Clinton Pitches Cap on Health Insurance

Proposes to limit premiums to 5-10% of median income
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 28, 2008 8:01 AM CDT
Former President Bill Clinton asks members of the crowd if they knew someone who did not have health insurance to raise their hands while campaigning for his wife, Thursday, March 27, 2008.    (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
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(Newser) – Hillary Clinton has proposed putting a cap on premiums in her universal health care plan, limiting them to between 5% and 10% of family income, the New York Times reports. The average cost of a family policy bought by an individual last year was $5,799, or 10% of median income, but some ranged up to 16%.

In an interview with the Times, Clinton also proposed requiring insurers to spend a fixed proportion of premiums on health care, rather than overhead. She discussed her proposals to extend coverage to the 47 million uninsured Americans, to be funded largely by rolling back Bush's tax cuts for the wealthy. An expert said Clinton's premium cap plan was realistic at 10% but likely unworkable at 5%, and questioned her proposal to not vary the cap by income.