Hillary Clinton: U.S. presidential election, 2008/health care

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Hillary Rodham Clinton, U.S. Senator (D-N.Y.)
This article is part of the
SourceWatch and Congresspedia coverage
of Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) and
the 2008 presidential election
Main article:
Democratic ticket "top tier"
Republican ticket

On September 17, 2007, Hillary Clinton announced her American Health Choices Plan[1] in which she "proposed an overhaul of the nation's health care system ... that would require Americans to buy insurance but allow them to keep what they have."[2]

Under Clinton's "new plan, the federal government would spend $110 billion a year to help employers and individuals pay for insurance. About half of the money would come from repealing tax cuts and tax breaks for people with incomes above $250,000; the rest would be saved through efficiencies in the system, such as chronic disease management.

"'This is not government-run. There will be no new bureaucracy,' Clinton said at a medical center in Iowa, scene of the race's first caucuses. 'You can keep the doctors you know and trust. You can keep your insurance plan if you like it.'"[2]

"Clinton's plan would mandate that large employers offer health insurance or contribute to a government-run insurance pool. Small businesses would receive tax credits to help them cover employees.

"Lower-income individuals would be eligible for tax credits to prevent them from paying more than a set percentage of their income on health insurance. They could keep their policies, choose from an array of private plans similar to what federal employees are offered or enroll in a new government-run plan similar to Medicare.

"Insurers, who helped defeat the Clinton plan in 1994, would not be allowed to discriminate against or overcharge people with expensive medical conditions or risk factors."[2]

In response, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt "said President Bush wants to achieve universal health care before he leaves office.

"Leavitt told the USA TODAY editorial board that Bush will veto a Democratic plan emerging from Congress that would add $35 billion in taxpayer subsidies to the Children's Health Insurance Program over five years. In doing so, Leavitt said, Bush will urge Congress to join him in seeking coverage for all Americans."[2]

The following day, on September 18, 2007, in a perfectly-timed Wall Street Journal op-ed, former White House operative Karl Rove said the debate on health insurance is one Republicans "cannot avoid. But it is one we can win -- if we offer a bold plan. Conservatives must put forward reforms aimed at putting the patient in charge. Increasing competition will ensure greater access, lower costs and more innovation." Liberals, he wrote, "see the concerns of families as a failure of private insurance, and want the U.S. to move toward a government-run, single-payer model. This is a recipe for making problems worse."[3]

Republican presidential hopefuls "criticized Clinton's plan as heavy-handed. Rudy Giuliani's campaign called it the 'Clinton-Moore plan' after filmmaker Michael Moore, whose film Sicko lambastes the U.S. health care system and lauds government-run programs in other countries. Mitt Romney called it 'a European-style socialized medicine plan.'"[2]



See also


  1. American Health Choices Plan, HillaryClinton.com.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Richard Wolf, "Clinton unveils details of her health care plan," ABC News (USA TODAY), September 17, 2007.
  3. Karl Rove, "Republicans Can Win on Health Care," Wall Street Journal, September 17, 2007.

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