Presidential hopeful New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson wants to throw out the one-size-fits-all approach to achieving universal healthcare coverage.
The Democrat seeks to cover all Americans through several options: Congress healthcare plan; Medicare for those ages 55 to 64; Medicaid and the State Childrens Health Insurance Program for lower-income families; and existing family coverage for young adults. Veterans would be able to receive a Heroes Health Card and stronger VA coverage, under the plan.
Richardson also proposed a sliding-scale tax credit for people who need assistance to afford coverage. His campaign estimates that the government would save up to $110 billion per year by streamlining healthcare administration and investing in prevention.
Democratic presidential candidates Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois and John Edwards, a former senator from North Carolina, have issued universal healthcare proposals over the past few months to reduce costs and cover more uninsured. Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) has not said how she would achieve universal coverage but has issued a plan to reduce healthcare costs and improve quality of care. And, Republican presidential contender Rudolph Giuliani has released 12 commitments to revamp healthcare, including a $15,000 tax deduction for those without employer coverage. -- by Jennifer Lubell
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