1976 Republican Platform: Health

Every American should have access to quality health care at an affordable price.

The possibility of an extended illness in a family is a frightening prospect, but, if it does happen, a person should at least be protected from having it wipe out lifetime savings. Catastrophic expenses incurred from major illnesses and accidents affect only a small percentage of Americans each year, but for those people, the financial burden can be devastating. We support extension of catastrophic illness protection to all who cannot obtain it. We should utilize our private health insurance system to assure adequate protection for those who do not have it. Such an approach will eliminate the red tape and high bureaucratic costs inevitable in a comprehensive national program.

The Republican Party opposes compulsory national health insurance.

Americans should know that the Democrat Platform, which offers a government-operated and financed "comprehensive national health insurance system with universal and mandatory coverage," will increase federal government spending by more than $70 billion in its first full year. Such a plan could require a personal income tax increase of approximately 20 percent. We oppose this huge, new health insurance tax. Moreover, we do not believe that the federal government can administer effectively the Democrats' cradle-to-grave proposal.

The most effective, efficient and economical method to improve health care and extend its availability to all is to build on the present health delivery and insurance system, which covers nine out of every ten Americans.

A coordinated effort should be mounted immediately to contain the rapid increase in health care costs by all available means, such as development of healthier life styles through education, improved preventive care, better distribution of medical manpower, emphasis on out-of-hospital services and elimination of wasteful duplication of medical services.

We oppose excessive intrusions from Washington in the delivery of health care. We believe in preserving the privacy that should exist between a patient and a physician, particularly in regard to the confidentiality of medical records.

Federal health programs should be consolidated into a single grant to each state, where possible, thereby allowing much greater flexibility in setting local priorities. Out rural areas, for example, have different health care delivery needs than our cities. Federal laws and regulations should respect these differences and make it possible to respond differently to differing needs. Fraud in Medicare and Medicaid programs should be exposed and eliminated.

We need a comprehensive and equitable approach to the subject of mental health. Such a program should focus on the prevention, treatment and care of mental illness. It should cover all aspects of the interrelationships between emotional illness and other specific disabilities.

The Republican Party applauds the enlightened programs that address mental retardation, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, and other developmental disabilities that seek to remove us from the dark ages in these areas.

Alcoholism and drug abuse, growing problems in America today, should receive the utmost attention.

While we support valid medical biological research efforts which can produce life-saving results, we oppose any research on live fetuses. We are also opposed to any legislation which sanctions ending the life of any patient.

Return to 1976 Republican Platform

Send e-mail to the Gerald R. Ford Library