Clark Offers Health-Care Proposal

October 29, 2003 ( "I think we need a health care plan that promotes wellness in America - not just treatment, "said Democratic presidential candidate Wesley Clark, according to Reuters.

Speaking at the University of New Hampshire, Clark promised his health-care plan would cover nearly 32 million of the more than 40 million uninsured Americans.

The retired army general’s plan includes allotting $772 billion for expanding and subsidizing health insurance coverage, helping those who do not have coverage now and those who currently have difficulty paying for it. An additional $48 billion over 10 years would be spent on miscellaneous improvements to the health-care system, according to Reuters.

Clark would create a law for all families whose income is up to five times the poverty limit, making them eligible for a tax credit that could be used to help cover their children’s health-care expenses.

In order to pay for the plan, Clark said he would raise taxes on Americans with income over $200,000 per year. Additionally, Clark speculated that he could save $125 billion by improving health-care purchasing, opening Medicare services to competitive bidding and implementing greater use of technology in the health-care system.

Other Democratic presidential candidates have also offered up their own versions of health-care reform. Richard Gephardt, unveiled a broad plan to make health-care coverage available to 41 million uninsured Americans by repealing tax cuts made by the current administration and Congress (See Gephardt Throws Down Healthcare Gauntlet ).Senator Joseph Lieberman unveiled a health-care reform proposal that would cover all children, expand coverage to the uninsured and guarantee health care in the event of job loss (See Lieberman Unveils Health Reform Plan ). John Edwards’ proposed plan includes, like Clark’s, a law requiring parents get health insurance for their children. Other candidates such as John Kerry, Dennis Kucinich and Howard Dean also presented proposals intending to cover nearly all uninsured Americans (SeeDean Proposes His Version of Universal Health Care).