Clinton vows price controls, generic biologics in healthcare plan

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Clinton vows price controls on Rx drugs
Clinton vows price controls on Rx drugs
Sen. Hillary Clinton unveiled her healthcare plan, promising to cover all Americans if elected president  –  and taking a few swipes at the pharmaceutical and insurance industries.

“The special interests are having a field day,” she said, describing the Medicare prescription drug benefit as a bonanza for Big Pharma.

The front-running candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination would impose price controls on drugs (“to get prices down in accordance with those in Canada”) and speed the introduction of generic biologics as part of her scheme to cover all Americans  –  in addition to mandating health insurance, making plans portable, combating insurer discrimination against high-risk enrollees and offering small businesses tax credits as incentive to cover their employees. Every American, she said, would have access to the same menu of insurance options that Congress does, including a public plan that would compete with private insurers.

“It's a public-private partnership that provides more choices,” she said, speaking at Broadlawns Medical Center in Des Moines, Iowa.

Clinton boasted that she still bore the scars of her failed 1994 effort to pass universal healthcare legislation, and so did her speech today. Her earlier plan was savaged by the healthcare industry in ads and opinion columns warning that consumers would no longer be able to choose their own doctors if she had her way. The new plan is dubbed “American Health Choices Plan,” and the word “Choice” was a mantra in her speech today.

“Today's plan is simpler but still bold,” she said. “This is not government-run healthcare. There will be no new bureaucracies, and you can keep your doctors and your insurance, if you like it.”

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