A few months ago, many on Capitol Hill were pronouncing the Clinton plan "dead." It was commonly assumed that mandatory alliances and other features of "managed competition" were also dead. But as we learn more details about the four versions of the Clinton plan that have emerged in congressional committee bills, it is clear that the reports of the demise of managed competition were premature.
Managed competition is the central idea behind the Clinton administration's plan to reform the nation's health care system. It is also the main idea behind the four versions of the Clinton plan reflected in four different congressional committee bills. [See the NCPA Brief Analysis, "Managed Competition Is Back."]
Four congressional committees have now produced versions of the Clinton administration's health care plan. Three of the bills would force all Americans and their employers to purchase a health insurance package that has become increasingly bloated with costly, special-interest benefits.
Medical Savings Accounts, also called Medical IRAs and Medisave Accounts, have more support in Congress than any other proposal to control health care costs.
Both the Congress and the American people seem to have already rejected President Clinton's health reform blueprint. A large bloc of voters, perhaps a majority, is vehemently opposed to the plan. Many others are confused or skeptical. In Congress, staunch supporters of the president's proposal are rare.
Under "community rating" health insurers are required to charge the same premium to every policyholder, regardless of their expected health care costs. Under "modified" community rating, premiums may be adjusted by age and sex. Both types of regulation allow people who are already sick to purchase health insurance for the same price as those who are healthy.