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Clinton's Health Reform Proposal

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Problems to be addressed, possible solutions to the problems and political circumstances around Clinton's Health Reform Proposal.

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Solution Summary

This solution discusses problems to be addressed, possible solutions to the problems and political circumstances around Clinton's Health Reform Proposal.

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Please refer to file response attached, as well as supporting article.

Problems to be addressed:

On September 22, 1993, President Clinton appeared before the American people to discuss his plans to reform the health care system. On November 20, 1993, the Health Security Act (the 'Act' or 'HSA') was introduced into Congress. The Act responded to the following problems:
1. Concerns about the uninsured and underinsured,
2. About uncompensated care and
3. About cost containment. (http://academic.udayton.edu/health/02organ/clinton01.htm).

Possible Solutions
Specifically, the original version of Clinton's Health Security Plan had the following key provisions:
―Universal coverage for all Americans, that is, for the uninsured Americans¾ 15% of all Americans. This was what the President emphasized the most. Actually, "the Clinton Administration has signaled its willingness to negotiate almost every element of its plan, save one: any negotiated alternative must cover everyone."
―Healthcare alliances for purchasing insurance in bulk, which will strengthen the buyers' position.
―A National Health Boarding for controlling healthcare costs, which will control escalating medical costs.
―Employer mandates for covering most of the cost of the program, which required employers to pay 80% of working families group insurance. The government will pay for subsidies for small businesses.
―A modern claims processing system to reduce paperwork, which will lessen the burden of the doctors.
―A tobacco tax(sin tax) to help fund the program. (http://my.netian.com/~pynchon/doc/healthcare.htm).

Political Circumstances

III. Political Parties: What They Did?
Concerning the Health Security reform plan, there were a few differing major positions in the Democratic Party and almost as many in the Republican Party.

1. The Democratic Party divided in passing a law
In 103rd Congress, Democrats were majority in both houses. However, while they retained majority over Republicans in the House (258 Democrats 175 Republicans and 1 independent), they had less of an edge in the Senate (57 Democrats and 43 Republicans). The administration had to build a bipartisan coalition in support of the proposed reform, because it took 60 votes to overcome a filibuster in the Senate. Plus, the political cohesion of congressional Democrats was critical because the President needed the support of all the House Democrats. Actually, President Clinton spent a good deal of time lobbying congressional Democrats on behalf of his agenda, and majority of them, 31 senators and 145 representatives, supported to reform the health care system. But the Democrats were fractured in their opinions about how to achieve the goal, and they were combative, so Clinton had a difficult time keeping his majority together in Congress.

(1) Clinton supporters
Representative John D. Dingell (D-MI), chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee, and two other committee chairmen who had instrumental roles⎯ Representative William Ford (D-MI), chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee and Senator Edward Kennedy (D-MA), chairman of the Senator Labor and Human Resources Committee⎯ supported Clinton's health care reform, and exerted their influence to make it a law. In the past, all three had favored single payer system, but by then they accepted Clinton's argument. Especially, Kennedy had been waging a battle to reform the health care system for 30 years, and he viewed Clinton's plan as the best opportunity ever for action. Kennedy therefore worked closely with Clinton, employing his substantial political influence on behalf of the ...

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