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Clinton Takes His Health Reform Plan to the People

March 20, 1994| from Associated Press

WASHINGTON — President Clinton is going back to the basics to sell Americans on his battered health care reform plan, insisting that there is a lot more in the 1,342-page blueprint that will benefit people than they realize.

"Everywhere I go families tell me we've got to do something about health care, and they're right," Clinton said Saturday in his weekly radio address.

But, he said, "the defenders of the status quo are trying to confuse the issue by making it seem complicated.

"Next week and in the months ahead, I'm going to tell people all across America about our health reform plan and what it really means."

He spelled out what he said are its core principles: "Guaranteed private insurance, your choice of doctors and health plans, outlawing unfair insurance practices, preserving Medicare, guaranteeing health benefits at work.

"It's that simple. I want to cut through the complexity, the confusion and downright distortion."

He said that as Congress debates his health care plan, the issue should be decided by informed citizens, "not by special interests, skilled at spending millions of dollars to prevent progress and to promote their own narrow interests."

"Let's face the facts, debate our choices, and make a historic decision to build on what's best and fix what's worst in our health care system," Clinton said.

In the Republican response, Sen. Hank Brown of Colorado asserted that "the President's health care plan is dead."

Brown said the proposal is doomed because of its potential cost and the creation of new federal bureaucracy. He called on Clinton to work with the GOP to develop a new health care plan that would ease paperwork and assure that people can take their coverage with them when they change jobs.

Brown also proposed a tax break for small businesses offering health insurance.

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