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Editorials Address Clinton Health Care Proposal

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Clinton Health Care Proposal

Summaries of several recent editorials and opinion pieces on the health care proposal announced on Monday by presidential candidate Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) appear below.


  • Baltimore Sun: The Clinton proposal "recognizes a responsibility shared by the individual, as well as society," for health insurance, a Suneditorial states. According to the editorial, "requiring Americans tobuy health insurance, especially young, healthy people who have moreurgent demands on their limited incomes, is hard to swallow at first,"but "such a national mandate -- along with affordable insurance planstailored to meet the varying needs of the states -- may be the next,best step to be taken toward universal coverage as larger policybattles are waged" (Baltimore Sun, 9/21).
  • Eugene Register-Guard:The Clinton proposal "is a masterpiece of strategic compromise that hassomething for everyone without offering everything to anyone," and it"deliberately embraces values usually associated with Republican reformplans: choice, support for small business, preserving private sectorinsurance and tax credits," according to a Register-Guardeditorial. "Unlike her 1994 effort, Hillarycare 2008 doesn't attempt tore-engineer the health care delivery system" and is "bound todisappoint those who believe the dysfunctional U.S. system needs morethan incremental fixes," but Clinton has "brought to the table a planthat directly addresses the worst failing of the current system -- the47 million Americans who have no health insurance," the editorialstates (Eugene Register-Guard, 9/20).
  • Pittsburgh Tribune-Review:"Clinton's second run at socializing medicine differs from her firstabortive attempt in 1993-94 only in detail," and her "goal is toincrease the federal government's control of health care dollars spent... while rejecting out of hand the market reforms that would makehealth care less expensive and more effective," a Tribune-Revieweditorial states. According to the editorial, "Hillarycare II'sgovernment-directed insurance-for-all proposal builds on a horrificallyflawed premise: that markets can operate efficiently through centralplanning and subsidy -- therefore, without real consumer choice" (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, 9/20).
  • Rochester Democrat and Chronicle:The Clinton proposal offers "another welcome sign that the nationfinally may be ready to tackle the worsening problem of people goingwithout health insurance," according to a Democrat and Chronicleeditorial. The proposal and similar plans announced by other Democraticpresidential candidates provide "strong indicators that universalhealth coverage will be hotly debated in the presidential race and, nodoubt, in the next Congress" -- a "sharp contrast to the tepid talkover the past 15 years about the plight of the uninsured," theeditorial states, concluding, "It's about time" (Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, 9/21).
  • San Diego Union-Tribune:The Clinton proposal "appears to be a vast improvement over the schemeshe pushed to disastrous results in 1993 and 1994," but a "closer lookat her plan quickly reveals many basic problems -- starting with theprice tag," as the estimated annual cost of $110 billion "ispreposterously low," a Union-Tribune editorial states.According to the editorial, the proposal "actually amounts to a vast,costly new entitlement program" that would "put us on a back-door routeto a de facto single-payer system" (San Diego Union-Tribune, 9/21).

Opinion Pieces

  • Paul Krugman, New York Times:The Clinton proposal, as well as the health care plans of the othermajor Democratic presidential candidates, would "achieve universal ornear-universal coverage through a well-thought-out combination ofinsurance regulation, subsidies and public-private competition," butall of the plans would have to overcome efforts by the Republicanpresidential nominee to "scare the dwindling fraction of Americans whostill have good health insurance by claiming that the Democrats willtake it away," columnist Krugman writes in a New York Timesopinion piece. "It's good to know that whoever gets the Democraticnomination will run on a very good health care plan," he writes,adding, "What remains is the question of whether he or she will havethe determination to turn that plan into reality" (Krugman, New York Times, 9/21).
  • Cal Thomas, Washington Times:The Clinton proposal promises "choice" in health care, which "soundsgood, but, like all things Clinton, you have to look behind the facadeto discover reality," syndicated columnist Thomas writes in a Washington Timesopinion piece. "When the costs get too large and the taxes too high(even for liberals) the only 'choice' will be who gets care and whodoesn't," he writes, adding, "Do we want the federal government to havemore control over our health?" (Thomas, Washington Times, 9/21).

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.