BILL CLINTON: HEALTH CARE FOR EVERY AMERICAN
In the first year of a Clinton Administration, we'll deliver quality,
affordable health care to all Americans. If we're going to
fundamentally change government, we must devote special attention to
dramatically changing the way we deliver health care in this country.
We are the only advanced nation in the world that does not provide
health care to all its citizens and does not take the lead in
controlling health care costs.
If we are to be economically competitive in the next decade, we simply
must overhaul our health care system. We don't need to reduce
quality, we need to restructure the system.
We spend 30% more than any other country on health care, and get less
for it. Millions of Americans can't change their jobs for fear of
losing their health care coverage and not being able to get insurance
because of "pre-existing" health conditions. Thousands of American
businesses are losing jobs because health care costs are a 30%
handicap in the global marketplace.
We can control costs, improve quality, expand preventive and long-term
care, maintain consumer choice, and cover everybody. We don't need to
raise taxes, but we do need to take on health insurance companies and
bureaucracies, drug manufacturers, and other powerful interests. By
eliminating administrative waste in the current system, controlling
costs and ending fraudulent billing practices, we can generate $100
billion in savings to finance a new national health care system.
We need to make four sweeping changes in American health care:
1. Guarantee Universal Coverage: We'll spend over $800 billion this
year on health care, yet more than 34 million people remain uninsured
and millions more don't receive the coverage they need. Every
American should have access to affordable, quality care.
2. Control Costs: We can cover every American with the money we're
already spending, if we demand insurance reform to end the
administrative waste of the current system, control the unnecessary
spread of excessive technology, stop drug prices from going up at
three times the rate of inflation, reduce billing fraud that may
account for up to $75 billion a year, and force the people who send
bills and the people who pay them to agree on how much health care
3. Improve Preventive Care: We'll provide primary and preventive care
in inner city and rural areas where health care is not readily
available today, and we'll increase children's access to health care
by putting clinics in schools where it is needed.
4. Provide More Choices in long-Term Care: We should provide health
care to the elderly when they need it -- before they spend themselves
into poverty. Our senior citizens should make their own choices about
how to spend their health care benefits. In Arkansas, we created a
program that gives seniors the right to take money which used to be
available for nursing home care and spend it on home health care,
personal care, transportation to senior centers, hiring a nurse or
attending an adult day care center. I want a federal health system
that gives seniors all over the country the same choices.
This is our revolution for the federal establishment: We want a
government keyed to investing in the nation's prosperity and future; a
government willing to discipline its spending according to the
people's ability to support it; a government that makes itself more
productive every year, by searching out and creating new and
innovative ways of providing public service; and a government that
guarantees health care for every American.
3. A Revolution in the American Workplace
We desperately need an educated, well-trained work force and a
productive and disciplined federal government that invests in the
future. But American workers and Americans businesses are going to
have to change, too.
In the last decade, the stock market tripled while average wages went
down. It's time for a revolution in the American workplace that will
radically raise the status of the American worker and tear down the
Berlin Wall between labor and management.
Outdated economic arrangements are holding America back, and we need
to create new, dynamic and flexible workplaces where workers at the
front line are involved in the decisions that affect their
productivity, and entire levels of middle management can be
eliminated. While business and workers have to undertake most of
these changes themselves, government can help, too.