Clinton Healthcare Initiative

Clinton Healthcare Initiative

The Clintons' healthcare initiative would have guaranteed every American access to medical insurance. The plan would have relied on regulated private insurance markets, where insurers would compete among each other to drive down costs. The government would offer Americans an array of private plans, of varying costs, once a year. The government would cover the entire costs of cheap plans, with people paying more out-of-pocket for more expensive options.    Businesses would have been required to contribute to employee insurance plans, although small businesses would have received generous subsidies.  The plan included regulations insuring that insurance companies could not discriminate against those with pre-existing conditions. A patient’s bill of rights and an expansion of Medicare to include prescription drug benefits (administered by the government in contrast to the far pricier Bush plan that was actually enacted).

Cry Wolf Quotes

[Candidate Bill Clinton's health-care proposal] resembles long-standing plans by congressional Democrats to impose a version of socialized medicine in America.

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Editorial, The Orange County Register.

We have arrived at socialized medicine in America. I do not report this as either a good or bad event but simply as something that has happened with hardly anyone realizing it. This is the first result -- and probably the most important -- of the national health care debate launched last week by President Clinton. Our politics and economy will never again be the same.

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Robert J. Samuelson, Washington Post.

The most devastating indictment of the president’s proposal is that it threatens to destroy virtually everything about American health care that’s worth preserving. Under the plan’s layers of regulation and oversight, even seeing a doctor whenever you like will be no easy matter: access to physicians will be carefully regulated by gatekeepers; referrals to specialists will be strongly discouraged; second opinions will be almost unheard of; and the availability of new drugs will be limited.

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William Kristol, The Project for a Republican Future.

[The Clinton health care initiative is] washed-over old-time bureaucratic liberalism, or centralized bureaucratic socialism.

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Republican minority whip Newt Gingrich’s (R-GA). New York Times.