Clinton plan

Primary sponsor: President Clinton with the support of the Democratic leadership in Congress.

Plan begins with managed-competition principles and moves toward features of a single-payer system. Like the Cooper plan, it begins by creating large regional purchasing pools called health alliances. Everyone must enroll in one. The alliances offer a menu of private health plans. Unlike the Cooper plan, Clinton requires employers to pay 80 percent of insurance premiums for their workers. This employer mandate, plus federal subsidies for low-income people and small employers, bankrolls universal access by 1997.

Like the single-payer plan (McDermott), Clinton creates a national board that sets global budgets for all national health-care spending. By 1997, the board would cap the rise in insurance premium prices at the growth of the gross domestic product.

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Clinton guarantees universal coverage with a comprehensive package of benefits. These benefits are less generous than under the single-payer proposal and rely on managed-care plans for cost-efficiency.

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