Sen. Hillary Clinton has come out with a health finance plan that could require many employers and individuals to buy health coverage from private insurers.

Clinton, D-N.Y., a Democratic presidential candidate, says her new American Health Choices Plan would cover all Americans and improve health care by lowering costs and improving quality.

“If you’re one of the tens of millions of Americans without coverage or if you don’t like the coverage you have, you will have a choice of plans to pick from and you’ll get tax credits to help pay for it,” Clinton says in a statement about her proposal. “If you like the plan you have, you can keep it.”

Clinton, known for spearheading a national health finance effort in the 1990s that was portrayed as being too complicated and too intrusive, says her plan would strengthen Medicaid and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program.

The program also would:

- Require insurers to sell health coverage on a guaranteed issue basis; and limit or eliminate carriers’ ability to use members’ health as a reason for increasing rates and dropping from plans.

- Require large employers to provide health coverage or help pay for coverage.

- Create a tax credit to help small businesses pay for coverage.

- Cap the employer tax exclusion for health insurance premiums for individuals earning more than $250,000 per year.

- Limit health insurance premium payments to a designated percentage of taxpayers’ income.

- Require many individuals to buy health coverage, either through existing carriers and distribution channels or through a new Health Choices Menu that would be added to the existing Federal Employee Health Benefit Program, Clinton says.

“In addition to the broad array of private options that Americans can choose from, they will be offered the choice of a public plan option similar to Medicare,” according to a description of the program on Clinton’s campaign Web site.”

A proposal summary that describes the individual responsibility provision and other provisions is available