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Clinton unveils mandatory health care insurance plan

Discussion in 'Political Zone' started by jterrell, Sep 17, 2007.

  1. jterrell

    jterrell Penguinite

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    DES MOINES, Iowa (CNN) -- Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Hillary Clinton announced a $110 billion health care reform plan Monday that would require all Americans to have health insurance.

    "Here in America people are dying" because they lack health insurance, Sen. Hillary Clinton said Monday.

    Clinton unveiled her "American Health Choices Plan," during a high-profile speech at a hospital in the key campaign state of Iowa, surrounded by supporters, American flags and campaign banners.

    "Here in America people are dying because they couldn't get the care they needed when they were sick.

    "I'm here today because I believe it is long past time that this nation had an answer," Clinton said. "I believe America is ready for change.

    "It's time to provide quality affordable health care for every American," Clinton said. "And I intend to be the president who accomplishes that goal finally for our country."

    A Clinton adviser compares the plan's "individual mandate" -- which requires everyone to have health insurance -- to current rules in most states that require all drivers to purchase auto insurance, according to The Associated Press. Video Watch Clinton outline her health care proposal ยป

    In her plan, Clinton said families would receive tax credits to help pay for coverage. The tax credit would be designed to limit the premiums to a percentage of a family's income.

    Federal subsidies would be provided for those who are not able to afford insurance, and large businesses would be expected to provide or help pay for their employees' insurance.

    Clinton said her plan would not require small businesses to take part, but will offer tax credits to encourage them to do so.

    About 46.6 million people in the United States were without health care insurance in 2005, including 8.3 million children, according to a U.S. Census Bureau report released last year.

    "I know my Republican opponents will try to equate this plan with government-run health care. Well don't let them fool you again," Clinton said, explaining that her plan would allow participants to "keep the doctors you know and trust" while it would expand "personal choice" and keep costs down.

    Clinton's package would also require insurers to provide coverage for anyone who applies for it and would also bar insurance companies from charging people with greater health care costs more for their premiums.

    Under Clinton's plan, Americans would be offered the same health care benefits of private health care plans offered to Congress through the federal employee benefits program as well as a public program similar to Medicare.

    Americans satisfied with their current coverage will be allowed to keep it, the Clinton campaign said.

    To help pay for the plan, Clinton would also eliminate the Bush tax cuts for those making over $250,000 and limit the amount employers can exclude from taxes for health care benefits paid for those making over $250,000.

    Clinton's announcement marks her return to the health care game, nearly a decade and a half after her first foray. As first lady, Clinton spearheaded the Clinton administration's attempt to overhaul the country's health care system in 1993 and 1994.

    But critics attacked the Clintons' plan as socialized medicine, and it was killed by opposition from congressional Republicans and many in the medical and pharmaceutical industries. It was Clinton's biggest political defeat.

    Now Clinton is the third of the front-running Democratic White House hopefuls to formally unveil her plan, following Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, and former Sen. John Edwards.

    Supporters defend Clinton by saying that she has already made parts of her proposals public, and she often speaks out publicly about her health care plans.

    Clinton's Democratic rivals wasted no time in reminding voters of her timing.

    "I commend Senator Clinton for her health care proposal," said Obama in a statement. "It's similar to the one I put forth last spring, though my universal health care plan would go further in reducing the punishing cost of health care than any other proposal that's been offered in this campaign."

    Edwards, speaking Monday to the Laborers' International Union of North America in Chicago, Illinois, echoed Obama.

    "I'm glad that, today, the architect of the 1993 plan has another care proposal -- and if imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then I'm flattered," said Edwards, a former U.S. senator from North Carolina. "The lesson Senator Clinton seems to have learned from her experience with health care is, 'If you can't beat 'em, join 'em.' I learned a very different lesson from decades of fighting powerful interests -- you can never join 'em, you just have to beat 'em."

    Edwards' proposal would cut off health care for the president, Congress and all political appointees in mid 2009, if a universal health care plan for all Americans has not been passed by then.

    Clinton's Democratic rival, Sen. Chris Dodd of Connecticut, used her past attempts at health care reform in criticizing Clinton's proposal.

    "The mismanagement of the effort in 1993 and 1994 has set back our ability to move toward universal health care immeasurably," Dodd said in a statement. "We've known what the problems have been for nearly 15 years and what the solutions could be. What's been missing is leadership that knows how to bring people together and get the job done."

    Clinton also took hits from GOP presidential hopefuls, including former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, whose criticism sounded like a movie review.

    "If you liked Michael Moore's 'Sicko,' you're going to love HillaryCare 2.0," said the Giuliani statement. "Senator Clinton's latest health scheme includes more government mandates, expensive federal subsidies and more big bureaucracy -- in short, a prescription for an increase in wait times, a decrease in patient care and tax hikes to pay for it all."

    Another Republican White House hopeful, Mitt Romney, accused Clinton of taking "her inspiration from European bureaucracies."

    "Instead we should take our inspiration from the American people," said the former Massachusetts governor. "Hers is a plan which I think underscores the fact that she fundamentally does not believe in markets and in the states. And I believe that our inspiration should come from American families."
  2. iceberg

    iceberg nothing is nothing Zone Supporter

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    "require" people to buy health insurance?

    if they could afford it, they would. "tax credits" don't help at the end of the year when you have a monthly bill facing you every month.

    you want to lower premiums? get tough on patients who go after their doctor for quick bucks and punish those who don't have a "valid" case heavily. you think you have a case, go for it willy. if proven in the end you were playing the lotter vs. being legit, put 'em in jail for fraud.

    i'm not giving doctors a free ride but insurance for them must be HUGE and they have to get that back somehow. higher rates.

    we need a lot of reform that addresses multi-fronts. not just a mandate to spend money you likely don't have.
  3. jterrell

    jterrell Penguinite

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    Ultimately access to medical care has to be viewed as a right for American citizens not a bought and paid for service. Same as going to school or driving on a road. There are issues that can be dealt with via the medical care system or they can run rampant and effect untold others. Thats why some third world countries become overrun with what we consider innocuous illnesses.

    Mandatory health coverage makes sense. Same as mandatory contributions to any other tax or forced seat belts and forced car insurance. Its protecting everyone from everyone's else's lack of insurance.

    Hillary's plan calls of the same insurance plan that supports Congress be made the system and that makes a ton of sense. Its the plan the Congress and President know best and it makes it financially viable because the larger the group the cheaper the rates.

    The fact this is largely paid for via a tax break repeal of those making over 250K is a good move imho because it removes the burden from the middle class.

    I'd also agree IB that something needs to be done about hokey lawsuits. But also realize doctors average salaries are very high. The average for a person performing surgeries is over 200K per year after all taxes are paid. Thats still quite a substantial living.

    A starting Doc salary is generally about 120K. Well earned but fair imho.
  4. iceberg

    iceberg nothing is nothing Zone Supporter

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    heh, i don't know too many people who want a "cheap" doctor. : )

    if you paid teachers $100k a year, would the same teachers *still* be teachers? no, smarter people would find it a more lucrative alternative for their skills. some may stay around and i don't say this in disrespect and i could be wrong...

    but if you pay more you get a better quality fo choices. you pay bottom $ you get those who that could be the best they can do.

    i had some teachers that deserved the $100k a year. and i've had a lot that didn't deserve the $30k they wind up getting.
  5. vta

    vta The Proletariat

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    I don't see how health care can be a right. Why? because you were born? This country took itself out of third world country status without mandatory healthcare. It did so out of necessity and motivation.

    We're really starting to believe that we're entitled in this country. That despite the fact that a system was put in place by people who didn't get to enjoy it, but worked damned hard so others can, we seem to think it's something that comes simply with being conceived. It doesn't.

    Seat belt laws to me are BS, but the insurance thing I understand. Especially after being hit by both insured and non-insured monekys with cars. But the idea that some epidemic is going to come, because we don't have mandatory health care is extreme.

    I don't like the idea of governement getting involved in yet another aspect of our lives. At all.
  6. Crown Royal

    Crown Royal Insulin Beware

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    Auto insurance laws are in place because you driving affects other people. The insurance is auto LIABILITY, and it covers your LIABILITY in case you are at fault for something.

    This plan is basically telling me that I HAVE to pay what I earn to a private company for a service that I might or might not use. That is one of the silliest things I have ever heard.

    In addition, should I become an entrepreneur and my business succeeds, I cannot hire an employee without both paying their wages and now health insurance, on top of WC, short term disability, etc. So me starting a business is now harder because someone has decided that health insurance is no longer a job BENEFIT but a requirement.

    Don't get me wrong - I have insurance and will always have insurance, because I think it is silly not to. Further - I WORK in the insurance industry (though not health). But this is one of the most obtrusive things I have ever heard of someone suggesting at the government level.
  7. Crown Royal

    Crown Royal Insulin Beware

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    Wow - I just read that in depth more. Unbelievably how silly that is.

    As I understand it, she said that insurers could not bar people who applied for insurance. Really? What's next - creditors can't bar people who apply for a loan? That's basically the same thing. Insurers, who insure RISK, MUST take on any risk, regardless? Further, if your healthcare costs are greater, an insurer can't charge more? In other words, if you are a greater RISK and cost the company more money, they can't recoup even a fraction of that. They just have to eat it.

    Result - Complete collapse of private health insurers.

    Edit - Come to think of it, that is probably something she would look for.
  8. iceberg

    iceberg nothing is nothing Zone Supporter

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    agreed, vta. i'm here, feed me. wah.

    i'm a teach a man to fish person when i can be. i think there should be set times you can stay on welfare and at the end of that time, you're done. get a job or find someone to sponge off of NOT the government.

    the right to a comfortable life is earned through hard work, not the fact people breathe. you want something, go earn it.

    crown - the talk of the insurance company can't turn you down - BS. and how many people will 'default' on even trying to make high monthly payments cause even forced on the world, it ain't cheap.


    then how do we enforce it? if you don't buy health insurnace are you going to jail? refusal of medical care?

    this is just crazy. obama should NOT have compared his plan to this.
  9. trickblue

    trickblue Old Testament...

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    The entitlement mentality in this country is out of control...

    We DON'T have a right to government funded health care just like we don't have rights for many other things. Please point out to me where this is outlined in the constitution?

    If we pass this type of legislation, we will be a bankrupt country in a few short years...

    On the other hand... if we could pass a tort reform bill, frivolous lawsuits could very well go down, lowering insurance costs. The problem with this is the fact that idiot Americans keep electing lawyers to serve in congress. Couple this with judges that interpret the law instead of enforcing it and you have a recipe for disaster...

    Just my .02...
  10. arglebargle

    arglebargle Well-Known Member

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    Tort Reform is a stalking horse of the Insurance Lobby. Frivolous lawsuits are not the driving force in high medical bills. The Insurance guys just don't want to have to pay off big when someone messes up. The Doctor's Guild doesn't want to actually police their own people and get rid of the incompetents.

    Can you actually point to a state where they enacted tort reform and the costs went down? It sure didn't happen in Texas, iirc.

    And in the Florida debate over tort reform, when the Insurance execs required to give sworn testimony, their stories changed a lot. I guess perjury was a bit more than they wanted to buy into.

    Health insurance doesn't work well anyway, because the person who chooses the insurance (big wheels in whatever corporation) are not the people who actually use the service. That's a basic failure.
  11. Crown Royal

    Crown Royal Insulin Beware

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    Theoretically, you choose your carrier when you choose your job.

    I agree on the tort reform aspect - I don't believe that is what drives up costs in medical expenses. That being said, I do thing that something needs to be inspected regarding the cost of medical care.
  12. vta

    vta The Proletariat

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    Trick said it right also, it is out of control. Everythings a right, nothing should be worked for and earned. When this fantasy bubble pops, what would be left? An incapable society.

    Hilary is all wrong for such a position and I hope most people realize that...
    With the candidates we have, though, I doubt it.
  13. Crown Royal

    Crown Royal Insulin Beware

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    Wow - I don't know how I missed this post. In what way is health care a right? Natural or otherwise? I don't even view driving on a paved road or going to school as a right, outside of the fact that the government takes my money to pay for it.
  14. burmafrd

    burmafrd Well-Known Member

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    Doctors demand needless tests to cover their rear ends against BS lawsuits- that DOES drive up medical costs. But that is only one factor.
  15. vta

    vta The Proletariat

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    Doctors are in no position to demand anything in regards to treatment.
    They can suggest and even coax, but they demand nothing.
  16. ConcordCowboy

    ConcordCowboy Mr. Buckeye

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    They do in the Hospitals that I work at.

    Some have even told the patient that if they refuse the tests that he or she ordered that the patient will have to find a new DR.

    It's is ALL about CYA...as we say...Covering your ***.
  17. vta

    vta The Proletariat

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    They force patients to do things against their will? If any doctor gave me that kind of attitude that you just mentioned, I'd gladly find a new one.

    The fact that some are *** holess should not be a reason to set a standard. We don't set rules and standards based on *** holes.

    If that's how it works in Ohio, I'd leave.
  18. jterrell

    jterrell Penguinite

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    1st if you are entitled to anything it should be access to health care.

    And health care is much more important than car insurance.

    If some schmo goes out and gets tuberculosis or aids and then runs around passing it to others thats much more serious then swiping your fender. And it doesn't have to be life-threatening but mono or any of that stuff is communicable. We have free education but send kids to school with other kids who have no health care coverage.

    We are actually one of the only developed countries in the world without universal health care coverage.

    Your employer is already legislated to provide insurance.
    Its just that they can do so at ******** rates. They can actually MAKE money off of your insurance in the guise of kickbacks or special "admin" titles.

    Further this system is not going to drive up our costs at all. It is going to provide services not covered for the lower middle class. i.e. the average working people who do not qualify for medicare/medicaid. The cash is going to come from a tax break repeal for those who make over 250k per year.

    Our CURRENT system is amongst the most costly in the world.
    And we offer the fewest services to the least amount of people.

    My apologies for how crappy the table copies over....


    Financial inputs and outcomes compared

    The table below gives some indications of financial inputs and medical in a number of different countries, some of which have universal coverage and some of which do not. Interpreting data of this kind can be difficult because of other factors (e.g. genetic differences, diet) that are not controlled for.
    Country ↓ Life expectancy ↓ Infant mortality rate ↓ Physicians per 1000 people ↓ Nurses per 1000 people ↓ Per capita expenditure on health (USD) ↓ Healthcare costs as a percent of GDP ↓ % of government revenue spent on health ↓ % of health costs paid by government ↓
    Australia 80.5 5.0 2.47 9.71 2,519 9.5 17.7 67.5
    Canada 80.5 5.0 2.14 9.95 2,669 9.9 16.7 69.9
    France 79.5 4.0 3.37 7.24 2,981 10.1 14.2 76.3
    Germany 80.0 4.0 3.37 9.72 3,204 11.1 17.6 78.2
    Japan 82.5 3.0 1.98 7.79 2,662 7.9 16.8 81.0
    Sweden 80.5 3.0 3.28 10.24 3,149 9.4 13.6 85.2
    UK 79.5 5.0 2.30 12.12 2,428 8.0 15.8 85.7
    USA 77.5 6.0 2.56 9.37 5,711 15.2 18.5 44.6
  19. vta

    vta The Proletariat

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    I don't know how you come about comparing auto insurance to health insurance. Auto insurance is a not an entitlement, it's a law based on the damage you will do to others if you spaz out behind the wheel.

    There are more instances of auto accidents than there are of epidemics. Again citing extremes, like AIDS and TB are not rational thinking and again, applying standards based on them is unwise.

    Universal Health Care is garbage. If anyone wants to talk about Doctors forcing things, they should talk to my mother in law. When her father was dying he was forced to have treatment he emphatically tried to avoid. The great Uni-Healthcare of Europe only insured that his last 3 days of life were utter pain.

    Like she says "God Bless America'. We're free to do what we want in terms of health care. Let's keep it that way.
  20. vta

    vta The Proletariat

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    Hey, I might be guilty of saying what we shouldn't do: base a rule on an extreme circumstance, with regard to my mother in laws experience with Uni-Healthcare...:eek:

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