Al Gore on Health Care

2000 Democratic Nominee for President; Former Vice President


1992: Desire to head healthcare reform usurped by Hillary

Apart from selecting a secretary of the treasury and other principals of the president’s economic team, designating who would oversee the health care initiative was the major decision affecting the new administration’s domestic agenda. Al Gore had indicated to the president-elect that this was the job he might most like to take on, drawing on his legislative skills from his years in the Senate and lending it the prestige of his new office. Clinton was intrigued, but worried that the job would demand too much of the vice president’s time. Hillary had a different objection: she felt Gore, not she, would dominate domestic policy if responsible for health care.
Source: A Woman in Charge, by Carl Bernstein, p.214 , Jun 5, 2007

1999: Pushed South Africa to respect Big Pharma AIDS patent

Gore was the co-chair of the US-South Africa Binational Commission along with President Thabo Mbeki. Gore used this position to pressure Mbeki, whose parliament was considering changes in its Medicines Act that would lower the prices of medicines. About 4 million people in South Africa were HIV-positive, & at $10,000 per patient per year for AIDS treatment, only a few would receive this chance to save their lives.

In 1999, Gore had meetings with Mbeki, declaring that such legislation would constitute a violation of the GATT trade agreement--which it was not. Without the full protection of Merck, Pfizer, and other companies' intellectual property, Gore argued, there would not be the billions necessary for further research and development. Gore, of course, would have seen no need to inform Mbeki that the growth in the industry's advertising and marketing expenditures is greater than the growth of their research budgets, or that many of the most significant drugs were financed through tax dollars.

Source: Crashing the Party, by Ralph Nader, p. 52-53 , Oct 14, 2002

Claim that drugmakers spend more on ads than R&D isn’t true

The vice president made an attack on drug companies that conflicts with independent studies. Gore claimed that drug makers “are now spending more money on advertising and promotion -- you see all these ads -- than they are on research and development.”

In fact, the industry spent between $5.8 billion and $8.3 billion on promotion and $21 billion on research and development in 1998. There has been a 20-fold increase in TV drug advertising over the past six years.

Source: Associated Press analysis of 2000 St. Louis debate , Oct 17, 2000

Physicians, not HMO should make medical decisions

Q: Why are HMOs allowed to make medical decisions?

GORE: I don’t feel good about that, and I think we ought to have a Patients’ Bill of Rights to take the medical decisions away from the HMOs and give them back to the doctors and the nurses. Doctors are giving prescriptions, they’re recommending treatments and then their recommendations are being overruled by HMOs and insurance companies. That is unacceptable.

BUSH: I brought Republicans & Democrats together to do just that in the state of Texas.

Source: St. Louis debate , Oct 17, 2000

Drug companies spend more on ads than on research

Q: What about expensive prescription drugs?

BUSH: Step one is to reform the Medicare system. I want to call upon Republicans and Democrats to take care of a senior prescription drug program. I think it’s important to have what’s called Immediate Helping Hand, which is direct money to states so seniors don’t have to chose between food and medicine.

GORE: I have never been afraid to take on the big drug companies. They are now spending more money on advertising than they are on research. They’re trying to artificially extend the monopoly so they can keep charging high prices. I want to streamline the approval of generic drugs so that we bring the price down. I proposed a prescription drug benefit under Medicare. You pick your own doctor and the doctor chooses the prescription and nobody can overrule your doctor. You go to your own pharmacy and Medicare pays half. If you’re poor, they pay all of it. If you have extraordinarily high costs, then they pay all over $4,000 out of pocket.

Source: St. Louis debate , Oct 17, 2000

Opposes Medical Savings Accounts; they segment out the sick

Q: Should the government let everyone set aside money in a tax-free medical savings account to help pay for their health care?

A: I am opposed to Republican proposals to broaden medical savings accounts. These proposals have the potential to segment healthy populations from the sick in the insurance market and therefore leave sicker populations with higher health care costs. We already have some demonstrations on MSAs today and should wait and see what kind of impact they have.

Source: Associated Press on 2000 Presidential race , Oct 11, 2000

Claims Bush puts Texas oil interests before healthy children

GORE [to Bush]: Texas ranks 49th out of the states in health care.

BUSH: We spent $4.7 billion a year on the uninsured in Texas. The percentage of uninsured in Texas has gone down, while the percentage of uninsured in America has gone up. Our CHIPS program got a late start because our government meets only four months out of every two years. It may come as a shock for somebody who’s been in Washington for so long, but limited government can work. In ‘99, we signed up over 110,000 children to the CHIPS program. For comparable states our size, we’re signing them up fast as any other state.

GORE: I’m no expert on Texas procedures, but friends there tell me that the governor opposed a measure put forward by Democrats in the legislature to expand the number of children that would be covered. And instead directed the money toward a tax cut, a significant part of which went to wealthy interests. He declared the need for a new tax cut for the oil companies in Texas an emergency need.

Source: Presidential Debate at Wake Forest , Oct 11, 2000

Claims of Bush’s choices & benefits are underestimated

GORE: A married man, 70 years old, with income of $25,000 a year. under Bush’s plan, would not get one penny for four to five years.

ANALYSIS: This is TRUE if the couple’s annual drug bill does not exceed $6,000. If it did, under Bush’s plan, the government would pay the rest.

GORE: And after 4 to 5 years, they would be forced to go into an HMO or to an insurance company.

ANALYSIS: This is NOT TRUE. They would not be forced into an HMO or private plan-they could choose to remain in Medicare.

Source: Presidential Debate, Boston Globe, “Number Crunch”, p. A15 , Oct 11, 2000

Stronger penalties for HMOs who drop seniors

“I won’t go along with plans that would force (seniors) into HMOs. The other side has called Medicare a ‘government HMO.’ We will no longer just accept the rising wave of HMOs dropping seniors and denying them coverage, all to enhance their bottom line.’’ He proposed doubling the minimum requirement for HMOs contracting with the government to provide health care to the elderly and disabled in Medicare. He also would double the penalty for HMOs who drop patients.
Source: AP story in NY Times on 2000 election , Sep 25, 2000

Foster competition in drug research; companies misspend R&D

[Drug manufacturers] “spend more money every year advertising Claritin and promoting Claritin than Coca-Cola spends to advertise and promote Coca-Cola. So if they’re using these profits more for that than for research and if a lot of the most valuable research is being paid for by the taxpayers anyway, then I believe that we need more competition.” Gore, speaking of the drug Lodine, and its prices, said, “While it costs $108 a month for a person, it costs $37.80 for a dog.”
Source: Kevin Sack, NY Times on 2000 election , Aug 28, 2000

Curb excess pharmaceutical profits made at consumer expense

Gore cast himself as a longtime critic of what he said were the industry’s excessive prices and profits: “I don’t see myself as a basher of the pharmaceutical companies,” Gore said. “I see myself as opposing the excesses that have accompanied their enormous market power, excesses that have come at the expense of consumers.” With his heightened, anti-industry stand that consumers are “being ripped off” by drug makers, Gore is positioning himself as a champion of a far-reaching Medicare prescription drug benefit for senior citizens. He said the industry’s profits were out of line, and he favors policies that would, in effect, cut into profits and curb prices. For example, Gore said he supported a legislative amendment, requiring drug makers to agree to reasonable prices for treatments invented in collaboration with government scientists. He also supports requiring drug companies to pay a fee to the government for medicines developed with the help of government grants.
Source: Sheryl Gay Stolberg in New York Times, on 2000 election , Jul 1, 2000

$30B over 10 years to help families with elder care

Gore called for giving families with long-term care needs and their caregivers a $3,000 tax credit and reforms making it easier for Medicaid to cover care at home and in community settings in addition to nursing homes. The total cost of Gore’s new National Caregiving and Family Support Initiative is nearly $30 billion over ten years. “By making elder-care more affordable, we can strengthen our families across their generations, and honor the parents who did so much to make us what we are today.”
Source: Press Release, “Meet Long-Term Care Needs” , Jun 6, 2000

Against assisted suicide; but leave it to the states

Al Gore stepped into a contentious issue in Oregon today, saying he was opposed to the state’s law allowing assisted suicide. In the past, Gore has said that the issue of assisted suicide should be left to the states. But today, Sen. Ron Wyden (D, OR) said Gore told him that he was opposed. Oregon has passed a law allowing assisted suicide, but Republicans in Congress are trying to overturn it. “Sen. Wyden told reporters, ”Gore said he’s against assisted suicide“ but that he did not want to interfere with the ability of doctors to manage a patient’s pain. Gore was not available to reporters to clarify his view.

Last month, Gore was asked in an interview whether he supported Oregon’s law. Gore said on April 20, “I think that states should have the discretion to explore this new set of issues involving what role doctors should play when a patient is in extremis at the end of life. There are so many different situations. I think that states ought to deal with that on their own.”

Source: Katharine Q. Seelye, New York Times, p. A10 on 2000 election , May 13, 2000

Get generic drugs to market quickly & cheaply

As a Congressman, Al Gore fought the pharmaceutical industry to bring lower-cost generic drugs to market faster. Now, he has issued a new plan to make high-cost prescription drugs more affordable for those who rely on them. As President, Gore will oppose all unwarranted patent extensions [that keep generics off the market]. He would vigorously enforce laws against collusion to prop up artificially high prices for drugs; and push legislation to discourage delaying the approval of generic drugs.
Source: Press Release , Mar 31, 2000

Let FDA regulate cigarettes; fight teenage smoking

Gore said Congress should give the FDA power to regulate nicotine as an addictive drug. Gore has become a passionate opponent of the tobacco industry, but once bragged of working in tobacco fields on his family’s farm and until 1990 accepted tobacco [PAC money]. In 1996, he moved many with an account of the death of his sister from lung cancer. Today Gore accused the cigarette companies of recruiting teenagers as “replacement smokers” for the 400,000 people who die each year of smoking-related illnesses.
Source: NyTimes.com , Mar 22, 2000

Focus on prevention to limit costs

At a time of rising health care costs, Al Gore believes we should save money and improve care by helping people stay healthy in he first place. “We need more preventive care,” says Gore. “Instead of more low-birthweight babies tomorrow, let’s have more pre-natal care today. Instead of more sick children tomorrow, let’s have more immunizations today. Instead of more breast cancer tomorrow, let’s have more mammograms today.”
Source: www.AlGore2000.com/issues/health.html 5/14/99 , May 14, 1999

No discriminating based on genetic information

We want to make sure women take advantage of stunning medical advances without fear of discrimination. We are fighting for new laws that would stop health plans & employers from discriminating on the basis of genetic information. Women [should] get the best health care, not just the cheapest. Women are less likely to be referred to specialists, and three times as likely to be told their medical condition is “all in their head.” That’s why we fought so hard for a strong Patients’ Bill of Rights.
Source: Speech to National Women’s Law Center , Nov 19, 1998

Remove stigma & treat mental illness like physical illness

Al and Tipper Gore today unveiled a new initiative to help remove the stigma of mental illness. “When mental illness goes untreated, undiagnosed and unmentioned, the strain on a family can become unbearably painful,” Gore said. I will move this country toward the day when mental illness is treated like any other illness, by every health plan in America. And I’ll start by ensuring affordable mental health coverage for all children.
Source: Press Release, “Help Families Cope With Mental Illness” , May 31, 2000

Al Gore on Insurance coverage

Step by step, fill in the gaps in health care

Q: Would you be open to the ideal of a national health care plan for everybody?

GORE: I think that we should move step by step toward universal health coverage. But I am not in favor of government doing it all. We’ve spent 65 years now on the development of a hybrid system--partly private, partly public--and 85% of our people have health insurance, 15% don’t. That adds up to 44 million people; that is a national outrage. We have got to get health coverage for those who do not have it. And we have got to fill in the gaps in coverage by finally bringing parity for the treatment of mental illness because that’s been left out. We’ve got to deal with long-term care. I will make a commitment to bring health care coverage of high quality that is affordable to every single child in America within four years. And then, we’ll fill other gaps by covering the parents of those children when the family is poor or up to two and a half times the poverty rate.

Source: St. Louis debate , Oct 17, 2000

Wants some form of non-government universal health care

Q: What will you do for uninsured people under 65?

BUSH: For working folks that want health care, that can’t afford it, a couple of things: I’ve put money in my budget to expand community health centers all around the country. These are places where people can get primary care. Secondly, you get a $2,000 rebate from the government if you’re a family making $30,000 or less - it scales down as it gets higher - that you can use to purchase health care in the private market. Allow business associations to write association plans across jurisdictional lines so that small businesses have got the capacity of national pooling to drive the cost of insurance down.

GORE: I’d like to see some form of universal health care, but I’m not for a government-run system. We should start by greatly expanding the so-called child health insurance, or CHIP program, to give health insurance to every single child in this country.

Source: (X-ref Bush) Presidential Debate at Wake Forest University , Oct 11, 2000

Cover 12 million uninsured at a 10-year cost of $157 billion

Source: The Economist, “Issues 2000” , Sep 30, 2000

Move toward universal health coverage, step by step

At a time of almost unimaginable medical breakthroughs, we will fight for affordable health care for all - so patients and ordinary people are not left powerless and broke. We will move toward universal health coverage, step by step, starting with all children. Let’s get all children covered by the year 2004. And let’s move to the day when we end the stigma of mental illness, and treat it like every other illness, everywhere in this nation.
Source: Speech to the 2000 Democratic National Convention , Aug 18, 2000

All children should have health care by 2004

Gore said that he would ensure that all children receive medical insurance coverage by the end of his first term: “At this moment of fantastic prosperity, we must make a historic national commitment to make sure that no child goes without the care they need,” Gore added. Gore lambasted Bush for failing to improve health care coverage, saying that Texas leads the nation in the number of people without insurance and ranks second in both the number and the percentage of uninsured women and children.
Source: Edwin Chen, L.A. Times , Apr 28, 2000

Expand Children’s Health Insurance Program for working poor

On Coverage: Expand Children’s Health Insurance Program, which subsidizes premiums for working poor. Plan would offer subsides to more children, plus their parents, in families that earn too much now to qualify but not enough to afford private insurance on their own. Also would allow children of wealthier families into the program, with families paying the full cost.
Source: Associated Press on 2000 Presidential race , Mar 14, 2000

$146B over 10 years to insure 90% of adults & 100% of kids

Q: How do you plan to fund your health care plan? A: My health care plan provides coverage for almost 90% of the American people. It gives coverage to 100% of all children. The cost is $146 billion over ten years, and a prescription drug benefit is provided under Medicare for $118 billion over ten years.
Source: Democrat Debate at Dartmouth College , Oct 28, 1999

Al Gore on Medicare + Medicaid

Medicare Rx plan: you choose, Medicare pays

GORE: Under the Medicare prescription drug proposal I’m making, here’s how it works: You go to your own doctor and your doctor chooses your prescription, and no HMO or insurance company can take those choices away from you. Then you go to your own pharmacy, you fill the prescription and Medicare pays half the cost. If you’re in a very poor family or you have very high costs, Medicare will pay all the costs, a $25 premium and much better benefits than you can possibly find in the private sector.

BUSH: I’ve got a plan on Medicare that’s a two-stage plan that says we’re going to have immediate help for seniors in what I call “Immediate Helping Hand,” a $48 billion program. [Then,] seniors are going to have not only a Medicare plan where the poor seniors will have their prescriptions paid for, but there will be a variety of options. My plan not only trusts seniors with options, my plan sets aside $3.4 trillion for Medicare over the next 10 years.

Source: (X-ref Bush) Presidential debate, Boston MA , Oct 3, 2000

Put Medicare in lockbox so seniors can afford prescriptions

GORE: I will put Medicare in a lockbox. Under the governor’s plan, if you kept the same fee-for-service that you have now under Medicare, your premiums would go up by between 18 and 47%. There’s a man here named George McKinney. He’s 70 years old, he has high blood pressure, his wife has heart trouble. They have income of $25,000 a year. They cannot pay for their prescription drugs. Under my plan, half of their costs would be paid right away. Under Bush’s plan, they would get not one penny for four to five years, and then they would be forced to go into an HMO or to an insurance company, but there would be no limit on the premiums or the deductibles.

BUSH: I cannot let this go, the “We’re going to scare you in the voting booth.” Under my plan, the man gets immediate help with prescription drugs. It’s called “Immediate Helping Hand.”

GORE: If you make more than $25,000 a year, you don’t get a penny of help under the Bush prescription drug proposal for at least four to five years.

Source: Presidential debate, Boston MA , Oct 3, 2000

Protect Medicare’s funds with “lockbox”

Source: Medicare at a Crossroads, page 5 , Sep 23, 2000

Modernize Medicare with choice, efficiency, competition

Source: Medicare at a Crossroads, page 6 , Sep 23, 2000

Too many seniors have to choose between drugs and rent

When Medicare was created, prescription drugs were not considered an essential part of American health care. Today, they are at the core of medical treatment. And yet, nearly half of all Medicare beneficiaries go without prescription drug coverage. Older Americans who lack prescription drug coverage typically pay 15% more for drugs than insurers who can negotiate price discounts. At this time of great prosperity, it is unacceptable that so many seniors have to choose between medicine and food and rent.
Source: Medicare at a Crossroads, page 28 , Sep 23, 2000

Senior prescription drug benefit with $4,000 cap

Source: Medicare at a Crossroads, page 35 , Sep 23, 2000

Allow 55-65 year olds to buy into Medicare

Gore believes that many Americans between the ages of 55-65 - the fastest growing group of uninsured in the country and some of the most vulnerable to the vagaries of the private market - should be able to buy into Medicare.
Source: Medicare at a Crossroads, page 36 , Sep 23, 2000

Free preventive cancer screenings for Medicare beneficiaries

In order to eliminate financial barriers to critical preventive services, the Gore plan eliminates the Part B deductible and co-payment for Medicare preventive services: hepatitis B vaccination, colorectal cancer screening, bone mass measurements, prostate cancer screening, diabetes self-management benefits, pelvic exams, and screening mammograms.
Source: Medicare at a Crossroads, page 39-40 , Sep 23, 2000

$253B for Medicare prescriptions & subsidized premiums

Medicare reform comparedGore’s planBush’s plan
PremiumsStart at $25 per month, increasing to $44 by 2008.Will be determined by individual private health insurance companies, with higher premiums for more extensive coverage.
Projected Cost$253 billion over 10 years$158 billion over 10 years, of which $48 billion would go for immediate prescription aid by 2004.
Source: Boston Globe on 2000 race, p. A8 , Sep 6, 2000

1997 Medicare cuts went too far-put back $339B

Gore renewed his call today for spending $339 billion over 10 years to add a prescription drug benefit to the Medicare program and to restore Medicare financing to teaching hospitals, nursing homes, rural hospitals, home health care aides, and rehabilitative services. Money for those programs was cut under the 1997 balanced budget act, and Gore said today that those reductions “went too far.”
Source: Kevin Sack & James Dao, NY Times on 2000 election , Aug 31, 2000

Health Care Trust Fund to expand coverage

Gore called for the creation of a Health Care Trust Fund to help move toward the day when every American has affordable health coverage. The trust fund would help expand access to affordable coverage to every child and millions of adults. Gore would allow Americans 55 to 65 to buy into Medicare, expand coverage to parents whose children are eligible for Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance program, and provide tax credits for small businesses and individuals without job-based health care.
Source: Press Release, “Medicare Lock Box” , Jun 14, 2000

$300B over 15 years to keep Medicare solvent

I am deeply committed to keeping Medicare strong for the future. When I became vice president in 1993, the Medicare trust fund was scheduled to run out in 1999. We took steps to keep it strong until 2015. However, given the fact that the number of people on Medicare is scheduled to double over the next few decades, Medicare will need additional resources to keep the trust fund strong for the future. That is why I have proposed devoting nearly $300 billion of the projected budget surplus over the next 15 years to keep Medicare solvent for at least the next quarter century. I also believe we should strengthen Medicare by adding a prescription drug benefit to help Medicare beneficiaries pay for their medicines. My plan has no deductible, and would eliminate cost-sharing and premiums for those living on low incomes. And it would provide additional support for those encountering catastrophic drug costs.
Source: Associated Press, in Brockton (MA) Enterprise, p. B6 , Mar 1, 2000

Al Gore on Patient Rights

Patient Rights: power to doctors; right of appeal

I support a strong national patients’ bill of rights. What I think really needs to be accomplished is to give the decisions back to the doctors and nurses and to give a right of appeal to somebody other than the HMO or insurance company, let you go the nearest emergency room without having to call an HMO before you call 911, to let you see a specialist if you need to.
Source: St. Louis debate , Oct 17, 2000

Supports Dingell-Norwell Patient Bill of Rights

BUSH [to Gore]: It’s time for our nation to come together & do what’s right for the people. I support a national patients’ bill of rights.

Q: Do you two agree on that?

GORE: Absolutely not. The Dingell-Norwood bill is the bipartisan bill that is now pending in the Congress. The HMOs & the insurance companies support the other bill that’s pending, the one that Republican majority has put forward. [The Dingell-Norwood bill] is being blocked by the Republican leadership in the Congress. I specifically would like to know whether Gov. Bush will support the Dingell-Norwood bill, which is the main one pending.

BUSH: I talked about the principles and the issues that I think are important in a patients’ bill of rights. Now, there’s this kind of Washington, D.C., focus, well, it’s in this committee or it’s got this sponsor. If I’m the president, we’re going to have emergency room care [and the rest of] what I’ve done in Texas. And that’s the kind of leadership style I’ll bring to Washington.

Source: (X-ref Bush) St. Louis debate , Oct 17, 2000

Encourage competition, ensure choice, stop abuses

The plan would have health providers compete for the business of seniors on the basis of both quality and price. The plan will also crack down on fraud, waste, and abuse and take steps to rationalize cost sharing, reform Medigap, and ensure adequate provider payment rates. The plan will make Medicare more competitive by ensuring choice, and it will make it harder for HMOs to drop seniors and will forbid “cherry-picking.”
Source: Medicare at a Crossroads, page 45 , Sep 23, 2000

Private medical information should not be bought and sold

Gore is accusing health-care giants of “putting profits ahead of people.” “It’s wrong for the insurance companies and drug companies to sell your medical information, putting profits ahead of people. You have a fundamental right to privacy and no powerful interest should be allowed to sell it or take it away. People [are] being victimized by powerful institutions that are able to take your most private medical information and treat it as a commodity like corn or wheat or pork bellies.”
Source: AP story in NY Times on 2000 election , Sep 19, 2000

Enforce HMO coverage of women’s cancer treatment

Gore said he would push Congress to give women coverage for screening programs to detect cancer as part of a package of health proposals. “Let’s put an end to the HMO penalties and incentives that encourage doctors and nurses to give women substandard care. That’s wrong and it ought to be against the law.’’ Gore endorsed legislation that would require coverage of mastectomies, mammograms and other procedures crucial to women. It would also ensure coverage for obstetrics and gynecological services.
Source: AP story in NY Times on 2000 election , Sep 18, 2000

Patients have right to more access, protection, recourse

Source: Press Release “Gore for Strong Patient Bill of Rights” , Jul 11, 2000

25% tax credit for health insurance; HMO appeals

On Tax breaks:25% tax credit for people who buy private health insurance because they don’t get it at work. People who do get insurance at work would also get a 25% tax credit on premiums-if the company has fewer than 50 employees and joins a “purchasing coalition” to negotiate affordable rates.

On HMOs:Supports right of patients to “independent appeal” when denied treatment, guaranteed coverage of emergency room treatment, and “redress” for actions of the HMO, & other protections.

Source: Associated Press on 2000 Presidential race , Mar 14, 2000

Patient rights: emergency coverage & performance disclosure

Q: How would you address concerns over managed care & patients’ rights?
A: I support a strong & enforceable patients’ bill of rights that guarantees every American access to the specialists they need. It assures that patients are covered for emergency visits when & where the need arises and requires health plans to disclose relevant information, including their performance specific to children. It also ensures health plans are held accountable when they take actions that result in harm to patients.
Source: National Association of Children’s Hospitals survey , Jan 8, 2000

Patients and doctors should decide who gets what care

Q: If you were to implement health care reforms, who would be the decision-makers? Who chooses what’s covered? A: I think the decision-maker ought to be the people who are getting the care. That’s why I strongly support an HMO Patient Bill of Rights, so that the decisions on specific care are made by doctors and not by faceless bureaucrats who don’t have a license to practice medicine and who don’t have a right to play God. That’s who I think ought to make the decisions.
Source: Democrat Debate at Dartmouth College , Oct 28, 1999

Establish "report cards" on HMO quality of care.

Gore adopted the manifesto, "A New Agenda for the New Decade":

Promote Universal Access and Quality in Health Care
That more than 40 million Americans lack health insurance is one of our society’s most glaring inequities. Lack of insurance jeopardizes the health of disadvantaged Americans and also imposes high costs on everyone else when the uninsured lack preventive care and get treatment from emergency rooms. Washington provides a tax subsidy for insurance for Americans who get coverage from their employers but offers nothing to workers who don’t have job-based coverage.

Markets alone cannot assure universal access to health coverage. Government should enable all low-income families to buy health insurance. Individuals must take responsibility for insuring themselves and their families whether or not they qualify for public assistance.

Finally, to help promote higher quality in health care for all Americans, we need reliable information on the quality of health care delivered by health plans and providers; a “patient’s bill of rights” that ensures access to medically necessary care; and a system in which private health plans compete on the basis of quality as well as cost.

Source: The Hyde Park Declaration 00-DLC5 on Aug 1, 2000

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George W. Bush(R,2001-2009)
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George Bush Sr.(R,1989-1993)
Ronald Reagan(R,1981-1989)
Jimmy Carter(D,1977-1981)
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Richard Nixon(R,1969-1974)
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Harry S Truman(D,1945-1953)

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