The first election of the millennium will take place on November 7th, 2000. The two most recognized candidates running are Al Gore who represents the Democratic Party and George W. Bush who represents the Republican Party. Gore is labeled as a liberal, who leans towards being a moderate in some issues. Bush is labeled as a conservative but takes many positions considered as moderate. Gore and Bush have very different views when it comes to issues such as a prescription drug plan, education, oil prices and the environment, taxes, and foreign policy.It is those issues that will decide the outcome of the race. The polls, that evaluate which candidate is in the lead, have been very turbulent in the past couple of weeks. Gore and Bush have both been in the lead at one point. Again, it is issues such as taxes and education that will determine the final outcome.
Prescription drugs is one of the issues that Gore and Bush have made a priority. Gore’s plan for prescription drugs leans more towards the Democratic liberal side because of the level of government involved. Bush’s plan for prescription drugs suggests that the States give relief to the Medicare system before the government steps in. Bush would rather have the government take a limited role in helping seniors pay their prescription drug costs. In the past 10 years prescription drug prices have nearly doubled. With high costs running from $80 to $100 a prescription, many seniors are spending their entire social security check on one prescription alone. The high cost of prescription drugs has become a really important issue between Gore and Bush. Gore and Bush have entirely different plans for prescription drugs. Gore wants to add a prescription drug benefit to Medicare. “After paying a $25 monthly premium, a senior would be reimbursed half of all drug bills up to a maximum of five thousand in bills per year (Noonan 34).” In addition, Gore’s plan would cover all prescription payments exceeding four thousand in out-of-pocket costs per year. Gores plan would help an estimated thirty-nine million seniors. Bush’s plans for prescription drug cost differ from those of Gore. Bush wants to work with Congress to reform Medicare and in the meantime he will provide the States with forty-eight billion dollars for low-income seniors. The forty-eight billion dollars would help out low income seniors mainly for their prescriptions. Part of the forty-eight billion dollars would cover at least twenty five percent of the premiums for seniors buying health insurance, including drug coverage, from health insurance providers or Medicare. The bottom line is that Gore wants to reform Medicare by provding additions to the existing model. Bush wants to give money to the States who will help out seniors and have private insurers take a role in helping out low-income seniors.
Another issue that both Gore and Bush are addressing is education. According to Newsweek magazine, voters believe that education is a top priority. Though education is funded at the state level, Gore and Bush have made it a hot issue. Gore and Bush are clear-cut Democrat and Republican on education reform. For example, Gore wants a federally developed test for all students. Bush would leave testing up to the States for students in the third to the eight-grade. Both Bush and Gore agree that schools should be accountable for results. When it comes to school funding, the two candidates have keen differences. Gore wants to hire “turn-around” experts who will examine the problems of failing schools. Also, Gore will make teachers take tests to prove they are worthy of being teachers. Gore will add bonuses to high student grades. Finally, Gore opposes public money being spent on private schools which Bush believes in. Bush would endorse federal vouchers that would help families send their kids to private schools. This idea would create a new system of competing schools and in return will have very high standards for students. Bush would expand the U.S. Department of Education to include a universal preschool education system. Bush’s plans for education would cost up to forty-seven billion dollars and Gore’s education plans would cost an estimated one-hundred-seventy billion dollars. Also, both Bush and Gore believe