Just one month before the most important election of his political life, Senator John Ashcroft has changed his position HMO reform. He has agreed to support a compromise managed care bill that he had previously opposed. Ashcroft says the bill protects more than 1 million Missouri residents. He says it also gives women unlimited access to OBGYN care, and allows children to use a pediatrician as their primary doctor. He says this version of HMO reform also promotes arbitration instead of lawsuits. He refused comment on whether business groups who have supported him in Washington agree with his new position, and denies he was under pressure to compromise during an election year.