At Issue: Health Care

February 28, 1992

DEMOCRATS

Edmund G. "Jerry" Brown Jr.

Coverage: Cover all Americans with single-payer system based on Canadian model, in which provincial governments act as intermediaries between the patient and health-care providers. Eliminate insurance companies. Promote alternative healing practices like acupuncture.

Financing: No specific plan, but cites savings from cost controls.

Cost Control: Eliminate private insurers as middlemen, curb unnecessary procedures.

Bill Clinton

Coverage: Require employers to provide insurance or pay into public fund, which would cover those without insurance. Increase emphasis on primary and preventive care. Give senior citizens option to use home-based care.

Financing: Use $100 billion in savings from cost sontrols.

Cost Control: Set annual spending guidelines. Stop billing fraud. Regulate prescription pricing.

Tom Harkin

Coverage: Let patients choose doctors and hospitals. Emphasize prevention. Expand medical research; crack down on unsafe working conditions and pollution.

Financing: Use savings from more efficient health care management.

Cost Control: Develop national guidelines to reduce unnecessary medical procedures. Streamline and modernize claims processing.

BTC

Bob Kerrey

Coverage: Eliminate Medicare and Medicaid and create an agency financed by federal and state funds to pay all bills. People choose among private-sector doctors, hospitals and insurance plans. Includes long-term care.

Financing: Use tax funds now allotted to Medicare and Medicaid, plus new 5 percent federal payroll tax: 4 percent on employers, 1 percent on employees. American would no longer pay private insurance premiums.

Cost Control: Set national spending limits. Require health plans to compete for patients.

Paul E. Tsongas

Coverage: Employers provide full-time workers with choice of private coverages. Others are covered by choice of private plans offered through new state agencies. Emphasize prevention. Open Veterans Administration hospitals on emergency basis to non-veterans with serious ailments.

Financing: Businesses provide most coverage. Pay for coverage the uninsured by limiting tax deductions for premiums. "This plan won't increase the deficit or national health care spending."

Cost Control: Encourage firms to compete for patients under rules set by the government.

REPUBLICANS

George Bush

Coverage: Help American obtain private insurance by giving people above the poverty line a tax deduction of up to $3,750. Require insurers to provide coverage to anyone who seeks it regardless of pre-existing conditions. Encourage small businesses to join together to provide insurance.

Financing: Phase in $100 billion cost over five years. Possibly reduce Medicare and Medicaid funding to help pay for it. Work with Congress on financing.

Cost Control: Encourage people to join managed-care plans: pressure states to reform malpractice laws; creat insurance pools for individuals and small groups.

Patrick J. Buchanan

Coverage: Would consider: giving employers and employees incentives to purchase affordable insurance; allowing families to care for aged or ill relatives at home by issuing vouchers for up to 75 percent of nursing home expenses; changing tax laws to permit companies to open medical IRAs for employees.

Financing: No new taxes.

Cost Control: Halt new Medicare regulations for two years while examining all exisiting regulations. Urge states to remove regulations that drive up insurance costs.

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