August 7th, 2007
05:00 PM ET
16 years ago

Richardson unveils universal health care plan

Richardson outlined his universal health care plan Tuesday.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson revealed his plan to provide universal health care to all Americans in a speech on Tuesday, focusing on making health insurance affordable, improving the quality of care and giving people choices in their coverage.

"My plan provides choices - including the choice to keep your current coverage - and existing programs to expand coverage options," Richardson said in a statement. "We spend over 2.2 trillion dollars a year on health care in this country. We all know that we're not getting what we've paid for."

Richardson said he doesn't plan to establish a "one-size-fits-all system" to cover all Americans, but will instead create five different options to cover people based on age and economic status. To pay for it, he said, families and businesses will share the costs. There will also be a stronger focus on disease prevention, as well as a more concerted effort to control skyrocketing interest rates in order to help keep prices low.

Richardson criticized President Bush for threatening to veto legislation that would expand health insurance for poor children, calling his decision "predictably perverse."

"Despite Republican hand-wringing about the cost of universal care, it is clear that the cost of doing something—in lives and dollars—pales in comparison to the cost of doing nothing," he said. "We cannot afford a healthcare system that doesn’t cover every American. The cost to our economy and the well-being of our people is just too high."

- CNN Associate Producer Lauren Kornreich

Filed under: Bill Richardson
soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. Lance, Monrovia, Ca.

    Richardson... the name sounds so familiar... OH I KNOW where I heard it, he's the guy who stopped the recount in New Mexico in the 2004 presidential race.

    Bush won by 5,000 votes and there were at least 15,000 ballots left to be counted.

    I wouldn't put one ounce of stock in this candidate's character.

    He can say "oops, I screwed that one up" as many times as he likes. Bottom line, if you're paying attention, is that I personally don't think he's as progressive as he maintains.

    Did I mention he's a major board member in Kissenger's company? Remember Kissenger, architect of Vietnam and often confidante of George W. Bush.

    Richardson, I've got him in my mind now, more of the same ol' tricks.

    August 7, 2007 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  2. ReadBtwthlins

    Universal health care is an appropriate term to use because Bill and the other dems all support open border policies. But his plan would be paid for by Americans.

    August 7, 2007 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  3. Myron, Honolulu, HI

    How does Capitalistic Insurance Companies guaranteed profits reduce health care costs? They don’t! Guaranteed profits for Insurance Companies only raise costs directly equal to the profit they take from your pocket and put in theirs! They collect your money in advance, make investments that profit them on your money, and then either don’t pay or pay someone else’s bill late if ever. Insurance companies aim for a 20% profit for their shareholders, who are often not even Americans. Should Hugo Chavez and other Oil Barons profit off of your health care dollar. Why not eliminate the 20% profit of the Insurance Profiteers and reduce health care costs? What does this 20% cost America; it costs American Jobs, bankrupts American Hospitals and puts American Doctors out of business. They blame malpractice suits and put down cost effective systems with labels like “Socialized Medicine” and point to the VA that suffered due to lack of funding. Why fund off shore stockholders? Why not fund America’s health care system? Instead of taking care of the Insurance Industry, why not take care of the healthcare delivery system itself and eliminate unnecessary cut-throat profiteering?

    August 7, 2007 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  4. James, NY, NY

    How about limiting litigation for cases where the doctor acted based on what was known at the time and something bad happened.

    Lawyers should only be able to sue for cases of actual negligence, not because the improbable happened and someone died. Healthcare will always be expensive as long as we allow lawyers to sue for just any old reason.

    August 7, 2007 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  5. Jeff Spangler, Arlington, VA

    Let's protect the kids first with SCHIP, because serious candidates (as well as HRC) knows that universal health care is a pipe dream.

    August 7, 2007 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  6. CMS, California

    Universal healthcare...great, now I have to pay for the 30+% of obese Americans that can't control their eating or smoking. A little personal responsibility goes a long way. Oh yeah, are illegal immigrants covered as well? Open the flood gates and your wallets!

    WAHH! Someone else take care of ME because I can't!

    August 8, 2007 12:35 am at 12:35 am |
  7. Myron, Honolulu, HI

    CNN doesn’t want America to know the truth about the BIG RIP OFF health insurance companies. Why is that? Perhaps they don’t want their workers to know that the health insurance benefits they provide IS ACTUALLY A BIG RIP OFF!

    August 8, 2007 04:31 am at 4:31 am |
  8. Anonymous

    Universal health care (socialism) is BAD!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    August 8, 2007 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  9. Carl, Dallas, Texas

    Many countries in Europe have surpassed America in Health Care, along with issues such as...


    This is not a knock on our current administration, but we have fallen decades behind.

    August 10, 2007 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  10. Michelle Rock Hill S.C.

    I too wouldn't put an ounce of stock into this candidates character.

    How can this candidate be expected to handle the Presidency and all it entails, when he doesn't want to get involved with a case of a N.M. Judge ordering a 5 y/o little girl to have visitation with her Grandfather, who has allegedly sexually abused her. His exact statement per an assistant was "the case is too complex" for him to get involved, if he can't place a few phone calls to at least get this case investigated properly, there is no way he can handle the state of the Country today.

    September 30, 2007 05:32 am at 5:32 am |