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Pagliuca Seeks To Change Health Care And Capitol Hill 06:11
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Senate candidate Stephen Pagliuca, left, with WBUR's Bob Oakes. (Jennifer Donaldson for WBUR)
Senate candidate Stephen Pagliuca, left, with WBUR's Bob Oakes. (Jennifer Donaldson for WBUR)

At a lab in New England Baptist Hospital, a biotechnician demonstrates surgery on a plastic shoulder. Stephen Pagliuca, getting a tour of the place, realizes he had this surgery about two years ago.

"This is incredible! So this is what they did to me," he says.

The Democratic Senate candidate is touring the hospital — the official hospital of the Boston Celtics, which he co-owns — because he had just unveiled a five-point plan for health care reform.

Pagliuca's plan calls for guaranteed universal access to health insurance, lower administrative costs and more doctor accountability to patients.

"My program would call for much more education, technology, linking hospitals together, so we're all doing the best demonstrated practice care protocols," Pagliuca says.

Pagliuca says his Senate race is going well, with just over a month before the Democratic primary. The latest poll, from the Western New England College Polling Institute, puts Pagliuca in a statistical tie for second place with Rep. Michael Capuano among Democratic and unenrolled voters.

Pagliuca considers this a major accomplishment, since he came into the race a relative unknown.

"The most significant thing I've learned is that people are really hurting out there, and the issues are solvable," Pagliuca says.

"Ted Kennedy tried to bring change, and I think he did bring change. And he had extraordinary skills of persuasion, compromise and passion. I have those same kinds of skills. So I don't buy it that you can't change things."

Pagliuca says he's running because he wants to be part of that change.

Click "Listen Now" to hear Pagliuca's conversation with WBUR's Bob Oakes.

This program aired on October 29, 2009.

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