1992 Democratic Presidential Primary

                                 The Tsongas Committee

NH Flyer - 8 1/2" x 11".

Health Care is Our Right.

Paul Tsongas.
Health For All Americans.
"Quality, affordable health care is the right of every American. I believe this not because it's a potent political issue, but because I know, from personal experience, the strengths and weaknesses of our health care system. The strength is that American health care is the best in the world. Back in 1983, I was diagnosed with a form of lymphatic cancer. In 1986, I underwent a bone marrow transplant and have been cancer-free ever since. I am alive because of medical science.

"But I also know the downside of our health care system. When I was diagnosed with cancer, I decided not to run for re-election to the U.S. Senate so I could spend more time with my family. But I feared that my decision to leave my job might jeopardize my family's financial well-being if I could not obtain affordable health insurance. I am committed to a health care system that provides high quality health care at an affordable price to every American."

A Realistic Plan for Universal Care.
The nation does not want and will not support any reform plan that radically restructures the doctor-patient relationship or places the federal government in the examining room. Americans demand honest and practical answers, not a lengthy debate that will occur against the backdrop of spiraling costs and diminishing coverage for many Americans.

The Tsongas health care plan — Health for All Americans — is realistic. Instead of promising sweeping and unaffordable reforms, it offers a series of easy to implement changes. Health for All Americans will (1) guarantee coverage, through employment-based insurance, (2) control costs by harnessing market forces and (3) improve the quality of medical care, by stressing prevention and better health treatment. The Tsongas plan reshapes the health care market to bring about hard-nosed competition among health insurers so that health plans that provide quality, affordable care will thrive, and those that don't will either improve or fail. This proposal will not raise costs for the Federal government or increase national health care spending. These reforms will allow states, providers and insurers flexibility in developing the most appropriate methods for providing all Americans with quality, affordable health care.


Printed and Copied In-House on Recycled Paper by Volunteers.  The Tsongas Committee, 42 Hanover Street, Manchester, NH 031101 (603) 625-1992. Call us!

Health For All Americans

The Tsongas 11-point Health Care Plan

Reform #1: Mandated Employer Coverage.
Employers will be required to provide a choice of family health insurance plans for all full-time employees.

Reform #2: Special Programs for Small Business. Small businesses may purchase a choice of private health care coverages through new State Buyer agencies. The State Buyers will have the same leverage as large employers in negotiating with health insurers for the best rates.

Reform #3: Risk Pooling for Individuals. Those not covered by an employer plan or eligible for Medicare will receive a choice of private health care coverages through the State Buyer agencies.

Reform #4: A Federally-Defined Standard Benefit. The Federal government will define a standard, generous package of benefits that each plan must contain. Coverage may not be denied on the basis of pre-existing conditions.

Reform #5: A Cap on Individual Premiums. The Federal government will mandate that each person's employer or State Buyer will pay 90-100% of the premium cost of the most cost effective health care plan. Co-payments will not be permitted for well-patient care, and will be minimal for other treatment.

Reform #6: Standardized Results Reporting. Insurers will be required to provide detailed reporting of care given and results achieved, so purchasers can select between plans on the basis of quality of care.

Reform #7: Malpractice Reform Tied to Recertification. Malpractice reform for physicians will be coupled with a rigorous recertification program.

Reform #8: Tax Code Revisions. The tax code will limit employer deductions for inefficient and expensive health insurance plans. Employers will pay a 6-8% payroll tax on part-time, temporary and seasonal employees for whom they don't provide health coverage.

Reform #9: Simplified Claims and Administrative Procedures. Standardized record keeping will be required for all insurers and providers to reduce administrative costs.

Reform #10: Increase Prevention. Preventive care will be stressed. Outreach and media programs will be targeted to at-risk populations, and will include anti-smoking and drug and alcohol abuse programs.

Reform #11: Flexibility for Rural Areas. State Buyers will have the authority to establish special programs and implement price controls in order to ensure coverage and quality in underserved rural areas.

Long Term Care. Realistic alternatives for long term care — including nursing, home and respite care — must be developed to make coverage for the elderly and disabled available and affordable. The elderly should not have to bankrupt themselves to qualify for long term care. An insurance funding system like Social Security, the encouragement of private insurance, and incentives for appropriate levels of care will be considered.

Expanded Efforts for Children. Even with full coverage for all children, special efforts are needed to reach out to children and expectant mothers — nutritional programs and prenatal care for every pregnant mother to promote the birth of healthy children; immunization to protect children from preventible diseases; school-based health programs for children. Every dollar spent in these efforts saves more dollars later.

Research. The United States must maintain its preeminent position in research and development of medical technologies, drugs and other treatments. We face struggles to cure and treat AIDS, cancer, heart disease and other serious illnesses. Government must play a vital role in the research efforts on these diseases.

Presidential Leadership. These reforms must be accompanied by a president who takes an active and visible role in implementing change and encouraging all Americans to adopt healthy lifestyles.

Printed and Copied In-House on Recycled Paper by Volunteers. 
For more information, please contact The Tsongas Committee, 42 Hanover Street, Manchester, NH 031101 (603) 625-1992. Call us!