Hillary Clinton Would Improve Health Care Quality, Affordability

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Presidential candidate Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) on Thursday in Lebanon, N.H., announced a proposal to improve health care quality, the AP/Washington Times reports. During a speech at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center,Clinton said that the proposal would increase Medicare reimbursementsfor physicians who participate in certification programs.

Theproposal also would increase reimbursements from all federal programsfor physicians who use teams to provide coordinated care and would endpayments for preventable conditions that occur in hospitals, Clintonsaid. She added that the proposal would provide $300 million toincrease enrollment in nursing schools, establish mentor programs forrecent graduates and recruit more minorities into the profession. Inaddition, Clinton said that the proposal would expand and improve theinformation available to help patients make informed health caredecisions.

She said, "Too often, and in too many places, ourhealth care system hurts us instead of helps us," adding, "It hurtsdoctors, who aren't rewarded for providing the best care and are oftenpunished for it financially. It hurts nurses, who are asked to worklonger hours, caring for more patients with fewer resources. And ithurts patients, who are forced to make complicated medical decisionswithout basic information about their conditions and options" (AP/Washington Times, 8/24).

Inaddition, Clinton said, "Everyone tells me the same thing. Our healthcare system isn't working, and what can we do about it? The cost is toohigh and the coverage too thin, the care is not what it should be." InMay, Clinton announced a proposal to reduce health care costs during a speech at George Washington University (Zuckman, Chicago Tribune, 8/24). She plans to announce a proposal to expand health insurance to more U.S. residents next month (AP/Washington Times, 8/24).

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Biden, Richardson Speak to Nevada Union Workers

In related news, presidential candidates Sen. Joe Biden (D-Del.) and New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson (D) on Wednesday in Reno, Nev., told union workers that as president,they would end the war in Iraq and spend some of the billions ofdollars in savings on health care, the AP/Contra Costa Times reports.

At a convention of the Nevada State AFL-CIO,Biden said that the U.S. could provide health insurance for all U.S.children for $28 billion and could provide catastrophic coverage forall adults for the same amount. Biden said, "You can do this if you endthe war and take away" tax cuts proposed by President Bush and approvedby Congress for households with annual incomes more than $200,000.Richardson said that he would reduce the age of eligibility forMedicare from 65 to 55 (Sonner, AP/Contra Costa Times, 8/23).

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Reprinted with permission fromkaisernetwork.org.You can view the entire KaiserDaily Health Policy Report, search the archives, andsign up for email delivery at kaisernetwork.org/email. The Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report is published forkaisernetwork.org,a free service of The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.

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