.    WHAT'S THE ARGUMENT FOR REPLACING LEONARD BOSWELL AND SENDING STAN THOMPSON TO CONGRESS? 

Thompson: SURE.  I THINK IOWA IS A GREAT STATE, BUT I THINK WE NEED TO HAVE A CONGRESSMAN WITH ENERGY AND VIGOR AND SOMEONE WHO CAN GET THINGS DONE. WE NEED A CONGRESSMAN WHO IS GOING TO STAND UP FOR OUR ECONOMY AND VOTE FOR THINGS THAT WILL HELP IOWA, AND I'LL DO THAT. WE ALSO NEED A CONGRESSMAN WHO FITS THE DISTRICT.I WAS BORN AND RAISED IN A FARMING COMMUNITY.   I UNDERSTAND AGRICULTURE IN SMALL TOWNS. I RECEIVED THE FARM BUREAU FRIEND OF AGRICULTURE ENDORSEMENT. AND SEVENTEEN YEARS AGO, MY WIFE, NANCY, AND I MOVED TO DES MOINES TO START OUR FAMILY, PURSUE OUR CAREERS. WE NOW HAVE FOR BOYS IN DES MOINES PUBLIC SCHOOLS. I WORK IN DOWNTOWN DES MOINES, AND I THINK WE FIT THIS DISTRICT.  

Glover: CONGRESSMAN, LET ME TURN YOUR ANSWER A LITTLE BIT ON ITS EAR FOR A SECOND. THERE'S A LOT OF DISCUSSION IN CONGRESS ABOUT IOWA BEING LAST IN THE NATION IN MEDICARE REIMBURSEMENT AND SOME OF THESE PROBLEMS THAT WE FACE. CAN'T YOU ARGUE THAT OUR EXISTING CONGRESSIONAL DELEGATION HAS NOT MET THE CHALLENGE AND OUGHT TO BE REPLACED?

Boswell: WELL, I THINK THAT MY RESPONSE TO THAT IS THIS: WE ARE --WE FINALLY GOT SOME ATTENTION TO IT. I'VE BEEN WORKING ON IT TWO ADMINISTRATIONS NOW. I WENT TO THE WHITE HOUSE WITH THE IOWA HOSPITAL ASSOCIATION THREE YEARS AGO.    WE GOT A COMMITMENT THERE TO WORK ON THIS.WE HAD A CHANGE OF ADMINISTRATIONS, AND IT'S OVER A YEAR AGO THAT WE INTRODUCED THE FAIRNESS ACT. AS HARKIN DID IN THE SENATE, TOM OSBORNE AND I DID IN THE HOUSE.  AND UNEXPECTEDLY ON THE APPROPRIATIONS PROCESS, WE GOT A CHANCE TO HIGHLIGHT THIS, AND NOW WE ARE TALKING ABOUT IT. IT'S AN ISSUE.  PEOPLE ARE PICKING UP ON IT, THANKS TO THE MEDIA'S HELP, AND I THINK WE'RE GOING TO GET SOMETHING DONE.

Yepsen: MR. THOMPSON, LET ME ASK YOU -- TURN THAT QUESTION AROUND TOO.  I MEAN IF WE DO HAVE PROBLEMS IN WASHINGTON, WHETHER IT'S MEDICARE OR WHATEVER, WHY AREN'T WE BETTER OFF HAVING MEMBERS OF CONGRESS WITH SOME SENIORITY?

Thompson: SURE.  I THINK CONGRESSMAN BOSWELL HAS TALKED ABOUT FRUSTRATION IN DEALING WITH THE WHITE HOUSE. I CERTAINLY WORKED ON THE BUSH CAMPAIGN.    I THINK I CAN GET SOMETHING DONE WITH THE ADMINISTRATION. AND I SEE ANY SOLUTION TO THE MEDICARE PROBLEM THAT WE HAVE HERE IN IOWA INVOLVING SUPPORT FROM THE WHITE HOUSE. I KNOW WHEN THE PRESIDENT WAS HERE IN DAVENPORT THIS WEEK, HE SPOKE ABOUT MEDICARE.  AND IF YOU LOOK AT THE REPUBLICANS THAT WE HAVE IN THE HOUSE, JIM NUSSLE HAS BEEN ABLE, AS CHAIRMAN OF THE BUDGET COMMITTEE, TO GET ADDITIONAL APPROPRIATIONS FOR IOWA AS PART OF THE PRESCRIPTION DRUG BILL. I'D LIKE TO BE PART OF THAT TEAM AND WORK TO GET SOMETHING DONE.  

Henderson: CONGRESSMAN BOSWELL, PRESIDENT BUSH HAS ASKED CONGRESS TO AUTHORIZE THE USE OF FORCE AGAINST IRAQ. HOW WILL YOU VOTE WHEN THAT COMES BEFORE THE U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES?  

Boswell: WELL, THAT PROCESS IS JUST GOING ON, AS YOU KNOW, KAY, AND THE DRAFT OF THAT CAME YESTERDAY.  IN FACT, ALL DAY YESTERDAY I WAS IN AN INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE HEARING WITH SECRETARY ARMITAGE AND WOLFOWITZ, AND WE TALKED ABOUT THAT QUITE A BIT.   AND I THINK THEY'RE STARTING TO MAKE THE CASE, AND I THINK THEY'VE GOT TO DO THAT. WHAT WE DON'T WANT TO HAPPEN IS TO DO SOMETHING THAT WOULD NOT INVOLVE THE AMERICAN PEOPLE, THAT THEY HAVE THEIR SUPPORT. AS YOU KNOW, I'M A VIETNAM VETERAN, AND WE WENT THERE AND WE FOUGHT HARD AND DID OUR BEST.  AND WE CAME OUT OF THERE WITH 56,000 BODY BAGS, AND WE DIDN'T HAVE THE AMERICAN PUBLIC WITH US.    I DON'T WANT TO SEE THAT EVER HAPPEN AGAIN. SO I THINK, AGAIN, MY EXPERIENCE, HAVING LIVED OVERSEAS NINE YEARS OF MY LIFE AND THESE TYPE OF THINGS WILL MAKE A BIG DIFFERENCE I THINK TO OUR PEOPLE AS WE DECIDE ARE WE GOING TO SEND OUR YOUNG MEN AND WOMEN INTO A COMBAT SITUATION AND HOW DO WE GET INTO IT, HOW DO WE GET OUT OF IT, AND HOW FAR DO WE GO.  

Henderson: I MISSED AN ANSWER THERE.   YES OR NO?

Boswell: WELL, HERE'S YOUR ANSWER.    THE PRESIDENT MAKING HIS CASE AND HE COMES WITH HIS CASE, IF HE SUCCEEDS WITH IT, I WILL SUPPORT THE PRESIDENT.    I'VE BEEN SUPPORTING HIM ON THE WAR ON TERRORISM, BUT I THINK HE HAS TO MAKE THE CASE TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE, STARTING WITH CONGRESS, AND HE'S STARTED THAT PROCESS.   SO WE'LL SEE HOW IT GOES, BUT HE HASN'T MADE A DECISION ON IT YET HIMSELF.   BUT I'LL BE READY TO MAKE THAT DECISION WHEN WE GET TO THAT POINT.

Henderson: MR. THOMPSON, HAVE YOU MADE A DECISION ON THIS ISSUE?    WILL YOU SUPPORT THE USE OF FORCE AGAINST IRAQ?

Thompson: CERTAINLY, I THINK WHAT YOU HAVE TO LOOK AT IS WHAT IS THE RISK:   DOES IRAQ HAVE CHEMICAL, BIOLOGICAL, NUCLEAR WEAPONS ;   AND ONCE YOU'VE MADE THAT DETERMINATION, HOW EMINENT IS THAT RISK?   AND ONCE YOU'VE WORKED THROUGH THAT, I AGREE THAT --   THE LESSON FROM VIETNAM I THINK WAS BEFORE WE ENGAGE IN MILITARY ACTION, WE NEED TO KNOW WHAT THE GOAL IS AND WHAT OUR EXIT STRATEGY IS.  AND I THINK WE HAVE TO IDENTIFY THAT IF WE ARE GOING TO GO TO WAR WITH IRAQ.    AND I WOULD SAY THAT THE PRESIDENT CERTAINLY HAS DONE, I THINK, A GOOD JOB.   HE'S GONE TO CONGRESS SEEKING A RESOLUTION.   HE'S WENT TO THE UNITED NATIONS.   I THINK HE'S MADE A STRONG CASE THERE THAT IRAQ HAS NOT FOLLOWED U.N. RESOLUTIONS AND PUT THE BALL IN THE U.N.'S COURT TO TAKE ACTION AND INDICATED, IF THEY WILL NOT, THE U.S. WILL BE IN A POSITION TO TAKE ACTION.  

Glover: CONGRESSMAN, HOW MUCH OF THIS WHOLE IRAQ ISSUE IS PURE DOMESTIC POLITICS?    ALL THE POLLS I'VE SEEN SHOW THAT IF VOTERS ARE THINKING ABOUT IRAQ, TERROR, IT'S PRETTY GOOD FOR THE PRESIDENT, IT'S PRETTY GOOD FOR REPUBLICANS. IF VOTERS ARE THINKING ABOUT HEALTH CARE, UNEMPLOYMENT, AND THE ECONOMY, IT'S PRETTY GOOD FOR DEMOCRATS.   BUSH'S OWN APPROVAL RATINGS HAVE STARTED TO CLIMB BACK UP AGAIN AS THE FOCUS HAS BEEN ON IRAQ.    HOW MUCH OF THIS IS JUST "FALL OF AN ELECTION YEAR" DOMESTIC POLITICS?

Boswell: WELL, SOME OF THEM MAY WELL BE, MIKE.   I APPRECIATE YOU SAY THAT, BUT SADDAM IS A BAD PERSON.   WE ALL KNOW THAT.

Glover: WELL, I'M NOT DEFENDING SADDAM HUSSEIN, BUT I'M THINKING HOW MUCH OF THE FOCUS ON HIM IN SEPTEMBER OF AN ELECTION YEAR IS DOMESTIC POLITICS AND HOW MUCH OF IT IS NATIONAL SECURITY?

Boswell: WELL, NATIONAL SECURITY IS VERY IMPORTANT TO US. IT'S EXTREMELY IMPORTANT TO US. YOU KNOW, SADDAM HAS BEEN THIS WAY FOR SOME TIME, BUT YOU MAKE A GOOD POINT.  WE HAVE GOT SOME DOMESTIC ISSUES THAT WE NEED TO GET BACK ON, HEALTH CARE AND PRESCRIPTION DRUGS, THINGS THAT ARE VERY IMPORTANT TO PEOPLE, PRESERVING AND MAKING SURE WE DON'T CONTINUE TO SPEND THE RESERVES IN SOCIAL SECURITY AND MEDICARE.   WE'VE GOT TO ADDRESS THOSE AND WE NEED TO GET BACK TO IT.  AT THE SAME TIME,   WE'VE GOT TO --   FIRST AND FOREMOST, WE'VE GOT TO PROTECT THE AMERICAN PEOPLE, SO THE WAR ON TERRORISM IS A VERY IMPORTANT MATTER AND WE'VE GOT TO DEAL WITH IT. AND, YOU KNOW, AS WE START PUTTING THE PIECES TOGETHER AND REALIZE, BECAUSE OF THE THINGS WE'RE FINDING IN AFGHANISTAN AND THE AL QUADA AND THINGS WE'RE LEARNING -- SADDAM MAY MAKE THESE MASS DESTRUCTION WEAPONS, WHICH HE HAS.    HE HAS IN CHEMICAL AND BIOLOGICAL, AND HE WANTS IT IN NUCLEAR --

Glover: MR. THOMPSON?

Boswell: -- SO WE'VE GOT TO LOOK AT THIS VERY, VERY CAREFULLY.

Glover: MR. THOMPSON, LET'S ASSUME --

Boswell: AND I THINK THAT WE'RE DOING THE RIGHT THING.

Glover: LET'S ASSUME THAT SADDAM HUSSEIN IS NOT A WORSE PERSON TODAY THAN HE WAS A YEAR AGO OR TWO YEARS AGO. HOW MUCH IS IT DOMESTIC POLITICS THAT WE'RE TALKING ABOUT IRAQ IN SEPTEMBER AND OCTOBER OF AN ELECTION YEAR?

Thompson: I CERTAINLY THINK THE THREAT IS REAL AND CERTAINLY THINGS THAT HAPPEN ABROAD ARE GOING TO AFFECT WHAT HAPPENS HERE DOMESTICALLY. AND I GUESS I DON'T SEE THAT THIS IS BEING DRIVEN BY POLITICAL MOTIVES.   CERTAINLY SEPTEMBER 11 WASN'T ANTICIPATED. WE'VE GONE TO WAR IN AFGHANISTAN. AND AS WE'VE WORKED THROUGH THAT, I THINK WE SEE THAT THERE'S ADDITIONAL STEPS THAT MAY NEED TO BE TAKEN WITH IRAQ, SO I DON'T SEE IT AS INVOLVING DOMESTIC POLITICS IN TERMS OF THE ELECTION.

Yepsen: MR. THOMPSON, I WANT TO TALK ABOUT SOME OF THE ISSUES IN THIS CAMPAIGN. YOU JUST MENTIONED A MOMENT AGO -- I WANT TO FOLLOW UP WITH YOU. YOU JUST MENTIONED YOU WERE COENDORSED BY THE IOWA FARM BUREAU.   WELL, IT'S ALSO TRUE THAT LEONARD BOSWELL WAS ENDORSED BY THE IOWA FARM BUREAU; IS THAT NOT CORRECT?

Thompson: THAT IS TRUE.  

Yepsen: WELL, WHY ARE YOU MORE COMPELLING THAN HE IS AS FAR AS THE FARM COMMUNITY IS CONCERNED?

Thompson: WELL, WE BOTH, YOU KNOW, RECEIVED THE FRIEND OF AGRICULTURE ENDORSEMENT, AND WE'VE WORKED VERY, VERY HARD WITH FARMERS.  AND ONE OF THE BIG ISSUES, AS I'VE MET WITH PRODUCERS AND FARMERS, IS TRADE PROMOTION AUTHORITY, AND THAT ALLOWS MORE OF OUR PRODUCTS HERE IN IOWA TO BE EXPORTED ABROAD. I'VE SUPPORTED THAT. I SUPPORTED IT IN NOVEMBER.    I SUPPORTED IT AGAIN THIS SUMMER.    CONGRESSMAN BOSWELL VOTED AGAINST IT BOTH TIMES, AND I THINK THAT WAS A BAD VOTE NOT ONLY FOR IOWA'S FARMERS BUT FOR OUR WHOLE ECONOMY. THIS DISTRICT INCLUDES NOT ONLY AGRICULTURE BUT MANUFACTURING;  IT INCLUDES FINANCIAL SERVICES.    AND THOSE ARE BOTH KEY AREAS I SEE THAT OUR STATE HAS AN OPPORTUNITY TO GROW AND PROSPER WITH.  

Glover: CONGRESSMAN BOSWELL, ONE OF THE BIG ISSUES THAT YOU HAVE FACED IN CONGRESS IS A NEW FARM BILL. WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE NEW FARM BILL THAT PRESIDENT BUSH SIGNED INTO LAW?

Boswell: WELL, I'LL ADDRESS THAT BUT I'M COMPELLED TO SAY THAT I AM A TRADE SUPPORTER.    I'VE GOT A LONG HISTORY OF IT, 85 PERCENT, AND SO TWO VOTES DOESN'T MAKE ME NOT A SUPPORTER OF TRADE.  

Glover: WELL, CAN YOU DEFEND THOSE TWO VOTES?

Boswell: OH, ABSOLUTELY.    THE VOTES WERE MADE --   IF YOU LOOKED AT THE TOTAL PICTURE --I DON'T WANT TO BE CONSIDERED A PERSON THAT DOESN'T CARE ABOUT WHAT GOES ON AROUND THE WORLD WITH OUR CHILD LABOR SITUATION. WE JUST DIDN'T GET SOMETHING THERE THAT WOULD PROTECT THAT AND LET US LEAD ON THAT, AND THAT'S A RESPONSIBILITY. AS FAR AS THE FARM BUREAU ENDORSEMENT IS CONCERNED, I THINK IOWA FARMERS WILL KNOW THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A CORPORATE LAWYER AND A FARMER.   AND I'LL LEAVE IT UP TO THEM TO SORT THAT OUT SO, SO MUCH FOR THAT.    BUT WHAT WAS --   BACK TO YOUR QUESTION.  

Glover: THE FARM BILL.

Boswell: PLEASE REMIND ME.

Glover: THE FARM BILL.

Boswell: THE FARM BILL IS A GOOD FARM BILL. IT'S PROBABLY NOT PERFECT BUT TIMING WAS IMPORTANT. THE PRESIDENT SAID HIMSELF AT THE FAIRGROUNDS THIS IS GOOD FOR IOWA, AND IT IS.    AND I APPRECIATE THE FACT I COULD WORK ON IT TO HELP SHAPE IT, AND I THINK THAT SENATOR HARKIN DID A SUPER JOB IN GETTING IT AS FAR AS HE COULD GET IT AND IOWANS ARE GOING TO BENEFIT FROM IT.    WE'VE GOT TO WORK OUT SOME OF THE COMPLICATIONS OF IMPLEMENTATION, BUT WE'RE DOING THAT.    AND I THINK IT'S GOING TO BE GOOD FOR IOWA.OVERALL WE'VE DONE PRETTY WELL.

Glover: MR. THOMPSON, HAD YOU BEEN IN CONGRESS, WOULD YOU HAVE VOTED FOR THIS FARM BILL, AND DID IT HAVE FLAWS?

Thompson: YES, I WOULD HAVE VOTED FOR THE BILL, AND IT DOES HAVE SOME FLAWS.   ONE OF THE THINGS WE'VE SEEN IS ON THE PROVEN YIELDS.    THAT HAS CAUSED SOME CONCERN, PARTICULARLY FOR LIVESTOCK PRODUCERS.IT DOES SEEM THAT THE AG DEPARTMENT, ANN VENEMAN, IS WORKING WITH THE CONGRESS TO ADDRESS THAT.THAT HAS BEEN A CONCERN OF PRODUCERS.ONE OF THE POSITIVES IN THAT BILL I THINK ARE THE CONSERVATION MEASURES.    I THINK IN PUBLIC POLICY, YOU WANT TO LOOK FOR WIN-WIN SITUATIONS, AND I SEE BUFFER STRIPS AS A GOOD WAY -- THEY'RE GOOD FOR FARMERS. THEY DON'T MAKE IT MORE DIFFICULT FOR THEM TO PLANT AND HARVEST.   THEY ALSO KEEP MORE OF THE SOIL IN SO WE HAVE LESS POLLUTION IN OUR WATERWAYS. IT'S A WIN-WIN; I THINK THAT'S A GOOD PART OF THE FARM BILL.

Henderson: MR. THOMPSON, EARLIER CONGRESSMAN BOSWELL MENTIONED THE MEDICARE REIMBURSEMENT ISSUE.

Thompson: YES.  

Henderson: HOW WOULD YOU RESOLVE THE PROBLEM OF IOWA BEING PAID LESS THAN EVERY OTHER STATE IN REGARDS TO THE HEALTH CARE THAT DOCTORS AND HOSPITALS PROVIDE THE ELDERLY?

Thompson: YOU KNOW, THE MEDICARE PROBLEM SHOWS UP NOT ONLY IN CITIZENS UNDER A FEDERAL PROGRAM GETTING DIFFERENT TREATMENT FROM WHAT AN IOWAN WOULD RECEIVE COMPARED TO, LET'S SAY, A FLORIDA RESIDENT, BUT IT ALSO HURTS OUR HOSPITALS.   SEVENTY PERCENT OF THE REVENUE THAT IOWA HOSPITALS RECEIVE -- RURAL HOSPITALS IS FROM MEDICARE AND MEDICARE, SO IT HURTS OUR RURAL HOSPITALS.    IT MAKES IT HARDER FOR NURSES AND DOCTORS TO STAY HERE AND PRACTICE HERE. AND ULTIMATELY, AS YOU LOOK AT OUR STATE AND OUR ABILITY TO MOVE FORWARD, ONE OF THE KEY INGREDIENTS WE HAVE TO HAVE IS QUALITY HEALTH CARE.    AND WE SHOULDN'T HAVE MEDICARE AS A FEDERAL PROGRAM THAT'S HARMING OUR ABILITY TO DO THAT. 

Henderson: AND HOW WOULD YOU RESOLVE IT?

Thompson: I THINK WHAT WE NEED TO DO IS BUILD COALITIONS, WORK WITH DIFFERENT MEMBERS OF CONGRESS TO ACCOMPLISH THAT.ONE DIFFERENCE WITH CONGRESSMAN BOSWELL AND MYSELF WAS A FEW WEEKS AGO, HE CALLED FOR THE RESIGNATION OF TOM SCULLY. AND I WAS ASKED ABOUT THAT AND I SAID, " NO, I DON'T THINK HE NEEDS TO RESIGN.    I THINK WHAT WE NEED TO DO IS CONTINUE THE DIALOGUE AND WORK ON THE PROBLEM."   A FEW DAYS LATER SENATOR HARKIN AGREED WITH ME THAT TOM SCULLY DID NOT NEED TO RESIGN AND ENGAGED WITH SENATOR GRASSLEY TO WORK ON THE GRASSLEY PROPOSAL, THE FAIR BILL. AND I THINK THAT'S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE TWO OF US AND HOW WE'RE GOING TO APPROACH THAT PROBLEM.

Henderson: CONGRESSMAN BOSWELL, DO YOU STILL THINK THAT TOM SCULLY SHOULD RESIGN?

Boswell: I THINK YES.    I DIDN'T FIGURE THAT HE WOULD, BUT IT'S NOT SOMETHING THAT I DID TO THIS ADMINISTRATION.   AS YOU KNOW, SOME OF YOU, I DID THE SAME THING WITH THE VETERANS DIRECTOR IN THE PREVIOUS ADMINISTRATION, AND HE DID RESIGN.    HE WASN'T FOCUSED.   AND SCULLY, AS FAR AS I WAS CONCERNED, TO MAKE THOSE KIND OF COMMENTS, NOT FOCUSED.    AND HE'S THERE TO REPRESENT 50 STATES, SO I JUST FOUND IT UNACCEPTABLE TO MAKE THOSE FLIP REMARKS AND I THOUGHT THAT WE OUGHT TO TRY TO GET HIS ATTENTION.SO I HOPE HE TRIES A LITTLE HARDER, AND I SUSPECT HE'S GOING TO TRY A LITTLE HARDER.BUT WE'VE GOT TO RESOLVE THIS. IT HAS A TREMENDOUS IMPACT ON OUR ECONOMY, AS MUCH AS A BILLION DOLLARS TO OUR STATE IF WE COULD JUST BE AT THE AVERAGE. AND WE'RE SO FAR BELOW THE AVERAGE, SO IT NEEDS ATTENTION. AND I AM ELATED THAT WE FINALLY GOT THIS AS AN ISSUE, IT'S BEING TALKED ABOUT, AND I HAVE PEOPLE COMING --

Glover: CONGRESSMAN BOSWELL?

Boswell: -- AND TALKING ABOUT BUILDING A COALITION. THEY'RE COMING AND SIGNING ONTO OUR BILLS ALL THE TIME.

Glover: CONGRESSMAN BOSWELL, THE NATION HAS RETURNED TO BUDGET DEFICITS.    AT THE SAME TIME PRESIDENT BUSH HAS CALLED FOR HIS TAX CUTS TO BE MADE PERMANENT.   IF A VOTE COMES IN CONGRESS TO MAKE HIS TAX CUTS PERMANENT, HOW WILL YOU VOTE?

Boswell: I WON'T VOTE FOR IT.    I SUPPORTED TAX CUTS, BUT WE OFFERED, MIKE, A SUBSTITUTE THAT WAS PRETTY GOOD FORESIGHT.   IT'S BEEN PROVEN OUT THAT IT WOULD HAVE BEEN MUCH BETTER FOR THE COUNTRY. WE'RE NOW INTO DEFICIT SPENDING. WE'RE TAKING MONEY FROM SOCIAL SECURITY AND MEDICARE.WE SHOULD NOT DO THAT. AND WE COULD HAVE AVOIDED THAT AND WE COULD HAVE GIVEN SOME SUBSTANTIAL TAX CUTS, WE COULD HAVE REDUCED THE DEBT, AND WE COULD HAVE INVESTED IN EDUCATION AND SOME THINGS WITHOUT GOING TO THAT EXTREME.   BUT THAT 1.3 TRILLION WAS AN OVERSTEP, SO I WOULDN'T SUPPORT THAT AT THIS TIME.    OUR COUNTRY HAS BEEN LIVING OFF SOCIAL SECURITY.IT'S GOING TO DO IT FOR QUITE A LITTLE WHILE OUT THERE. AND I DON'T THINK THAT'S HEALTHY.IT'S NOT RIGHT; IT'S WRONG.  

Glover: MR. THOMPSON, SAME QUESTION TO YOU. THE NATION HAS RETURNED TO DEFICIT SPENDING.   AT THE SAME TIME, THE PRESIDENT HAS CALLED FOR HIS TAX CUTS TO REMAIN PERMANENT.  IN CONGRESS, WOULD YOU VOTE TO MAKE THOSE TAX CUTS PERMANENT?AND HOW DO YOU JUSTIFY THAT IN LIGHT OF BIG BUDGET DEFICITS?

Thompson: YES, I WOULD VOTE TO MAKE THOSE TAX CUTS PERMANENT.I THINK THE DEFICIT IS CAUSED BECAUSE THE GOVERNMENT SPENDS TOO MUCH, NOT BECAUSE WE'RE TAXED TOO LITTLE. AND IN PARTICULAR, I THINK CUTS IN TAXES CAN HELP GROW THE ECONOMY.   AND I SEE THE ANSWER TO OUR PROBLEMS AS HAVING A GROWING ECONOMY.    WE'VE GONE THROUGH A DOWNTURN AND I THINK THERE'S SOME SIGNS --  THE UNEMPLOYMENT NEWS IN IOWA JUST YESTERDAY WAS THAT UNEMPLOYMENT HAS DROPPED.

Glover: SO YOUR ARGUMENT IS THAT GOVERNMENT SPENDS TOO MUCH?  

Thompson: I THINK THE --

Glover: NAME THREE PROGRAMS YOU'D CUT.

Thompson: I THINK THE ONES THAT ARE OFF THE TABLE.

Glover: NO, NO, THE ONES THAT ARE ON THE TABLE.

Thompson: CERTAINLY OUR SOCIAL SECURITY AND MEDICARE --

Glover: THE ONES THAT ARE ON THE TABLE. THE ONES THAT ARE ON THE TABLE.    WHERE WOULD YOU CUT SPENDING?  

Thompson: I THINK YOU'VE GOT TO LOOK AT ALL PROGRAMS --

Glover: GIVE ME THREE EXAMPLES.

Thompson: -- TO SEE AREAS WHERE WE CAN DO A BETTER JOB --

Glover: GIVE ME THREE EXAMPLES.

Thompson: -- IN NONDISCRETIONARY SPENDING.

Glover: YOU DON'T HAVE ANY.THANK YOU.

Yepsen: MR. BOSWELL, REGARDLESS OF WHETHER WE GO TO WAR WITH IRAQ OR NOT, WE DO HAVE ADDITIONAL COST TO THE FEDERAL TREASURY OF PAYING FOR THE WAR ON TERRORISM. HOW SHOULD WE PAY FOR IT? WHAT TAXES DO YOU WANT TO RAISE TO PAY FOR THIS WAR? 

Boswell: I DON'T KNOW THAT WE'D NEED TO RAISE TAXES AT ALL. I'VE NEVER PROPOSED RAISING TAXES.THE QUESTION THAT JUST LED US UP TO THIS POINT WAS NOT THAT. I THINK THAT WE HAVE TO GO THROUGH THIS APPROPRIATION PROCESS AND MAKE THE PRIORITIES IN THE JUDGMENTS, AND WE HAVEN'T GOTTEN THERE YET.    THE CURRENT MAJORITY IS STRUGGLING.    WE'VE ONLY PASSED FIVE APPROPRIATION BILLS OUT OF THE HOUSE, SO WE'VE GOT EIGHT THAT HAVEN'T BEEN PASSED.    NONE HAVE BEEN PASSED AND SENT TO THE PRESIDENT YET, SO I THINK THERE WAS QUITE A RELUCTANCE TO DEAL WITH THE SERIOUSNESS OF THE SITUATION.

Yepsen: SO YOU WOULD ADD TO THE DEFICIT TO PAY FOR THE WAR?  

Boswell: WE HAVE TO PAY FOR THE WAR.THERE'S NO QUESTION ABOUT THAT. WE CAN'T DODGE THAT, DAVID.    WE CAN'T DODGE THAT.  

Yepsen: WELL, I KNOW, BUT I'M JUST SAYING YOU WOULD ADD TO THE DEFICIT IN ORDER TO PAY FOR THE WAR; IS THAT NOT CORRECT?

Boswell: WELL, YES.    WE'D HAVE TO DO THAT FOR A TIME, AND IT WOULD HOPEFULLY BE FOR A SHORT TIME, AS THE ECONOMY IS STARTING TO RESPOND AND COME BACK, BUT --

Yepsen: MR. THOMPSON.

Boswell: -- I'M NOT PROPOSING ANY TAX RAISE AT ALL.

Yepsen: OKAY. MR. THOMPSON, SAME QUESTION TO YOU. HOW DO YOU PAY FOR THE WAR ON TERRORISM?

Thompson: ONCE AGAIN, I THINK THE FUNDAMENTAL ROLE OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT IS DEFENDING THE COUNTRY.    AND WHEN WE'RE AT WAR, WE'RE GOING TO HAVE TO SPEND TO SUPPORT IT. WE CAN STILL SPEND OUR MILITARY BUDGET DOLLARS WISELY.   I THINK WE HAVE TO DO THAT. BUT IF THAT REQUIRES US TO GO INTO DEFICIT SPENDING FOR A LIMITED PERIOD OF TIME TO WIN THE WAR ON TERRORISM, I THINK THAT'S SOMETHING WE HAVE TO DO.  

Henderson: CONGRESSMAN BOSWELL, MR. THOMPSON CHARACTERIZES HIMSELF AS AN ENERGETIC NEW LEADER IN MANY OF HIS ADVERTISEMENTS.   THE FLIP SIDE OF THAT IS THAT PERHAPS YOU'RE TOO OLD AND SHOULD HAVE RETIRED RATHER THAN SEEK REELECTION.   ARE YOU TOO OLD?SHOULD YOU HAVE RETIRED?

Boswell: ABSOLUTELY NOT.    I FEEL VERY ENERGETIC.    I PUT IN FOURTEEN-, SIXTEEN-HOUR DAYS.    AND COME AND FOLLOW ME AROUND, KAY.    I THINK I HEAR A SIGH OF RELIEF FROM MY STAFF IN IOWA WHEN I LEAVE TO COME TO WASHINGTON AND ONE FROM WASHINGTON WHEN I LEAVE TO GO BACK TO IOWA. SO I'M BLESSED WITH GOOD HEALTH AND ENERGY, AND I'VE GOT MY HEART AND SOUL INTO WHAT OUR COUNTRY IS INTO RIGHT NOW. AND I BRING THE EXPERIENCE FACTOR THAT ARE ACCUMULATIVE OF SEVERAL YEARS. AND I THINK IF THERE WAS EVER A TIME FOR IOWANS TO THINK ABOUT WHERE WE'RE AT IN THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY AND SOME OF THE PROBLEMS AT HOME ON THE DOMESTIC ISSUES THAT THIS EXPERIENCE OUGHT TO BE PUT INTO PLAY.   AND I'M OFFERING IT AND I'M VERY ENTHUSED ABOUT IT AND I'M HAPPY THAT I CAN BE AVAILABLE TO GIVE THIS SERVICE.

Henderson: CONGRESSMAN BOSWELL SAYS HE'S EXPERIENCED.   BY CONTRAST, MR. THOMPSON, YOU'VE NEVER HELD ELECTED OFFICE.    IS THAT SOMETHING THAT IS DOGGING YOUR CAMPAIGN, THE FACT THAT YOU'VE NEVER HELD ELECTED OFFICE BEFORE?  

Thompson: NOT AT ALL.    IN FACT, IF YOU LOOK AT THE HISTORY OF WHO IOWANS ELECT TO CONGRESS ON THE REPUBLICAN SIDE, OUR FOUR REPUBLICAN CONGRESSMEN THAT SERVE RIGHT NOW, THEIR AVERAGE AGE WHEN THEY WERE FIRST ELECTED WAS 39, I'M 42. THOSE FOUR CONGRESSMEN CAME EITHER FROM A BUSINESS BACKGROUND OR PROFESSIONAL BACKGROUND.I'M A PROFESSIONAL.    AND PROBABLY MORE IMPORTANT, THREE OF OUR FOUR REPUBLICAN CONGRESSMEN, THE VERY FIRST PUBLIC OFFICE THEY HELD WAS THEIR CONGRESSIONAL SEAT. AND THAT TELLS ME WHAT IOWANS ARE LOOKING FOR IN A CONGRESSMAN IS SOMEONE WITH BUSINESS EXPERIENCE, RAISING A FAMILY, WHO'S NOT A CAREER POLITICIAN, SOMEBODY WHO CAN STEP FORWARD, WORK HARD, AND SOLVE PROBLEMS. 

Yepsen: MR. THOMPSON, A MOMENT AGO CONGRESSMAN BOSWELL CALLED YOU A CORPORATE LAWYER.    ANY MORE IN AMERICAN POLITICIANS, THEMS FIGHTIN' WORDS.   HOW DO YOU RESPOND TO THAT CHARGE?

Thompson: WELL, LET ME SAY THIS.    I HAVE SPENT MY CAREER IN SERVICE, REPRESENTING INDIVIDUALS AND BEING AN ADVOCATE, AND I WANT TO EXPAND THAT NOW JUST FROM CLIENTS TO THE ENTIRE VOTERS OF THE THIRD DISTRICT, REPRESENT THIS STATE, BE AN ADVOCATE FOR THIS STATE, AND I THINK I CAN DO THAT VERY WELL.  

Glover: CONGRESSMAN BOSWELL, AFTER THE LEGISLATURE DREW NEW LEGISLATIVE CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICTS, YOU CHOSE TO MOVE FROM YOUR FARM IN DAVIS CITY TO DES MOINES TO SEEK ANOTHER TERM IN CONGRESS.SHOULD THAT BE AN ISSUE IN THIS CAMPAIGN, THE FACT THAT YOU MOVED HERE TO RUN AGAIN?  

Boswell: OH, I DON'T THINK SO.    AS YOU KNOW, CONGRESSMAN LEACH HAS MOVED, SO I DON'T THINK SO. THOSE LINES WERE DRAWN WITHOUT ANY INVOLVEMENT OF US AS MEMBERS OF CONGRESS WHATSOEVER.    SO I FELT LIKE, WELL, THERE'S SEVEN COUNTIES OF THE TWELVE THAT I'M ALREADY SERVING.   AND I'M VERY, VERY FAMILIAR WITH DES MOINES, HAVING LIVED THERE THE TWELVE YEARS I WAS IN THE LEGISLATURE.   AND I FELT LIKE IT WAS THE APPROPRIATE THING TO DO.    THERE'S TOO MUCH GOING ON RIGHT NOW THAT I'VE BEEN SORT OF GROOMED FOR AND BROUGHT TO THIS POINT IN MY LIFE, AND I WANT TO OFFER IT UP. I WANT TO OFFER THIS SERVICE, AND I THINK THERE'S A DEMAND FOR IT SO I'M GOING TO OFFER IT.    WE'VE MADE THE DECISION.    WE MOVED TO DES MOINES THE FIRST OF DECEMBER, AND I'M PROUD TO LIVE IN MY CAPITAL CITY --

Yepsen: MR. BOSWELL --MR. BOSWELL, LET ME PUT A FINER POINT ON THAT.   WHY SHOULD AN URBAN AND A SUBURBAN VOTER THINK A DAVIS COUNTY FARMER KNOWS HIS OR HER PROBLEMS?

Boswell: WELL, I'VE BEEN TO DES MOINES. THANK YOU FOR THAT QUESTION. I'VE BEEN TO DES MOINES YEARS OF MY LIFE. SERVED THERE, LIVED THERE IN HIGHLAND PARK AND WINDSOR HEIGHTS AND WEST DES MOINES AND LOWER BEAVER, SO, YOU KNOW, IT'S NOT NEW TO ME. AND I'VE BEEN TALKING TO PEOPLE THERE FOR A LONG TIME, EVEN SINCE I'VE BEEN IN CONGRESS, LET ALONE WHEN I WAS IN THE LEGISLATURE AND THE KEY POSITIONS THAT I HAD THERE THAT YOU KNOW ABOUT. SO I'M VERY FAMILIAR WITH DES MOINES, AND I'VE HAD OVER 300 MEETINGS THESE LAST SEVERAL WEEKS, MONTHS, AND I'VE BEEN TO SCHOOLS AND I'VE BEEN TO NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATIONS AND --

Glover: MR. THOMPSON, LET'S TAKE THE QUESTION TO YOU.    DO YOU RAISE THE ISSUE ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL OF LEONARD BOSWELL MOVING TO DES MOINES TO RUN?    AND IF SO, WHAT KIND OF RESPONSE DO YOU GET?  

Thompson: I DON'T RAISE IT DIRECTLY AS BEING A CARPETBAGGER. I WOULD SAY THIS: JIM LEACH AND JIM NUSSLE WERE THROWN TOGETHER. ONE OF THOSE TWO HAD TO MOVE. THAT WASN'T THE CASE WITH CONGRESSMAN BOSWELL. HE WAS NOT THROWN IN A DISTRICT WITH ANOTHER INCUMBENT.   BUT WHAT I TALK ABOUT AND WHAT I THINK REALLY IS ON VOTERS' MINDS IS, YOU KNOW, WHO IS THE BEST REPRESENTATIVE OF THIS DISTRICT, WHO'S THE BEST FIT. AND IOWANS WANT OUR STATE TO DO BETTER. IF THERE'S ONE THING, MIKE, THAT I WOULD SAY IN TRAVELING THIS DISTRICT IN THE STATE THAT I'M HEARING, PEOPLE WANT OUR STATE TO DO BETTER.AND I THINK THEY'RE GOING TO HAVE A CHOICE ON NOVEMBER 5.    I HOPE THEY SUPPORT ME BECAUSE I THINK I CAN MOVE THIS STATE FORWARD.

Henderson: CONGRESSMAN BOSWELL, I DON'T THINK I'M GOING TO GET SOCIAL SECURITY.    I'M ONE OF THOSE YOUNG PEOPLE THAT HAS THAT OPINION.YOU OPPOSE THE EFFORT TO ALLOW YOUNGER WORKERS SUCH AS MYSELF TO INVEST A PORTION OF THEIR SOCIAL SECURITY TAXES IN THE STOCK MARKET. HOW WOULD YOU RESOLVE THE INEQUITY IN SOCIAL SECURITY, THE PROBLEM?    WOULD YOU RAISE THE RETIREMENT AGE?    HOW WOULD YOU ADDRESS THE PROBLEM?  

Boswell: WELL, I THINK THE ONE THING WE CAN CERTAINLY DO, KAY --  AND FIRST OFF, I THINK YOU WILL GET SOCIAL SECURITY.    BUT WE'VE GOT AN ANALOGY, YOU LOOK AT THE CURVE ON THE CHART, SOME TIME TO BRING THE MOST BRIGHTEST PEOPLE WE CAN POSSIBLY FIND TO COME TO THE TABLE AND TALK THIS OUT, JUST LIKE I DID WHEN YOU WERE THERE WHEN WE BALANCED OUR BUDGET WHEN I WAS APPROPRIATIONS CHAIR FOR THE IOWA SENATE.WE CAN DO THAT AND WE OUGHT TO BE DOING THAT.BUT MEANWHILE WE OUGHT TO BE PROVIDING MORE OPPORTUNITIES FOR INCENTIVES FOR YOU, KAY, TO START -- YOU KNOW, HELP YOUR PRIVATE PROGRAM, TO BUILD IT UP AND GIVE YOU THE INCENTIVES TO DO IT.AND WE CAN DO THAT.WE'VE GOT A START ON IT.    I THINK THERE'S MORE TO DO, AND I'M WILLING TO WORK ON THAT.AND I THINK THIS WILL BE A GOOD THING TO DO,.  AT THE SAME TIME, LET'S BRING THE BRIGHTEST MINDS WE CAN TOGETHER AND SEE HOW WE CAN DO THIS.    BUT I AM NOT FOR PRIVATIZATION.    IT'S BEEN A SUCCESSFUL PROGRAM AND I CAN'T IMAGINE WHAT PEOPLE WOULD BE THINKING IF THEY'D BEEN IN THE RECENT STOCK MARKET AND SOME OF THE CORPORATE THINGS THAT HAVE GONE ON AND SO ON.    AND I DEFINITELY THINK THIS HAS BEEN A GOOD PROGRAM, AND I'M GOING TO CONTINUE TO SUPPORT IT.    AS IT IS, I AM NOT FOR PRIVATIZATION?  

Henderson: MR. THOMPSON ,ARE YOU FOR PRIVATIZATION?

Thompson: I'M OPPOSED TO PRIVATIZATION.MY TWO GRANDMOTHERS STILL LIVE HERE IN IOWA.THEY DEPEND UPON SOCIAL SECURITY AND I DON'T WANT TO DO ANYTHING THAT'S GOING TO HURT MY GRANDMOTHERS' RETIREMENT. THE VALUES I HAVE ON SOCIAL SECURITY IS NOT INCREASING THE RETIREMENT AGE, MAINTAINING BENEFITS, NOT INCREASING THE SOCIAL SECURITY TAXES, AND I'M OPPOSED TO PRIVATIZING.THOSE ARE THE VALUES I'M GOING TO HAVE IF I GO TO WASHINGTON TO WORK ON SOCIAL SECURITY.  

Glover: CONGRESSMAN BOSWELL, IF YOU'RE ELECTED TO ANOTHER TERM IN OFFICE, CAN YOU GUARANTEE VOTERS THAT DURING THAT TWO-YEAR TERM OF CONGRESS THERE WILL BE A PRESCRIPTION DRUG BENEFIT WRITTEN INTO THE MEDICARE PROGRAM?  

Boswell: YOU CAN'T GUARANTEE IT, MIKE, BUT I'LL TELL YOU WHAT, I THINK WE MIGHT EVEN GET SOME PRESCRIPTION DRUG IN EVEN IN THIS CONGRESS WITH THE TIGHTNESS OF THE SCHEDULE.    YOU KNOW, THE IOWA BILL -- SENATOR GRASSLEY, COSPONSORED BY HARKIN, AND WE'VE INTRODUCED A COMPANION BILL.    CONGRESSMAN LEACH HAS JOINED ME ON THAT.I HAD BREAKFAST WITH SENATOR GRASSLEY JUST LAST WEEK AND WE TALKED ABOUT IT AND WE'RE ENTHUSIASTIC.    WE'RE GOING TO PUSH THIS AND GET SOMETHING GOING, AND I THINK THERE'S A CHANCE.IT WOULDN'T BE AS GOOD AS THE FAIRNESS ACT.   BUT IF WE CAN'T GET THE WHOLE LOAF, LET'S TAKE A COUPLE SLICES AND MOVE FORWARD AND GET SOME RELIEF TO IOWA ON THIS MEDICARE REIMBURSEMENT THING AND AS WELL AS GET SOMETHING DONE FOR PRESCRIPTION DRUGS.    SO I THINK WE'VE GOT A CHANCE.  

Yepsen: MR. THOMPSON, WE'VE GOT ABOUT THIRTY SECOND TO HEAR YOUR ANSWER TO THAT QUESTION.

Thompson: YOU KNOW, THE REPUBLICAN HOUSE HAS PASSED A PRESCRIPTION DRUG BILL THAT PROVIDES, I THINK, $350 BILLION OF RELIEF. IT PROVIDES SIGNIFICANT RELIEF FOR IOWANS ON THEIR PRESCRIPTION DRUG BILLS, ESPECIALLY FOR LOWER INCOME IOWANS.   THEY WOULD NOT HAVE TO PAY A PREMIUM OR A COPAY AND A VERY SMALL AMOUNT FOR THEIR PRESCRIPTION OR GENERIC DRUGS.    I THINK THAT'S A GOOD BILL.    IT PROVIDES RELIEF.    AND ALSO AS PART OF THAT BILL, IT DOES HAVE RELIEF FOR MEDICARE REIMBURSEMENT RATES FOR STATES LIKE IOWA.

Yepsen: MR. THOMPSON --

Boswell: AND I MIGHT SAY SOMETHING IN CONTRAST IF I COULD, DAVID. I DON'T THINK THE UNDERLYING BILL ON THE PRESCRIPTION IS ANYWHERE CLOSE TO THE --

Yepsen: CONGRESSMAN.

Boswell: YES.  

Yepsen: I'M SORRY BUT WE'RE OUT OF TIME.I HATE TO HAVE TO CUT YOU OFF --

Boswell: SO DO I.  

Yepsen: -- BUT WE'RE OUT OF TIME. THANK YOU FOR BEING WITH US. AND THANK YOU, MR. THOMPSON --

Thompson: MY PLEASURE.  

Yepsen: -- FOR BEING WITH US AS WELL.NOW, ON OUR NEXT EDITION OF "IOWA PRESS," WE CONTINUE WITH OUR LOOK AT THE CAMPAIGNS OF 2002, AND WE MOVE TO IOWA'S FOURTH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT IN NORTH-CENTRAL IOWA.JOINING US ARE THE TWO MAJOR-PARTY CANDIDATES, THE REPUBLICAN INCUMBENT, CONGRESSMAN TOM LATHAM OF ALEXANDER, AND HIS DEMOCRATIC CHALLENGER, JOHN NORRIS OF AMES.    THAT'S NEXT WEEKEND ON "IOWA PRESS," FRIDAY AT 6:30 AND SUNDAY AT NOON HERE ON STATEWIDE IOWA PUBLIC TELEVISION. DEAN BORG RETURNS WITH US NEXT WEEKEND ON "IOWA PRESS."   I'M DAVID YEPSEN OF  "THE DES MOINES REGISTER."    THANKS FOR JOINING US.  

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