Noting that 40 million Americans now have no health insurance, Al Gore said he now favors single-payer national health coverage. Gore, the 2000 Democratic presidential nominee and a potential candidate in 2004, offered his views in response to a question during a book promotion tour. "I was planning to wait and make a major speech on this and I probably should, but I'll just answer your question candidly," Gore said. "I think we've reached a point where the entire healthcare system is in impending crisis. I have reluctantly come to the conclusion that we should begin drafting a single-payer national health insurance plan." Depending on the details, calling for a single-payer plan could be a very dramatic step for Gore. During the 2000 primary campaign, Gore attacked Democratic rival Bill Bradley's central proposal -- universal healthcare -- calling it too expensive and not expansive enough. Another potential Democratic candidate for president, Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, pushed for healthcare for all Americans in a speech last night to an education group in Washington. He wants to expand coverage under Medicare and Medicaid to people who don't have insurance. -- by the Associated Press
Gore says he now backs single-payer system
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