Democratic presidential contenders Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama blasted proposals put forth by President Bush in his State of the Union address last night to revise the tax code and redirect federal funds to states to improve access to private health insurance. A lot is troubling about this proposal, said Clinton (D-N.Y.). She said changing the tax code to expand enrollment in private health insurance isnt the way to reform healthcare nor is targeting disproportionate-share money, which safety net hospitals and community health centers rely on to cover uncompensated care. Bush said he expected 5 million to 15 million people to gain insurance through the initiatives. But Obama (D-Ill.) said, I dont see this proposal as a way of controlling costs or improving quality. Others support Bushs plan, including Karen Ignagni, president and chief executive officer of Americas Health Insurance Plans. Ignagni said tax incentives for individuals will go a long way toward helping millions secure and maintain the coverage they need. In his speech, Bush also touched on his earlier healthcare initiatives: expanding health savings accounts and association health plans, using information technology to reduce errors and reforming the medical liability system. He also promised to fix Medicare and Medicaid and save Social Security. -- by Jennifer Lubell
Clinton, Obama criticize Bush plan
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