Clinton Discusses Universal Health Care Enforcement Options

One of the big questions surrounding Hillary Clinton's universal health care plan has been the question of enforcement. That is: How will she mandate that all Americans pay for their health care?

On ABC's "This Week" on Sunday, Clinton provided some clues to how she might do so. "We will have an enforcement mechanism, whether it's [garnishing people's wages] or it's some other mechanism through the tax system or automatic enrollments," she said.

Clinton further noted that "there are a number of mechanisms" that could be used, including "going after people's wages, automatic enrollment."

As the Associated Press notes, "Clinton said such measures would apply only to workers who can afford health coverage but refuse to buy it, which puts undue pressure on hospitals and emergency rooms."

Clinton's Democratic rival, Barack Obama, offers a plan that mandates health care coverage only for children and leaves some Americans uninsured. (Obama puts that figure at 3 million, while Clinton suggests it's closer to 15 million.)

Clinton has long resisted articulating an enforcement mechanism for mandating universal health care, which has prompted criticism from the Obama campaign. "Without an enforcement mechanism, there is no mandate," Obama has said.

Responding to Clinton's comments on Sunday, Obama spokesman Bill Burton said Clinton "again refused to directly answer the question" of enforcement.