BILL CLINTON: HEALTH CARE FOR EVERY AMERICAN In the first year of a Clinton Administration

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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 should cost. 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.


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