The Hill reported Clinton's health care proposal "comes at a heavy price tag," failed to fully report her plan to pay for it

››› ››› SARAH PAVLUS

An article in The Hill described Sen. Hillary Clinton's health care plan as "com[ing]" with "a heavy price tag complete with federal mandates and vague in some key areas," adding, "She estimated it would cost $110 billion per year." While the article quoted from a Clinton campaign press release describing the plan, it did not note that the release addresses how the plan would be paid for.

In a September 18 article in The Hill, reporter Sam Youngman described Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's (D-NY) recently proposed health care plan as "com[ing]" with "a heavy price tag complete with federal mandates and vague in some key areas," adding, "She estimated it would cost $110 billion per year." While Youngman quoted from a September 17 press release issued by her campaign describing the plan, he did not note that the release addresses the issue of cost, including calling for "discontinu[ing] portions of the Bush tax cuts for those making over $250,000" and "limit[ing] the [employer tax] exclusion [for health care] for the high-end portion of very generous plans for those making over $250,000."

From the September 18 article in The Hill:

Clinton's new plan comes at a heavy price tag complete with federal mandates and vague in some key areas. She estimated it would cost $110 billion per year.

Her press release said "most savings would come through lowering spending due to quality and modernization." The release added that employers would help finance the system while the government "will ensure that health insurance is always affordable and never a crushing burden on any family..."

By contrast, a September 17 USA Today article, updated September 18, reported:

The front-runner in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination [Clinton] said that under her new plan, the federal government would spend $110 billion a year to help employers and individuals pay for insurance. About half of the money would come from repealing tax cuts and tax breaks for people with incomes above $250,000; the rest would be saved through efficiencies in the system, such as chronic disease management.

Additionally, Youngman described Karen Ignagni, whom he identified as "president and CEO of America's Health Insurance Plans [AHIP]," as "unimpressed" with Clinton's plan and quoted her criticism of it. But the article did not note that AHIP is a trade association that lobbies for private insurance companies, or that the Health Insurance Association of America -- which merged with American Association of Health Plans to create AHIP in 2003 -- funded the "Harry and Louise" ads that attacked Clinton's 1993 health care reform proposal.

From Youngman's September 18 article in The Hill:

Consistent with Clinton's insistence in stump speeches that healthcare reform can only succeed by bring together a coalition that includes employers, her campaign reached out to the business community Monday. Campaign staffers staged conference calls with representatives of the National Federation of Independent Businesses and other employer groups within hours of Clinton's speech.

Several industry groups declined to immediately comment on Clinton's plan.

But Karen Ignagni, president and CEO of America's Health Insurance Plans, was unimpressed: "The new Clinton plan includes important ideas to make coverage more affordable; unfortunately, some of the divisive rhetoric seems reminiscent of 1993."

Posted In
Health Care, Health Care Reform
Network/Outlet
The Hill
Stories/Interests
Hillary Clinton, 2008 Elections
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