Health Care Reform Update

October 08, 1993

TIMETABLE -- President Clinton's top health aide, Ira Magaziner, said the administration hopes to have a health reform plan passed by late spring 1994, before campaigning begins in earnest for congressional midterm elections. Mr. Magaziner told a meeting of business leaders and reporters that he saw the administration's health plan moving through congressional committees this fall and winter.

ELDERS' ADVICE -- Surgeon General Joycelyn M. Elders urged American women to retaliate at the voting booth if members of Congress vote to strip coverage for abortions from the health plan. Decisions about abortion should be left to "a woman, her doctor and her God," Dr. Elders said. The draft of Mr. Clinton's health plan says it would cover "pregnancy-related services." Mr. Clinton has said that means abortions would be covered, as they are now under many private insurance plans.

HIGHER COST: -- The Clinton administration will ask the elderly to pay about $12 more a month in Medicare premiums for the health plan's prescription-drug coverage. White House officials had previously estimated that the drug benefit would cost the elderly $8 or $9 more a month. They now pay $36.60 a month.

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