The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, September 23, 1993, Page 2, Image 2

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    Clinton presents health care plan to Congress
ing a massive makeover of the na
tion’s health care system, President
Clinton called on Congress Wednes
day to guarantee every American com
prehensive medical benefits “that can
never be taken away.”
Clinton, in a speech prepared for
deli very before a nationally broadcast
session of Congress, said his plan
would reform “the costliest and most
wasteful health care system on Earth
without any new broad-based taxes.”
laying uui uia
rationale for the
biggest social ini
tiative since the
J New Deal, Clinton
said the current sys
tem 1S t0° uncer‘
' ^ ^ tain and too expen
sive, too bureaucratic and too waste
ful. It has too much fraud and too
much greed.”
Pointing to his own proposal, which
would require all employers to pro
vide health insurance to their work
ers, the president said, “This system
will work. You don’t have to take my
word for it.”
He said that under his plan, some
Americans would be asked to pay
more but that the vast majority “will
pay the same or less for your health
care coverage and, at the same time,
get the same or better coverage than
you have today.”
Clinton’s speech set out six princi
ples essential for any health plan:
security, simplicity, quality,
affordability, choice and responsibil
The product of eight months of
work, the administration’s plan is
based on the premise it can extend
health coverage to the 37 million un
insured and at the same time shrink
the nation’s $900 billion medical bill.
Health care costs are rising at more
than twice the rate of otherprices and
represent one-seventh of all U.S.
Clinton’s plan for the first time
would require all employers to pay 80
percent of the average health premi
um for their workers. Employees
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would pay the rest. Small businesses
and low-income workers would get
Giant insurance-purchasing pools
called health alliances would be cre
ated in each state to negotiate with
doctors, hospitals and insurers. Con
sumers would buy their coverage
through the alliances.
The plan would vastly expand the
government’s power to control health
costs if competition alone doesn’t
work. But critics question whether the
controls would squeeze out quality,
Growth in the government’s two
biggest health programs, Medicare
and Medicaid, would be slowed by
$238 billion over five years, though
many in Congress say it’s politically
unrealistic to cut that deeply on care
for the elderly and the poor.
In a direct challenge to lawmakers,
Clinton said, “Let us pledge tonight:
before this Congress adjourns next
year, you will pass and I will sign a
new law to create health security for
every American.”
Americans divided on plan
NEW YORK (AP) — Ameri
cans overwhelmingly believe the
nation’s health care system is in
trouble, but a new poll found them
divided over whether President
Clinton will be able to fix it.
Three out of four respondents
said the current health system is
headed for a financial crisis. And
when asked to rate the most impor
tant problem facing the country
today, 19 percent said health care,
a larger number than named unem
ployment (16 percent), the econo
my (15 percent), or crime and vio
lence (10 percent), according to a
CBS News-New York Times poll.
Forty-two percent said the na
tion needs to “completely rebuild”
the health care system, with anoth
er 48 percent calling for “funda
mental change.” The sentiment ran
across party lines, with 85 percent •
of Republicans saying they sup
ported change.
Four out of five people polled
believe their taxes will go up to pay
for the Clinton health care plan,
and 61 percent said they were will
ing to pay more taxes for better
health care. Eighty-three percent
said it was “very important” that
any health care reform plan cover
all Americans.
Sixty-five percent said they were
dissatisfied with the cost of their
health care, even if they did not pay
for it directly. Seventy-one percent
said they were satisfied with the
of their care.
ed if Clinton “will be able to
bring about significant health care
reform,” 45 percent of those sur
veyed said he would, and 41 per
cent said he wouldn’t.
The telephone interview of 1,136
adult? nationwide was conducted
Thursday through Sunday, and had
a margin or error of 3 percentage
Train accident kills 40
Amtrak’s cross-country Sunset Lim
ited hurtled off a bridge into an inky
bayou early Wednesday, plunging its
sleeping passengers into a nightmare
of fire, water and death.
Forty people were killed, some of
them trapped in a submerged, silver
passenger car and others in a burned
engine, and 13 were missing in the
deadliest wreck in Amtrak’s 23-year
More than 150 people survived,
some to help other passengers who
clung to wreckage from a collapsed
section of the bridge in a swamp pop
ulated by all igators, snakes and bears.
“We were asleep and the next thing
you know we were in the water,” said
Bob Watts, a retired firefighter from
Placerville, Calif. “I thought it was a
dream.” ._,_
All three engines and four of the
eight cars on the Los Angcles-to
Miami train went off the bridge, which
was about 7 feet above the water. Two
of the cars were passenger cars, and
one of them was completely sub
merged in water about 16 feet deep in
Bayou Canot. Another passenger car
dangled perilously from what was lefl
of the bridge.
It wasn ’ t immediately known what
caused the wreck, which happened at
about 3 a.m. on the northern outskirts
of Mobile. Investigators also were
trying to determine whether the 84
year-old wood-and-steel bridge col
lapsed before the train began crossing
it, or because of the crash.
One wrecked engine erupted in
flame, setting the area aglow as survi
vors, joined by rescuers in helicopters
and local people who came to the
scene in boats, tried desperately to
save fellow passengers.
The train carried 189 passengers
and 17 crew members, Amtrak said.
The worst previous single Amtrak
crash killed 16 on Jan. 4, 1987, in
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Continued from Page 1
The 18-hour plan includes course require
ments in areas such as humanities, writing and
social sciences, he said.
“This is the direction that higher education
is taking in the country,” Nicholls said. “The
feeling is that we should not just be in the
business of training people for entry-level jobs.
We should be giving them a real education.”
At UNL, the new curriculum will emphasize
writing and critical thinking skills, among other
things, Bergstrom said. The requirements would
affect incoming UNL students in the fall 1995
96 semester.
Bergstrom said each college would make
the final decisions on whether to implement the
changes, but he said college officials seemed
supportive of the requirement plan.
The proposed requirements include:
• a mandatory one-hour library instruction
• about 30 hours of integrative studies courses
that will include activities focusing on stu
dents’ intellectual development, such as writ
ing and critical thinking.
• one course each of essential studies in
communication, math and statistics, human
behavior, culture and social organization, sci
ence and technology, historical studies, hu
manities, arts, race, ethnicity and gender. So
cial sciences would require two courses.
• a recommendation called “rounding out
the uni versity experience,” which includes a set
of expectations and ideas for students to take
part in university activities. This would not be
a requirement for graduation.
At first glance, Bergstrom said, the require
ments look as if they’d be a huge load for
r" _
students to bear.
Actually, he said, the courses overlap —
especially ones in the integrated and essential
studies categories.
And, Bergstrom said, individual colleges
can tailor the requirements to fit specific needs.
This isn’t the first time UNL officials have
proposed a general education curriculum
change, he said.
In 1987, officials compiled a new curricu
lum plan followed by a report. But a full-scale
program never emerged from the report, he
said, probably because the plan would have
been too costly to implement.
Bergstrom said his program would be less
“We have attempted to create a program
which does need financial resources but does
not demand huge new resources,” he said.
Money for general education already has
been earmarked in the state biennial budget.
Bergstrom said he did not yet know how much
the plan would cost.
As this plan is worked out, he said, the
coherence in the requirements will make trans
ferring from college to college within the uni
versity easier.
And, Bergstrom said, the plan would benefit
“Students, in general, will leave here with a
more well-rounded, full university experience
than some of them arc getting now,” he said. “It
prepares them to be students or learners for their
whole life.”
That’s not to say students graduating from
UNL now are being cheated, Bergstrom said.
“We’re not turning out students that are
incompetent or lost souls in the world,” he said.
“We’re tiying to establish more unified, high-,
quality education.”
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