Clinton Health Care Plan of 1993 - Task Force

Task Force

Once in office, President Clinton quickly set up the Task Force on National Health Care Reform, headed by First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, to come up with a comprehensive plan to provide universal health care for all Americans, which was to be a cornerstone of the administration's first-term agenda. Clinton delivered a major health care speech to a joint session of Congress on September 22, 1993. In that speech, Clinton explained the problem as follows:

Millions of Americans are just a pink slip away from losing their health insurance, and one serious illness away from losing all their savings. Millions more are locked into the jobs they have now just because they or someone in their family has once been sick and they have what is called the preexisting condition. And on any given day, over 37 million Americans—most of them working people and their little children—have no health insurance at all. And in spite of all this, our medical bills are growing at over twice the rate of inflation, and the United States spends over a third more of its income on health care than any other nation on Earth.

Hillary Rodham Clinton's leading role in this project was unprecedented for a presidential spouse. This unusual decision by President Clinton to put his wife in charge of the project has been attributed to several factors, such as the President's desire to emphasize his personal commitment to the enterprise.

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