BILL BRADLEY: Universal Coverage Plan in the Works
Democratic presidential candidate Bill Bradley, further building on hints dropped in recent months, said Friday that he is preparing a health care reform package that ensures universal coverage for all Americans. Addressing a "small group of supporters" in Des Moines, IA, he acknowledged that his plan would face the same type of criticism that plagued the proposal introduced by the president and first lady in 1993. "I can guarantee when I put this proposal out in the fall, that it's going to be like throwing a piece of raw meat into a cage of wolves," he said. Unlike "Clintoncare," however, Bradley outlined a strategy designed to weather criticism while leaving the integrity of the plan intact. He said, "I think that the key thing, if you're going to do real reform, (is that) it takes up to three to four years. (It's) difficult to do in six months, particularly if you're dealing with one-sixth of the economy. So what you do is put out something very specific. It gets chewed up by the wolves. ... You see what happens. You then come out with a new and improved version after having taken the blows. The new and improved version has a political strategy behind it and you then move to pass it." He said he would make compromises, but would not budge on ensuring care for every American. "You take as much as you can at the end of the day, but I've seen enough to know that big reform can happen," he said (Reuters/Nando Times, 8/20).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.