President Bush's approval rating for his handling of healthcare issues dropped 11 percentage points over the past year, falling to 35% at the beginning of this year from 46% a year ago, according to a Gallup Group survey of 1001 adults. The survey -- taken between Jan. 19 and Feb. 1 -- found that 57% of adults disapproved of Bush's work on healthcare, compared with 44% a year ago. The remainder had no opinion. The Bush administration had hoped the Medicare reform law, signed late last year, would cement Bush's position as a healthcare leader. Democrats, however, criticize the law as a giveaway to drugmakers and HMOs, while a new estimate has raised the law's 10-year price tag to $534 billion, $139 billion more than a previous estimate. -- by Tony Fong
Bush's approval rating falls on healthcare issues
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