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President's Message (Arlene Ellis)
Planning & Zoning: Waterfront Plan Presented (Astrid Monson)
Planning & Zoning: Convention Center (Astrid Monson)
Hawaii State Constitution: A Reference Guide
President's Plan is Effective Blueprint for Health Care Reform (Becky Cain)
Highlight's of the Clinton Health Plan
Activity of Education Committee - 1993 (Marion Saunders)
Membership (Annie Kim)

President's Plan is Effective Blueprint for Health Care Reform

Statement by Becky Cain, President

The League of Women Voters of the United States
September 23, 1993

The President's health care reform package marks a critical step forward. It will fix fundamental flaws in our nation's health care system.

This is real reform. The plan provides for universal access and for stringent cost control measures -- the two most important criteria set forth by League members after more than three years of studying the health care crisis.

Under the plan, Americans will be covered no matter where they live, where they work or how much they earn. The plan's basic benefits package will be a boon to people's health, especially for women. For the first time, all Americans will be guaranteed coverage for preventive, primary and acute care; and reproductive health services, including abortion, are in the plan. Mental health services and long-term care are also included, but are limited to keep costs down.

Among the plan's most critical features are its built-in cost control mechanisms. Millions of Americans are losing the battle to keep up with rising health care costs and millions more cannot even afford the most basic health care coverage. Health care costs have doubled since 1980 and will double again by the year 2000 unless strong action is taken. By standardizing forms, introducing new competitive structures and limiting spending, the plan has effective ways of cutting waste and reducing costs.

The President's health care plan is not perfect, but it is fair. It will need some fine-tuning in the legislative process. For example, citizen participation must be included in all aspects of the plan's implementation to ensure that government-sponsored programs are responsive to citizens' needs. In addition, there will be heavy pressure to weaken the plan's proposed tax on cigarettes. The Administration must not buckle under. Sin taxes make sense.

Health care reform will need bipartisan support. The League is encouraged that many of the goals for reform are now shared by key members of both political parties on Capitol Hill. Congress must not lose sight of the costs of inaction on this critical issue. There will be no perfect solution to this crisis. We need a viable plan that gives all Americans a more humane health care system. The President's plan is effective blueprint for reform.

Becky Cain

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