Philadelphia Inquirer Examines Health Care Proposals of Democratic Presidential Candidates
The Philadelphia Inquirer on Monday examined health care proposals introduced by the Democratic presidential candidates to help the uninsured, plans that in large part "have been shaped by the collapse" of a health care proposal introduced by former President Bill Clinton in 1994. The candidates have announced "far-reaching" proposals that would expand current government health insurance programs or provide tax credits to help the uninsured purchase health coverage but are "stopping short of the systemwide overhaul" that Clinton sought, the Inquirer reports. Most of the proposals also would allow "insured people who are satisfied with their coverage to keep it unchanged, avoiding any political backlash from people skeptical of fixing something they do not think is broken," the Inquirer reports. Karen Pollitz, project director of the Georgetown University Health Policy Institute, said, "People have not gotten over 1994 yet. President Clinton tried to fix everything at once. It was not well-received, and not only that, the Democrats got turned out at the next election." According to the Inquirer, the "biggest obstacle" for the proposals is cost; the plans range in cost from $590 billion over 10 years to $932 billion over 10 years. Each of the candidates has proposed to repeal part or all of the tax cuts enacted by President Bush to fund the proposals (Mondics, Philadelphia Inquirer, 1/26).
Presidential candidate Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.) discussed health care issues on CNN's "Late Edition" Sunday (Blitzer, "Late Edition," CNN, 1/25). The complete transcript is available online. In addition, presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) discussed health care issues on CBS' "Face the Nation" Sunday (Schieffer, "Face the Nation," CBS, 1/25). The complete transcript is available online. You will need Adobe Acrobat to view the transcript.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.