Editorials Address Clinton Health Care Proposal

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Summaries of editorials and opinion pieces that address presidential candidate Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's (D-N.Y.) health care proposal appear below.

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Editorials

  • Albany Times Union:"Not all of the details" of Clinton's plan "have been worked out," butthe "broad outlines of her plan are practical, the costs are fairlyapportioned, and the balance between private and government roles isinnovative and welcome," according to a Times Union editorial. The Times Unionwrites that there are "potential pitfalls, to be sure," includingquestions such as "how would the mandate to buy coverage be enforced?"and "Would those without coverage be denied treatment at the emergencyroom? That seems not only a severe penalty, but one that runs counterto society's obligation to care for those in need" (Albany Times Union, 9/19).
  • Chicago Sun-Times:Clinton "certainly doesn't think" universal health care is an"impossible dream," and "if she succeeds in sparking a necessary andoverdue debate on our health care system, maybe Americans won't,either," according to a Sun-Times editorial. Clinton's"history on the issue means her plan -- a far cry from her doomed 1993effort that led to the Republican takeover of Congress a year later --will receive far more attention and far more scrutiny than anyoneelse's" (Chicago Sun-Times, 9/19).
  • Las Vegas Review-Journal:Clinton "either misunderstands or misstates the problems with her 1993effort," which was "overly complex -- as any attempt by the governmentto take over a major slice of our relatively free-market economy wouldhave to be complex," according to a Review-Journaleditorial. The editorial continues, "But is the pursuit of a 'simpler'state-run bureaucratic compulsion -- telling doctors and hospitals tospend less money, deciding which sick people go to the front of theline and which to the back -- really the answer?" The Review-Journalrecommends that politicians "encourage the lowering of prices thatalways follows free competition by urging" greater transparency inmedical services pricing (Las Vegas Review-Journal, 9/18).
  • Manchester Union Leader:"Clinton claims she does not want to create a single-payer,government-run health system like Canada's," but "given half a chance,she'd impose exactly that," a Union Leader editorial states. The Union Leadercontinues, "Make no mistake. If a President Hillary Clinton had thevotes, and that is a possibility, it'd be goodbye greatest health caresystem in the world, hello socialized medicine" (Manchester Union Leader, 9/19).
  • St. Petersburg Times:Clinton "is very careful to talk about consumer choice and reassurepatients who have coverage now that they could keep it and not changedoctors," which "should go a long way toward developing a consensus,"the St. Petersburg Times writes in an editorial.Republicans "will try to turn back the clock and scare voters intobelieving the former first lady is resurrecting a government-run planthat will fail again," according to the editorial. It concludes,"Clinton is wiser and more cautious now," adding, "the landscape haschanged over the last 14 years," the "need for affordable, accessiblehealth care for every American is even greater -- and voters are lesslikely to fall for campaign scare tactics" than in the past (St. Petersburg Times, 9/19).

Opinion Pieces

  • Al Knight, Denver Post:After Clinton's reform efforts in 1994, "her husband promised thenation that everyone would soon be getting a card that would allow themto get health care," and while Clinton's "plan this time around is notquite so simple, ... the promised results are certainly similar," Postcolumnist Knight writes. He concludes, "As the debate over health caredevelops and the promises get more and more extravagant, it would bewell to remember that while the demand for health care may be infinite,medical resources are assuredly not" (Knight, Denver Post, 9/18).
  • Mitt Romney, Wall Street Journal:"Some of the details have changed, but at the heart" of the Clintonproposal are the "same flaws that sunk her first version" in 1993,Romney, a Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusettsgovernor, writes in a Journal opinion piece. According toRomney, the proposal would increase taxes, which would "slow down theeconomy and make the cost of her system grow even higher." He adds thata provision in her proposal to allow employers to select health plansfrom a network of private plans under the Federal Employees Health Benefits Programor a public plan modeled on Medicare "is the gentle slope to asingle-payer socialized medicine model." In addition, her"one-size-fits-all approach" to health care reform "ignores significantdifferences between people and the needs of 50 different states,"Romney writes. He adds that health care reform should "keep faith infederalism, in private markets and in individual responsibility"(Romney, Wall Street Journal, 9/20).
  • Rich Lowry, Washington Times:The Clinton proposal would make the "ramshackle" employer-sponsoredhealth care system "worse" and more expensive with the addition of"regulations on insurers and a mandate on large employers to provideinsurance coverage or pay a tax," Lowry, a syndicated columnist, writesin a Washington Times opinion piece. According to Lowry,the "employer mandate would only augment the current senseless systemof people getting insurance through their jobs," and the "privateinsurance market would, in all likelihood, continue to break down." Headds, "And, of course, government will be there to keep increasing itsmarket share" (Lowry, Washington Times, 9/20).

Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. Youcan view the entire Kaiser DailyHealth Policy Report, search the archives, and sign up for email deliveryat kaisernetwork.org/email. The Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, afree service of The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.

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