Clinton Proposes Stricter Health Insurance Regulations
Presidential candidate Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) on Monday during a discussion of her health care proposal in Goffstown, N.H., said health insurers should face the same type of federal regulations as brokerages, the AP/Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.
Clinton said that the federal government should increase regulation of health insurers, although states could implement additional rules.
According to Clinton, the current system allows health insurers to move to states with more favorable regulations and offer policies with limited benefits. She said, "We can't do this state by state. No state has the ability to get everyone in their state to get the insurance they need." Clinton added that health insurers spend $50 billion annually to avoid payment of claims.
"This is all part of the business model," she said, adding, "I say to them, use the $50 billion to actually take care of people." Amber Wilkerson, a spokesperson for the Republican National Committee, said, "If there's one thing voters can count on when it comes to Hillary Clinton's proposals, it's that she's always in favor of more Washington, D.C., regulation and bureaucracy" (Ramer, AP/Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 11/26).
Clinton on Monday in an interview with the Des Moines Register said that presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) has not specified if his health care proposal would expand health insurance to all U.S. residents.
She said, "It is important for a Democrat to have the strength and political courage to put forth a plan that will cover everyone, and all of us have, except for Senator Obama." According to Clinton, Obama would not require residents to obtain health insurance, as she and other Democratic presidential candidates have proposed.
Obama spokesperson Tommy Vietor said, "It is a universal health care plan. Senator Obama has a different approach ... in that the first step is cutting costs, which is why his does more to cut costs than anyone." Vietor added that Clinton "refuses to talk about how she would enforce her mandate" (Beaumont, Des Moines Register, 11/27).
Clinton on Tuesday plans to announce a proposal to improve federal efforts to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS in the U.S. and worldwide, the New York Times reports.
The proposal would provide at least $50 billion for HIV/AIDS programs worldwide by 2013. In addition, the proposal also would double funds for HIV/AIDS research at NIH to $5.2 billion annually.
According to information provided by the Clinton campaign, the proposal seeks to significantly reduce the number of new HIV/AIDS infections, offer young individuals "age-appropriate information about HIV/AIDS and how to protect themselves against it," and provide federal funds for needle-exchange programs. The Times reports that Clinton's plan is "similar" to the plans of former Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.) and Obama "in terms of spending, goals and differences with President Bush's AIDS policy." According to the New York Times, Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R) has also discussed funding for HIV/AIDS in Africa (Healy/Altman, New York Times, 11/27).
The Los Angeles Times on Tuesday examined how, although Clinton's failed effort to implement health care reform in the 1990s "ended up as her greatest management failure," she was "a force to be reckoned with as a decision maker." According to the Los Angeles Times, her effort to "overhaul American health care remains her closest approximation of high-wire decision making," though her "doggedness was not matched by her coalition-building skills" (Braun, Los Angeles Times, 11/27).
CBS' "Evening News" on Monday included a discussion with Clinton about her health care proposal and other issues (Couric, "Evening News," CBS, 11/26).
Video of the segment and expanded CBS News coverage are available online.