Democratic presidential candidate Wesley Clark unveiled a 10-year, $695 billion healthcare proposal that would mandate all parents buy health insurance for their children up to age 22 and would provide federal funding to extend state health insurance programs such as Medicaid to adults earning less than 150% of the poverty level. Families earning up to five times and individuals earning up to 275% of the poverty level would be eligible for tax credits, and those without access to employer-sponsored insurance could purchase coverage through the federal program available to members of Congress. The cost of expanding healthcare coverage -- to an estimated 31.8 million uninsured Americans under Clark's plan -- would be $772 billion. An additional $48 billion would be spent on other initiatives, including incentives to increase Medicare beneficiaries' access to and use of preventive care. Clark said $125 billion would be saved through better preventive care and efficiencies. An estimated 43.6 million Americans were uninsured in 2002, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. -- by Tony Fong
Clark unveils $695 billion plan to help uninsured
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