Clinton Announces Plan To Boost Health Care Quality
Presidential candidate Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) on Thursday in Lebanon, N.H., announced a proposal to improve health care quality, the AP/Washington Times reports.
During a speech at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Clinton said that the proposal would increase Medicare reimbursements for physicians who participate in certification programs.
The proposal also would increase reimbursements from all federal programs for physicians who use teams to provide coordinated care and would end payments for preventable conditions that occur in hospitals, Clinton said. She added that the proposal would provide $300 million to increase enrollment in nursing schools, establish mentor programs for recent graduates and recruit more minorities into the profession.
In addition, Clinton said that the proposal would expand and improve the information available to help patients make informed health care decisions.
She said, "Too often, and in too many places, our health care system hurts us instead of helps us," adding, "It hurts doctors, who aren't rewarded for providing the best care and are often punished for it financially. It hurts nurses, who are asked to work longer hours, caring for more patients with fewer resources. And it hurts patients, who are forced to make complicated medical decisions without basic information about their conditions and options" (AP/Washington Times, 8/24).
In May, Clinton announced a proposal to reduce health care costs during a speech at George Washington University (Zuckman, Chicago Tribune, 8/24). She plans to announce a proposal to expand health insurance to more U.S. residents next month (AP/Washington Times, 8/24).
In related news, presidential candidates Sen. Joe Biden (D-Del.) and New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson (D) on Wednesday in Reno, Nev., told union workers that as president, they would end the war in Iraq and spend some of the billions of dollars in savings on health care, the AP/Contra Costa Times reports.
At a convention of the Nevada State AFL-CIO, Biden said that the U.S. could provide health insurance for all U.S. children for $28 billion and could provide catastrophic coverage for all adults for the same amount. Biden said, "You can do this if you end the war and take away" tax cuts proposed by President Bush and approved by Congress for households with annual incomes more than $200,000.
Richardson said that he would reduce the age of eligibility for Medicare from 65 to 55 (Sonner, AP/Contra Costa Times, 8/23).