Critic dissects Clinton health care proposal

09/20/07 Robert Lorei
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Democratic presidential contender Hillary Clinton would require all Americans to have health insurance, just as most states require drivers to carry car insurance.

Under her plan, unveiled in Iowa earlier this week, would offer tax subsidies to help those who can’t afford coverage. Americans could choose from private plans or a government plan.

Those who like their current insurance plan would be able to keep it. Those who are uninsured or who don’t like their work-based coverage would have two choices: a program similar to Medicare or one of the private plans available to federal employees.

Some Republicans including Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney have labelled Clinton's plan "socialized medicine".

Our guest, Dr. David Himmelstein, is associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School.

Himmelstein said today: "Hillary Clinton is combining two failed Massachusetts plans: the [former Gov. Michael] Dukakis plan, which fell apart 20 years ago, and the [Gov. Mitt] Romney plan, which is in the process of falling apart."

"Clinton is advocating the Marie Antoinette approach to health care: 'Let them buy their own coverage.' She is attempting to force middle class families to buy coverage without making it affordable. Clinton wants to keep the private insurance industry in the middle of the system."

Himmelstein is co-founder of Physicians for a National Health Program.

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