August 3rd, 2009
04:13 PM ET
5 years ago

Bill Clinton: GOP 'at it again' in health care debate

Former President Bill Clinton blasted Republicans Monday in a fundraising e-mail.
Former President Bill Clinton blasted Republicans Monday in a fundraising e-mail.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – It's apparently deja vu all over again for former President Bill Clinton.

In a fundraising e-mail on behalf of congressional Democrats, Clinton is blasting Republicans for opposing President Obama's health care push, and reminding people of his administration's ultimately unsuccessful efforts to reform the industry 16 years ago.

"It seems like the 1993 health care debate all over again," Clinton writes in the e-mail, noting that Americans "urgently" needed health care reform as much then as they do now.

"But, just as I did in 1993, President Obama has run into a buzz saw of special interest opposition to his top domestic policy priority - health care reform," he says in the message. "He is facing off against some of the most powerful special interests in Washington who've launched a furious campaign to preserve the status quo."

"...Simply put, they're at it again."

Clinton accuses GOP congressmen of making a "political calculation" to misrepresent Obama's health care plan and to "attack Congressional Democrats with sound bites" instead of making quality health care affordable and accessible."

The former President makes no mention in the e-mail of his wife Hillary, who took charge of his administration's ultimately doomed health care effort in 1993. During her bid for the Democratic presidential nomination last year, both she and John Edwards criticized Obama's health care plan for not mandating that individuals purchase insurance.

Asked for a response to the e-mail, a spokesman for congressional Republicans said Clinton is acknowleding that Democrats haven't made much progress since the last time they tried to shake up the health care system.

"It's nice to finally hear Democrats admitting that they are re-running the failed Hillary-Care playbook from 1993," said Ken Spain, spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee. "Before Democrats start casting blame for their inability to govern, they might want to begin by having a conversation with the dozens of members in their own caucus who refuse to get on board with Nancy Pelosi's government takeover because it increases costs, runs up the deficit, and is paid for with a small business tax."


Filed under: Bill Clinton • Extra • Health care
soundoff (305 Responses)
  1. cedgar

    I so tried of hearing we need "Change"
    I have a news flash
    When the government is done
    You will lucky to have "Change" left in your pocket!!!

    August 3, 2009 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  2. Sea.gem

    ...and the polls show that the majority of the people do NOT want reform...when Obama puts frivilous lawsuits on the table (which he backs)...I will take him seriously...tis is just an expansion of power under the guise of Social need...if we give government health care to citizens we'll have ten times the amount of illegals headed here...then who pays for it?

    August 3, 2009 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  3. Yoli

    Healthcare reform is definitely needed. You repubs and some independents think gov't can not run a healthcare system then why don't you get off medicare and foot your own medical expenses and see how you like that. You will be begging for a gov't run program.

    Go Obamacare I love every bit of it Americans need to be able to access affordable healthcare.

    August 3, 2009 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  4. Big Al

    Eighty percent of the public has health insurance and are happy with the coverage.

    The Democrats are in control of the presidency and both houses of Congress.

    Yet, Bubba and the majority of the IDIOTS posting here think that the Republicans are blocking the government's takeover of the health care system.

    Interesting bit of logic and intelligence on display here!!

    August 3, 2009 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  5. joan rodriguez

    Bill Clinton is right. They fought him to the end on Health Care and won. But the differance today is congress has more dems then in 93. We need HC more then ever now. If it fails the GOP will be responable for the failure. The party of NO.

    August 3, 2009 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  6. Mike

    What the heck is wrong with the American people. Do they understand the Risk of not reforming the healthcare industry. How much of the profit the Insurance Companies share with the American People. How could these insutance companies have so much influence in congress that reform of this importance isbought by the insurance companies. Unbelievable.

    August 3, 2009 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  7. Dan

    Hey Bill.

    If it such a great plan tell the Dem's to pass it. They don't need the GOP's votes.

    You libs wanted total control, you have it, now use it or lose it.

    August 3, 2009 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  8. th

    Those of you who are against change in health care will have a whole different view if you happen to lose your job and are without insurance.

    What goes around comes around.

    August 3, 2009 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  9. Gerald

    Holy cow , raise taxes on all liberals only to support this socialist crap. Leave me alone , my health care is fine.

    August 3, 2009 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  10. Same Old Story

    The average American beleives in healthcare reform but unfortunately we have idiots out there who listen to their own representatives sell them a bill of goods so that they can keep taking money from the special interests.

    August 3, 2009 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  11. OldSchoolVet

    So, now we are calling it "TRICKLE UP POVERTY". How very Christian of you right wingers. Make sure you remember that when you go to church on Sunday. Make sure when you pray you say "May GOD bless ME and only ME, and screw any body else who can't make it. AMEN.

    August 3, 2009 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  12. csh

    We love and miss you President Clinton!

    August 3, 2009 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  13. Annette

    That's why the American people need to fight back, and not be persuaded with the foolishness of the special interest and the some of the GOP, who feel that the expense of reforming the healthcare will create a burden on taxpayers. The burden is already there, we taxpayers will always pay, let's pay for something that everyone can benefit from that.

    August 3, 2009 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  14. cool rock

    GOP = socialist Republican who want to control the insurance industry

    August 3, 2009 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  15. Whammybar

    HMMM, lots of name calling and finger pointing. anyone got any actual ideas on how to fix the health care problem without taxes or heavy government control? C'mon, anyone..............

    August 3, 2009 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  16. cyndilu9

    I wish Bill Clinton would speak up LOUDER to help Obama's brave push for Health Care Reform. These Insurance Companies are despicable – trying to keep their greedy monopoly going. I want a PUBLIC OPTION NOW> Bill – speak out – you are one of the few who can make a difference!

    August 3, 2009 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  17. Kevin B

    The GOP/Insurance companies are trying to turn the health care debate in the country into a ridiculous argument which simplifies the debate into a "socialist" medical care versus the status quo.

    Both are unacceptable to the american people, just the fact that health care cost are rising faster than inflation means some sort of reform is required in order to keep the nation fiscally solvent.

    The GOP really should look out for middle american in this case or they will pay heavily at the polls.

    August 3, 2009 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  18. Jon in CA

    LOL – Good Move Obama.... taking advice from the LAST president who failed to pass Universal Healthcare.

    Obama is like the rookie college basketball player getting advice from the Golden State Warriors (worst team in NBA) on what it takes to be successful in the NBA.

    August 3, 2009 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  19. Paula

    What is crystal clear is that the majority of Americans want health care reform. If taxes need to go up so be it. Its worth it. I'd rather spend my tax dollars this way. Its time for us to start taking care of Americans instead of spending billions of dollars all over the world while people here suffer.

    August 3, 2009 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  20. midwest liberal

    If Mr. Spain thinks what Democrats have, and are trying to do isn't much progress, I wonder what he thinks Republican inaction on this issue is...

    August 3, 2009 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  21. Joseph Bull

    Someone actually forgot Blue Cross / Blue Shield. Actually, the biggest of them all in the land.

    Joseph Bull

    August 3, 2009 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  22. PLUTO

    I'm confused – which is better, Fascist Healthcare or Socialist Healthcare? One thing's for sure, I can't afford Capitalist Healthcare much longer.

    August 3, 2009 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  23. Babaganusch

    Clinton is again proving that he is clueless by somehow complaining that the GOP is blocking this legislation. The Democrats control EVERYTHING in Washington, and they still can't get it through. The reason they can't is that it is a bad plan. It will raise costs, increase wait times for patients, and increase the deficit.

    August 3, 2009 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  24. Ryan Gorman

    Your right Bill!! THE AMERICAN PEOPLE are at it again and just like last time they don't want it this time!!!

    No Socialized Government!!!

    August 3, 2009 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  25. SLB VT

    Employer-dependent health care for families works great:
    1) IF you have a job, and
    2) IF your employer decides to provide (and continue) coverage, and
    3) IF you can control the economy and whether you get down-sized, laid off, or fired.

    Employers and insurance companies are in business to make money. They can refuse to provide health care for you and your children tomorrow if they feel like it. I don't want my family's health care to be at their mercy.

    August 3, 2009 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
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