Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) has taken aim at the same health insurance industry that worked to scuttle her first attempt at national healthcare reform some 14 years ago, unveiling a $110 billion initiative that would require every American to carry some level of health insuranceand every insurance company to cover them no matter what.
Every man, woman and child should have quality, affordable healthcare in America, the Democratic frontrunner said in her third detailed health policy speech on the campaign trail. Clinton delivered her address at 89-bed Broadlawns Medical Center in Des Moines, Iowa.
Under her three-pronged American Health Choices Plan, individuals would be allowed to keep their current health insurance policies if they want, or instead choose from a variety of private health plans that operate similarly to the Federal Employee Health Benefit Program. A public option, similar to Medicare, would also be included within that pool of private plans, she said.
While every individual would be required to have insurance, large employers are also on the hook to offer coverage and to pay for employee healthcare costs, Clinton said. Small businesses, however, would be exempt from the mandate, but would be asked to parlay tax credits to help pay for costs.
Costs to implement the plan are tricky to calculate, though Clinton said she expects at least half the estimated $110 billion to come from public savings generated from modernizing the health system and reducing wasteful health spending. Additionally, the plan would rely on savings from rollbacks to Bush administration tax cuts and by limiting tax breaks for people making more than $250,000 a year.
The idea is not to put the health insurance industry out of business, but to help it find a better way to make a living, Clinton said. -- by Matthew DoBias
What do you think? Post a comment on this article and share your opinion with other readers. Submit your letter to Modern Physician Online at [email protected]. Please be sure to include your hometown and state, along with your organization and title.