To see John's pencil sketch of this cartoon, click here.
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton on Monday offered a sweeping health care reform plan to ensure coverage for all Americans with federal assistance to help defray the cost.
Thirteen years after her first effort was abandoned — but saying she still bore the scars from that failure, Clinton described her new plan as necessary to address the crisis of some 47 million uninsured.
"I believe everyone — every man, woman and child — should have quality, affordable health care in America," the New York senator told an audience in Iowa. She vowed to accomplish the goal in her first term.
Her original plan was an unprecedented initiative for a first lady. This time, she is offering a $110 billion a year program as a candidate for the presidency, in the leadoff state that is her toughest battleground. The health care plan came late in her primary campaign, after several rivals had already described their visions.
"Perhaps more than anybody else I know just how hard this fight will be," Clinton said.
Dismissing the inevitable Republican criticism, Clinton admonished the crowd. "I know my Republican opponents will try to equate health care for all Americans with government-run health care. Don't let them fool us again. This is not government-run."
Clinton says she has learned from the 1990s experience, which almost derailed Bill Clinton's presidency and helped put Republicans in control of Congress for years to come. Aides say she has jettisoned the complexity and uncertainty of the last effort in favor of a plan that stresses simplicity, cost control and consumer choice.
The centerpiece of Clinton's "American Health Choices Plan" is the so-called "individual mandate," requiring everyone to have health insurance ...
Republican skeptics say it would be too invasive and would restrict personal freedom and choice. Liberal Democrats have expressed concern that such a mandate would be too financially burdensome for lower-income individuals and families ...
[B]usinesses ... would be required to offer insurance to employees, or contribute to a government-run pool that would help pay for those not covered. Clinton would also offer a tax subsidy to small businesses to help them afford the cost of providing coverage to their workers.
For individuals and families who are not covered by employers or whose employer-based coverage is inadequate, Clinton would offer expanded versions of two existing government programs: Medicare, and the health insurance plan currently offered to federal employees.
Posted by Forkum at September 17, 2007 04:43 PM