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Contact Us Fall 2000; Volume 1, Number 1
Features: Election 2000

Summary of the Gore Health Care Plan
Summary Compiled by David Sclar

Vice President Gore has made proposals aimed at preserving and strengthening Medicare and Medicaid, expanding healthcare to children in working families and their parents, and helping the elderly to afford prescription drugs. He also supports passing a Patients' Bill of Rights and increasing efforts to fight diseases. His health care positions cover a wide range of health issues and emphasize strengthening the existing Medicare and Medicaid program, increasing health insurance coverage, and protecting patients.

Gore's main proposals are as follows:

Ensuring Medicare's solvency by cutting costs and creating an off-budget Medicare "lock-box"
Gore intends to ensure that Medicare payroll taxes (an expected $400 billion over the next ten years) are placed in a "lock box" so that they cannot be used for other spending initiatives. Gore's plan would extend the life of the Medicare Trust Fund "until at least 2030." In order to reduce Medicare's costs, Gore supports price competition among Medicare managed care plans and cost savings for competitive pricing.

Helping retired Americans pay for health insurance and long-term care
Gore would provide Americans ages 55 to 65 with a "25 percent tax credit to buy into Medicare." In addition, Gore proposes a $3,000 tax credit to go towards long-term care including home care.

Expanding the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP)
In order to "provide access to affordable health care to the more than 11 million uninsured children across the nation," Gore would expand CHIP to cover all children living in families with incomes up to 250 percent of poverty by the year 2005. He would also extend eligibility in the CHIP program to 7 million parents. Finally, Gore would "require health insurers to offer full mental health parity for children" enrolled in the CHIP program.

A tax credit to help small businesses pay for health insurance
To make insurance more affordable, Gore would offer small businesses a 25 percent tax credit for the premium costs of each employee.

Patient protections
Gore calls himself "a strong supporter of the Patients' Bill of Rights." In particular, Gore supports "strong medical privacy protections" that keep medical records confidential. He also supports legislation that would prevent genetic discrimination by employers and insurance companies.

Increased research and prevention efforts to fight Cancer, HIV/AIDS, and other diseases
Gore proposes spending that would "double our investment in cancer research over five years" and includes increasing access to clinical trials.

Facilitating enrollment in Medicaid
Gore wants to make it easier for states to enroll citizens in Medicaid by expanding Medicaid programs to cover community based care in addition to nursing home care.

Gore's plan for Prescription Drug Coverage ($253 billion over ten years)
Gore's plan covers all costs for seniors with incomes at or below 135% of poverty. Seniors with incomes between 135% and 150% of poverty would receive a subsidy to pay for drug coverage - the lower their income, the greater the subsidy. For all other seniors, the government would pay for 50% of the cost of drug coverage up to $5,000 and Medicare would pay all costs after a beneficiary has spent $4,000. Premiums would be set at $25 per month and would increase to $44 per month by 2008. Gore emphasizes that his plan not only fully covers drug costs for low-income seniors, but it also pays half of drug costs for the large group of middle-class seniors with incomes over 150 perent of poverty.

Gore's Record as Vice President
  • The Clinton-Gore administration increased the portability of health insurance. To prevent workers transitioning between jobs from losing their coverage, the administration supported the passage of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
  • The Clinton-Gore administration provided federal employees with a Patients' Bill of Rights in 1998. Gore has also fought for passing a strong Patients' Bill of Rights that would protect all Americans.
  • Gore and the administration made what he calls "the largest investment in children's healthcare since 1965" by increasing childhood immunizations, protecting infants from malnutrition through better nutrition standards, and insuring two million children (as of September 1999) through the ChildrenŐs Health Insurance Program.
  • Gore opposed efforts to increase the eligibility age for Medicare from 65 to 67.
  • Gore and the administration worked to restore funding for hospitals and nursing homes.
  • Gore and the administration increased funding for breast and cervical cancer research. Gore also fought for Medicare to cover cancer clinical trials and fought for access to high-quality cancer detection and treatment for women.

Information on Al Gore's health care proposals was gathered from

Fall 2000, Volume 1, Number 1
Table of Contents
Editor's Note
Features: Election 2000
Health Highlights
In Focus
Glossary of Health Care Terms

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