New York Sen. Hillary Clinton has a plan — a $110 billion health-care plan, to be exact. Under her proposed American Health Choices Plan, all Americans would be required to have health insurance, including the 47 million who are currently uninsured.
"When I am president, [health care] will be my highest domestic priority," the Democratic presidential hopeful told "Good Morning America's" Diane Sawyer this morning.
Clinton proposes that Americans have the option to keep their current insurance plan or choose from two government programs — Medicare or the plan that currently insures government employees.
Clinton's plan proposes universal health care through a combination of access to the same plans that members of Congress have, tax credits that will enable the affordability of those plans and some tax credits for small businesses.
Additionally, there would be extra help available for people with low incomes.
She says in addition to making health care available to everyone, she hopes to make it affordable, too.
"I have been working for several years now to support an electronic medical records system, which it is estimated would save $77 billion a year," she said, adding she would require companies to compete on cost and quality — rather than eliminating people from coverage.
But her critics have likened her plan to a European-style, socialized medicine.
Republican presidential hopeful former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani said, "This is essentially the Michael Moore-Hillary Clinton approach, which is 'let's see if we can build socialized medicine.' The idea that you are going to mandate people and command them to have health insurance immediately begins to increase the cost of insurance and decrease the quality."
Fellow Republican presidential hopeful former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney agrees that Clinton's plan may be headed in the wrong direction.
"It's a European, socialized medicine plan. That's where it leads, and that's the wrong direction for America," Romney said.
In response to those who say she failed to include ways to cap insurance premiums, Clinton said those critics had failed to thoroughly read her plan.
"We have a limit on premium indexed to a person's income as percentage of income," she said.
Democratic presidential hopeful former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards accused her of underestimating the costs of such a plan. He says his similar universal plan will cost $120 billion a year, while Clinton estimates hers will be about $10 billion less.
Clinton said the budget for her proposed plan is "absolutely" possible, adding, "We spend $2 trillion a year on health care now, and not everyone is covered. … If you look at the amount of money that we can save and redirect in the system — and everyone knows it's there — I think my plan is very fiscally responsible."
Clinton's first stab at a universal health-care plan, undertaken during husband Bill Clinton's first presidential term, was one of the biggest political fiascoes of the century.
To this day, it's generally regarded as a severely negative influence on her husband's presidency, helping to bring the Republicans to power in 1994.
But she says now she knows how to get things done in Washington.
"I have had the unique experience of being on both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue, and I understand both the institutional and the personal dynamics that are at play," she said.
For those who are satisfied with their health care, Clinton says that under her plan they would keep what they have now without any changes.
She said her plan "really does provide the right balance between individual responsibility, employer responsibility, drug and insurance company responsibility, as well as government responsibility."
And as far as responsibility is concerned, Clinton joked that hand washing will be a priority in her plan, a reference to a "Good Morning America" report on a new study that found women wash their hands more than men.
"I'm still worried about all those men who don't wash their hands," Clinton told Sawyer. "That's going to be part of my health-care plan after hearing from you all."