Presidential Candidate Dean Previews Health Care Proposal in Speech to Labor Union
Presidential candidate and former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean (D) yesterday previewed a health care proposal that would encourage more "aggressive efforts" at the state level to provide health insurance, the AP/Los Angeles Times reports. In a speech in New York to Service Employees International Union leaders, Dean said his plan would:
- Make all U.S. residents under age 25 eligible for Medicaid;
- Offer a prescription drug benefit for residents age 65 and older;
- Give government aid to small businesses to purchase employer-sponsored plans for employees ages 25 to 65;
- Make the federal government responsible for acute care for seniors so states could use those resources elsewhere; and
- Increase reimbursement rates to hospitals and physicians (AP/Los Angeles Times, 5/1).
Dean did not specifically address Gephardt's proposal, the AP/Chronicle reports. However, he said requiring employer-sponsored health insurance is a "great idea," but he added that it is not likely to win congressional approval (AP/Augusta Chronicle, 5/1). Dean also said he is "closely examining" a health care plan outlined in a recent Commonwealth Fund report, according to the AP/Times (AP/Los Angeles Times, 5/1). The group last week released a proposal to provide health coverage for nearly every U.S. resident, at a cost of $90 billion per year. It would require the repeal of the 1% tax cut scheduled to take effect in January 2004 (American Health Line, 4/25). CNN's "Inside Politics" yesterday reported on whether there is political pressure to act on health care reform and proposals by presidential candidates Gephardt and Dean (Schneider, "Inside Politics," CNN, 4/30). The full transcript of the program is available online.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.