Congress has been passing health care reform back and forth, but no agreements have been reached. Now that the legislative session is about to come to a close, it is clear no new laws will be passed in the area of health care reform this year. But that isn’t stopping President Clinton.
The New York Times yesterday revealed Clinton’s plan to release a new set of health care rules for patients in time for the November election. The mandates, which will be issued by the Department of Labor, will include these provisions:
The Department of Labor claims it has the authority to issue mandates such as these under the rules of the 1974 Employee Retirement Income Security Act, which regulates health and pension benefits. DOL officials claim they are ready to issue the mandates as soon as they get the word from the White House, and that they have been advised that they will receive that word prior to the November 7 election.
Republicans in Congress arguing against the mandates claim that such rules will force the cost of health insurance to skyrocket and the result will be fewer Americans will be able to afford health insurance. Insurance companies and employers claim the cost of these mandates will be two to three times that which the Clinton administration is estimating.
Should George Bush be elected, he would have the ability to alter these regulations, however he has let similar rules take effect in Texas.