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Health-care defeats disappoint Hadassah

Hadassah expressed disappointment in the failure of two health-related state referendums.

In off-year voting Tuesday, voters in New Jersey rejected a plan to sell bonds to fund embryonic stem cell research, and voters in Oregon rejected a hike in cigarette taxes that would have funded health insurance for uninsured children.

“The failure of this public question is a clear indication that while states, like New Jersey, have made incredible strides in trying to fill the gaps in federal support for stem-cell research, there is simply no substitute for federal funding,” Hadassah said in a statement on the stem cell vote.

President Bush has twice vetoed such research, heeding conservative Christian groups that say it amounts to tampering with human life.

Regarding the Oregon vote, Hadassah said the failed proposal might have been a model for a national program now caught in a veto war between the U.S. Congress and Bush.

“The proposition in Oregon was an elegant solution to providing children with medical care and treatment, which we believe to be this nation’s number one health care priority,” Hadassah said. “We consider the defeat of this measure heartbreaking and hope that those who supported this legislation will continue their fight.”

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