Clinton’s Health Plan was proposed by President Bill Clinton’s administration in 1993, and was officially named Health Security Act. The President set the National Health Reform Taskforce, which was headed by the First Lady, Hillary Clinton. United States of America is the only democratic nation that does not offer universal health coverage to its citizens (Jacobs & Skocpol, 2013). The American citizens receive health coverage through a combination of both private and public insurance service providers. Majority of the employed individuals have their health insurance financed by their employers. Individuals not covered by their employers may qualify for either Medicaid or Medicare. Despite of all these measures, there is still a large population of American citizens without insurance coverage. This explains why the Clinton Health Plan was essential.
Features of the Clinton Health Care Reform Plan
The plan aimed at providing universal coverage to all Americans. The road to health care reforms was guided by six basic principles; namely simplicity, security, choice, quality, savings, and responsibility. Concerning security, all Americans were to access right to comprehensive health care package, similar to those being offered by companies like Fortune 500. This meant that all citizens were to get health care insurance irrespective of level of employments. Americans would no longer have to worry losing their health coverage in the event that they lost their employment opportunities, creating a sense of security. The government would also set caps on how insurance premiums would be increased on yearly basis. With regard to simplicity, the principle aspired to service the existing administrative difficulties that had contributed to the rise of administrative costs for hospitals, employers and consumers at large (Altman, Shactman & Kerry, 2011). With the formation of Health Security Act, the varied claim forms would be replaced by one specific standard form. This would reduce administrative costs and provide more time for the health care providers to attend to their patients. Insurance companies would be mandated to offer a uniform comprehensive package that allows all consumers to compare the provided plans with the providers.
With regard to savings, the plan agreed with the fact that, if the uninsured populations were to receive the health coverage, it meant that something had to be added too. This led to the need of forming alliances that were set by the states with the aim of purchasing groups, collecting and distributing premiums, offering licenses to health care providers, certifying health plans, and offering the services to the consumers. Employers, individual employees and governments were expected to pay funds to these alliances which would in turn pay the health plans. The alliances would also provide three types of health care plans for consumers to choose from according to the amount of shares contributed by the individuals. A federal National Health Board (NHB) would be created to interpret the rules concerning the coverage benefit, ascertain that the premiums remained within the agreed limits, and monitor the performances of the plans and the corresponding providers (Altman et al, 2011).
Concerning the principle of choice, American would get the option of choosing doctors of their choice, and not those selected by their employers. The plan promised to outspread the number of choice by increasing types of health care plans to three. Consumers would therefore be able to make informed decisions and follow their chosen doctors to their desired health plan; they would have the choice of switching plans at the end of the year. With regard to the principle of quality, various quality assurance measures were incorporated into the plan. An example is the National Quality Management Council (NQMC), which was aimed at setting quality indicators that measures the performances of the health plans (Altman et al, 2011). The final was the principle of responsibility, which was aimed at eliminating all the frivolous malpractices, and promotes working together towards a common goal, that ensures that health care coverage was provided to all citizens and reduces the rising costs of health care.
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