Clinton unveils Sanders-influenced health plan: 5 things to know

Hillary Clinton, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, unveiled a healthcare policy brief Saturday that marks a formal shift left for her campaign.

Here are five things to know about her updated healthcare plan.

1. Ms. Clinton's policy maintained the core themes her campaign has previously supported. This includes building on the Affordable Care Act to move toward universal coverage, continuing to expand Medicaid, capping prescription drug costs and blocking or modifying health insurance premium rate increases.

2. She proposed increasing the mandatory funding to Federally Qualified Health Centers by $40 billion over the next decade. This would double the funding for primary care services at community health centers. She also noted support for President Barack Obama's proposal to triple the size of the National Health Service Corps to $810 million in 2017, up to $1.3 billion by 2027. President Obama's budget for fiscal year 2017 included $310 million in mandatory funding for the NHSC, as well as $20 million in discretionary funds for a behavioral health loan repayment and $50 million for an addiction treatment workforce. This budget included the proposal to increase mandatory funding to $810 million annually in the coming years.

3. Ms. Clinton also formally backed a "public option." In the briefing, she promised to support establishing a public option insurance plan in every state and expand Medicare to Americans ages 55 and older.

4. Ms. Clinton's shift left on policy is said to be a campaign move to capture more of Sen. Bernie Sanders' (I-Vt.) progressive voter base. Ms. Clinton has backed similar public option proposals before, though. She floated a plan in May to allow people ages 50 and older to buy into Medicare and cosponsored a bill in 2001 to expand Medicare to Americans ages 55 and up, according to The Hill.

5. Sen. Sanders has voiced support of Ms. Clinton's more progressive proposals, indicating he may be ready to endorse her campaign soon. "Today's proposal by @HillaryClinton is an important step toward expanding health insurance and healthcare access to millions of Americans," Sen. Sanders' campaign tweeted Saturday. His campaign is expected to endorse Ms. Clinton this week an event in New Hampshire, according to a report from The New York Times.

"The Clinton campaign and I are — and our campaigns are coming closer and closer together, in trying to address the major issues facing this country, which is what my campaign was all about," Sen. Sanders said, according to ABC News, which confirmed with sources close to the campaign that Sen. Sanders would endorse Ms. Clinton at the New Hampshire event. "And we look forward to continue working with the Clinton campaign and will have more to say I think in the very near future."

 

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