Hillary Clinton in Democratic Health Care Forum in Las Vegas


On Health Care: 1990s healthcare reforms laid groundwork for today’s reforms

I feel a little bit like this is deja vu all over again. All those years ago, we tried to convince the country and the Congress--we convinced the country but we didn’t convince the Congress!--that we needed to move toward and achieve universal health care coverage. Now, I am proud we tried. We may not have succeeded, but we set the groundwork in place so that now people are saying, boy, we wish we had done that back then because costs have continued to increase. Pressures on the system, on our doctors, our nurses, our health care workers have just been so stressful. So what we need to do is to make a commitment. And I’m proud that everyone running on the Democratic side is committed to universal health care coverage. I am in favor of universal health care coverage that brings in the 47 million who are uninsured--which is a disgrace--and begins to guarantee coverage to people who already have insurance, because there are a lot of people who think they have insurance except when they need it.
Source: SEIU Democratic Health Care Forum in Las Vegas Mar 24, 2007

On Health Care: Insurers must fund prevention without preexisting conditions

Q: You said that we’re going to change the way we finance the system by taking money away from people who are doing well now. Who specifically are you talking about?

A: Well, let’s start with the insurance companies. The insurance companies make money by spending a lot of money and employing a lot of people to try to avoid insuring you, and then, if you’re insured, to try to avoid paying for the health care you received.. My office spends a lot of effort helping people who have insurance get health care. The insurance companies don’t want to pay for preventative health care because that’s like a lost amount of money because they’re not sure that the patient or the insured person will still be with them. That is upside down and backwards. So we could save money if we changed the incentive to require that preventative health care and wellness be covered and incentivized, and we could require that every insurance company had to insure everybody and no exclusions for preexisting conditions.

Source: SEIU Democratic Health Care Forum in Las Vegas Mar 24, 2007

On Health Care: Require electronic medical record for all federal healthcare

I want to start requiring that people who do business with the government, namely Medicare, Medicaid, VA, you name it, they’re going to have to move toward electronic medical records. And I’m willing to put some up front money into that to create a system where all these different health care IT systems can talk to each other, [so no matter where you are], you start with a history.

After Hurricane Katrina I went down to Houston to see the people who had been evacuated, most in them from the convention center. The elderly, the frail. People who were very dependent upon health care, their records were gone. Those 15 pieces of paper were destroyed. And a lot of doctors told me their biggest problem was trying to figure out what prescriptions to give to people. The only people they could help were the people who had shopped at chain drug stores because they had electronic medical records. If we had that for all of our health records, we’d get costs down & we’d have higher quality health care.

Source: SEIU Democratic Health Care Forum in Las Vegas Mar 24, 2007

The above quotations are from Democratic Health Care Forum in Las Vegas, sponsored by Nevada Democratic Party, the Center for American Progress, and SEIU (Service Employees International Union).
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