President Bill Clinton On Medicare:
The president's last offer during negotiations earlier this year over the balanced budget would have reduced projected Medicare spending by about $98 billion over seven years. Total hospital reductions would have been $43 billion, and physician reductions would have been $15 billion.
Seniors would have had more managed-care plans to choose from, including provider-sponsored networks. Unlike the GOP plan, seniors would not have been able to choose medical savings accounts.
Reimbursements to managed-care plans would have been capped. Graduate medical education and disproportionate-share payments would have been removed from Medicare managed-care plan payments and paid directly to academic health centers and plans that contract with academic health centers.
Beneficiary premiums would have been set at 25% of program costs.
On health insurance reform: Clinton called on Congress to pass the health insurance plan sponsored by Sens. Nancy Kassebaum (R-Kan.) and Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) without amendments. He opposed an MSA demonstration project and a provision that would require the federal government to give providers case-by-case guidance on transactions to ensure deals don't violate antitrust rules.
In his own words: "What I think we have to do now is to go back and find a way that is acceptable and passable to make health insurance available and affordable to people who don't have it."