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HEALTH CARE CONGRESSIONAL "MAINSTREAM COALITION" MEETING WEEKLY

Executive Summary

HEALTH CARE CONGRESSIONAL "MAINSTREAM COALITION" MEETING WEEKLY to find areas of commonality among the managed competition bills sponsored by Rep. Cooper (D-Tenn.) and Sen. Breaux (D-La.) and other proposals seen as more "centrist" than the Clinton Administration's plan. For example, Cooper, Breaux and their cosponsors may support a mandate that individuals purchase health care coverage, a mandate included in a proposal by Sen. Chafee (R- R.I.), congressional aides reported Nov. 11. Chafee is expected to introduce formal legislation on Nov. 17. The self-styled "mainstream coalition" includes Reps. Johnson (R-Conn.), Stenholm (D-Texas), Grandy (R-Iowa), Thomas (R-Calif.) and Andrews (D-Texas), and Sens. Boren (D-Okla.), Lieberman (D- Conn.), Kerrey (D-Neb.), Durenberger (R-Minn.), Danforth (R-Mo.), Bond (R-Mo.), Cohen (R-Maine), Domenici (R-N.M.), Stevens (R- Alaska) and Bennett (R-Utah). The primary emphasis of the meetings has been a concern with various aspects of the Clinton Administration's proposal, including its offering of universal coverage before savings are achieved under reform and its provision of benefits covering prescription drugs, long-term care and early retirees. Staffers are planning to work out various compromise scenarios over the Thanksgiving recess and prepare them for review by coalition members. Key issues for consideration include the size of health insurance purchasing cooperatives, whether to have competing HIPCs, specific coverage cut-offs for low-income individuals and the size of risk pools.
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