Hillary Clinton on Health Care

Last Updated : Jan 20, 2011

Summary

HIllary Clinton has been involved with reform of the health care system for numerous years. As First Lady, she spearheaded the Clinton Administration's effort to reform health care in 1993 and 1994. As a Senator and candidate for the Presidency, she submitted her own plan. Both plans involved mandates to purchase insurance for those who could afford it and health care for those who could not.

First Lady Clinton was the head of the task force in charge of the failed attempt by President Bill Clinton to overhaul the health care system. This attempt involved a mandate that all people maintain coverage and that all employers provide options for coverage. Those below a given income level would pay nothing. The plan also set minimum and maximums for payments and coverages and created regional alliances in the form of HMOs.

When running for the Presidency in 2008, Senator Clinton proposed a plan for health care coverage that she would have pushed for had she won the election. The highlights of this plan were as follows:

  • Ending the ability of insurance companies to exclude for pre-existing conditions
    • Requirements that policies be renewed if customer chooses
  • A mandate for individuals to purchase insurance
  • Requirement that large companies provide coverage
  • Tax breaks for small companies
  • Limit Premium Payments to a Percentage of Income
  • Create a New Small Business Tax Credit
  • The creation of a public option and a public exchange
  • Emphasis on preventative care
  • Savings from electronic records technology

During the Presidential campaign, Senator Clinton also stated that she would support a single-payer system which would be structured as a Medicare buy-in for everyone.

While in the US Senate, Hillary Clinton voted against the Medicare Part D prescription drug plan.

 

The Clinton Administration Health Care Plan

In 1993, First Lady Clinton was put in charge of the Task Force on National Health Care Reform. The purpose of this task force was to shepherd a health care reform bill through Congress. The task force was roundly criticized for operating almost entirely behind closed doors. 

The Clinton health plan required each US citizen and permanent resident alien to become enrolled in a qualified health plan and forbade their disenrollment until covered by another plan. It listed minimum coverages and maximum annual out-of-pocket expenses for each plan. It proposed the establishment of corporate "regional alliances" of health providers to be subject to a fee-for-service schedule. People below a certain set income level were to pay nothing. The act listed funding to be sent to the states for the administration of this plan, beginning at $13.5 billion in 1993 and reaching $38.3 billion in 2003. (Text taken from Wikipedia). The summary of the legislation can be found here.

 

Op-Ed on Health Care

In 2004, Senator Clinton penned an op-ed for the New York Times concerning health care reform. In that op-ed, she stated that the goal of "universal coverage" needed to be fulfilled more than before. She stated that medical records should be stored electronically and that this would save a great deal of time and money.

 

SEIU Health Care Forum

In March of 2007, Senator Clinton spoke at the SEIU forum for health care and stated numerous times that she opposed the ability of insurance companies to turn down people for pre-existing conditions. She stated that if elected to the Presidency, she would call for legislation to end this practice.

When asked about whether her plan would include a mandate to purchase insurance on either a personal level or an employer level, Senator Clinton stated that there would be an employer mandate and a personal mandate.

 

Des Moines Register Interview

In December of 2007, Senator Clinton was interviewed by the Des Moines Register and spoke about her belief that universal government health care was a must. She suggested allowing everyone to buy into Medicare. She reasserted the possibility of employer and individual mandates.

 

American Health Choices Plan

In September of 2007, Senator Clinton released her health care reform plan called the American Health Choices Plan. She spoke about this plan in Des Moines. and the outline of her plan is shown below.

 

The Conversation

After unveiling her plan, Senator Clinton answered a series of questions about the plan in a web address called the conversation.

Voting Record

Amendment - Drug Reimportation

In July of 2006, a an amendment was voted on to prohibit the United States Customs and Border Protection from preventing an individual not in the business of importing a prescription drug from importing an FDA-approved prescription drug. Hillary Clinton voted in favor of the amendment to prevent border patrol agents from taking prescription drugs from citizens crossing the border.

Hillary Clinton voted in favor of the amendment to prevent border patrol agents from taking prescription drugs from citizens crossing the border.

Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003

The Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003 is sometimes called Medicare Part D. It was a sweeping reform that created plans for the senior citizens to purchase prescription drugs. The bill passed the Senate 54-44 Hillary Clinton voted against Medicare Part D.

Hillary Clinton voted against Medicare Part D.

 

Sponsored and Cosponsored Legislation

Session-111; Bill Number-S 4; Comprehensive Health Reform Act of 2009 - Cosponsor

Calls for Congress to enact, and the President to sign, legislation to guarantee health coverage, improve health care quality and disease prevention, and reduce health care costs for all Americans and the health care system.

Session-110; Bill Number-S 242; Pharmaceutical Market Access and Drug Safety Act of 2007 - Cosponsor

A bill to amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act with respect to the importation of prescription drugs, and for other purposes.

Session-109; Bill Number-S 2354; Medicare Prescription Drug Gap Reduction Act of 2006 - Cosponsor

A bill to amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act to reduce the coverage gap in prescription drug coverage under part D of such title based on savings to the Medicare program resulting from the negotiation of prescription drug prices.

Session-109; Bill Number-S 1580; Healthcare Equality and Accountability Act - Cosponsor

A bill to improve the health of minority individuals.

Session-109; Bill Number-S 347; Advance Directives Improvement and Education Act of 2005 - Cosponsor

A bill to amend titles XVIII and XIX of the Social Security Act and title III of the Public Health Service Act to improve access to information about individuals' health care operations and legal rights for care near the end of life, to promote advance care planning and decisionmaking so that individuals' wishes are known should they become unable to speak for themselves, to engage health care providers in disseminating information about and assisting in the preparation of advance directives, which include living wills and durable powers of attorney for health care, and for other purposes.

Session-109; Bill Number-S 347; Advance Directives Improvement and Education Act of 2005 - Cosponsor

A bill to amend titles XVIII and XIX of the Social Security Act and title III of the Public Health Service Act to improve access to information about individuals' health care operations and legal rights for care near the end of life, to promote advance care planning and decisionmaking so that individuals' wishes are known should they become unable to speak for themselves, to engage health care providers in disseminating information about and assisting in the preparation of advance directives, which include living wills and durable powers of attorney for health care, and for other purposes.

References

[1] Website: The New York Times Article: Now Can We Talk About Health Care? Author: Hillary Rodham Clinton Accessed on: 01/20/2011

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