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. The black spider

    Geithner and summers said: " In order to bring the deficit down they will have to make tough choices and not rule out anything"
    Media translation: Obama is breaking his campaign promiss and is getting ready to tax the middle class.
    That is why this country will not advance. The media is ready to twist everything into drama for their own rating.
    Ask the same journalist how do you expect te deficit to go down in the future. they will never give you an answer.
    Every smart american know that in order to bring the deficit down in the future the only option is to raise taxes on eway or another.
    You can't have it both ways. You want to go to paradise but not willing to die. Amazing

    August 3, 2009 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  2. robin

    why should my taxes go up to pay for everyones health care, especialy for those who dont want to work or illegals. My husband and I work everyday pay our bills ect and have health care because we get ready- WORK. Now a program for the elderly and trully unable to work and for people laid off yea oh wait thats called medicare and medicaid!!!
    no more taxes for lazy people who want the goverment to do everything for them.

    August 3, 2009 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  3. Marie - Reno, NV

    Patients should be paying for healthcare – NOT stock dividends!

    Hmm... FOR PROFIT drug and insurance companies don't want health reform... neither do legislators who get HUGE contributions from drugs and insurance companies, something in the BILLIONS just since the first of the year. Not a suprise reform is having a hard time.

    How about things like... tax breaks for primary care physicians and pediatricians (and their staff) to have late night and weekend hours of operation so there are alternatives to the Emergency Room for stitches and ear infections outside of the 9-5 work week?

    And definitely... if the drug & insurance companies can't let go of the high profits for their stock holders... ram the thing down their throats!

    August 3, 2009 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  4. Regular Guy

    Are people really opposing this proposal? Wow. America really needs to refine our public school system.Anyone with half a brain wouldnt oppose the choice to have the same coverage our government officials have or to keep your own. This would drive prices down in competition to keep you as customers. Look at the responses from people who apparently oppose this, they are missing a reason. All I can say is...wow. God Bless America and the people that live here with us.

    August 3, 2009 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  5. Saul

    Healthcare is about the only thing they have in common. Public speaking is about the only admirable trait that both Clinton and Obama share. On the other hand, governing is something Clinton did well and Obama's need for On-the-Job training is crippling us. It usually helps to have run something prior to being President and Obama's poor performance is fooling fewer Americans daily.

    August 3, 2009 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  6. ben

    I don't understand. Canada's single-payer, government-run system costs 2/3 per person what our system does, covers everyone, doesn't force anyone into bankruptcy with outrageous medical bills, and keeps Canadians alive 2 years longer on average than Americans. Yet all I hear is how we must keep health care in private hands because free enterprise is more efficient and effective. The facts say one thing; the ideologues say the opposite. I think I'll trust the facts.

    August 3, 2009 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  7. Mark

    Are you kidding me? I'm supposed to trust my health, my future, my LIFE to a government that can't even run a Cash-for-Clunkers program? Get real...

    August 3, 2009 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  8. soosie

    During the GreatDepression, FDR proposed social security and a minimum wage. He was called a Socialist and ;people ran scared. Socialism!! they all yelled. Over and Over again, people raged in the newspapers and in the stores (no internet or faxes).
    But here we are almost 80 years later, with a minimum wage for workers and social security for our retirees. We haven't turned socialist.
    I collect Social Security (although I'm still working) and I'm on Medicare (which was started by another Democrat – and everyone yelled Socialism!!) I appreciate it and I appreciate Obama.

    Hey, the guy has barely been in office 6 months and everyone is screaming AS IF they know what is happening. Gimme a break.

    August 3, 2009 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  9. Rick from Murfreesboro, TN

    Americans, real Americans that is, do want health care reform. We are sick and tired of not having the quality of health care that is available in every other industrialized nation. Opposing health care reform is unAmerican in that it prevents the American working class from getting out from under the mountain of debt heaped upon them by the present health care industry and their paid lackeys in Congress, particularly the Republicans who so vehemently oppose it. It is was made abundantly clear in the last election that the majority of Americans are sick and tired of business as usual. We want change and we have demanded it. Now it is time for the people we elected to bring about this change to come across and honor their promises.

    August 3, 2009 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  10. jeremy

    Why are dems faulting the GOP for not getting legislation passed when they controll both houses of congress with a large majority and the White House. This does not make sense. THEY COULD GET IT PASSED WITHOUT THE GOP, but here is Pres. Clinton saying it is the repubs fault. Crazy IMO.

    August 3, 2009 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  11. Steve

    "Wouldn't a health care system without a profit motive be ultimately cheaper than one that does!?

    Opting for a single payer system makes a whole lot of sense to me!!!"
    This has to be the stupidest statement I've seen in a long time. The profit motive is what makes successful people productive and losers like Doug in Seattle parasites on society.

    August 3, 2009 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  12. soosie

    During the GreatDepression, FDR proposed social security and a minimum wage. He was called a Socialist and ;people ran scared. Socialism!! they all yelled. Over and over again, people raged in the newspapers (no internet or faxes).
    But here we are almost 80 years later, with a minimum wage for workers and social security for our retirees. We haven't turned socialist.
    I collect Social Security (although I'm still working) and I'm on Medicare (which was started by another Democrat – and everyone yelled Socialism!!) I appreciate it and I appreciate Obama.

    Hey, the guy has barely been in office 6 months and everyone is screaming AS IF they know what is happening. Gimme a break.

    August 3, 2009 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  13. Sally

    I am tired of corporate accountants determining my healthcare needs. Why anyone would believe that a corporation is more responsive to the people who have the power of the vote is beyond my comprehension. Insurance lobbyists are spending gazillions to defeat this legislation and the right wing parrots are shouting 'socialized medicine in lockstep. The right wing backs the corporations...that says it all!!

    August 3, 2009 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  14. AJP

    Go for it Bill.

    You tell like it is.

    If any American has one ounce of common sense they know the Republican's are the biggest bunch of liars artound.

    August 3, 2009 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  15. Ted Kennedy is older than John McCain

    Bill who? The lips are moving, it must be another lie.

    August 3, 2009 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  16. brook

    Why doesn't the health care industry lower their prices across the board and actually make healthcare affordable for the average person and then we wouldn't have to hear about this nonsense.

    August 3, 2009 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  17. Michael M, Phoenix AZ

    Rep Boehner's two biggest contributors to his re-election campaigns are the utility and INSURANCE lobbyists and corporations! Any wonder why he's against some form universal health care.

    August 3, 2009 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  18. Joyce from South Carolina

    It is pretty sad to think the Republicans put corporate greed ahead of the well being and health of average Americans. My husband and I are on Medicare and are very appreciative of it. For a few years before we were old enough for Medicare, my husband was denied insurance for a "pre-existing condition". We spent over 2 years without any coverage for him. It was a very nervous experience. Thankfully, nothing happened. President Obama's plan will work and is not socialized medicine, as the Republicans want us to believe. We should all thank all of the Democrats for thinking of average people.

    August 3, 2009 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  19. WeThePeopleOfVA

    I don't understand how this guy can say special interest is running the opposition to Obama's healthcare reform. Unless he means taxpaying American citizens are a special interest group.

    The healthcare reform bill stinks; the CBO has illustrated how it will cost more in both the short and long run.

    Besides . . . everyone knows you can't accomplish healthcare reform without addressing tort reform. Now who's protecting the "special interest" of attorney's?

    August 3, 2009 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  20. john in SD

    It is impossible for the republicans to block this legislation from going through...they don't have the votes. The problem is in the democratic party itself. Citizens are vehemently opposed to the health care reform that is being proposed right now...do you wacky libs consider private citizens "special interests groups?" Get a clue.

    August 3, 2009 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  21. Eileen

    You Dems are the ones who are morally bankrupt. Clinton care didn't work. Clintons the reason the country is in the shape it is in now, by forcing banks to give mortgages to people who couldn't afford them. Homeownership is not a right it is the result of hard work. Have you seen the town hall meetings lately. We don't want what your selling Dems. Dems are overeaching and will be forced out. I like my healthcare just fine and I don't want to pay for yours.

    August 3, 2009 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  22. JJ in NY

    Billary's Health Care bill was crap back in 1993, and Obama's is more of the same in 2009.

    If it looks like crap and smells like crap.....then it's CRAP !

    August 3, 2009 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  23. TangledThorns

    These horrible health care reforms are struck down because they are horrible. If Obama can't sell America on his plan then it's due to poor leadership as the Democrats have a super majority. Blaming the GOP is a pitiful excuse.

    August 3, 2009 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  24. worriedmom

    People are starting to unite against this Democrat health reform. Yes, people want health reform, just not the Democrat one! Better start listening to the people as you democrats are gonna have a hard time in 2010!!
    Everyone should watch on teh Drudge report the video on Obama stating he plants to eliminate the insurance industry. People this is scary!
    And Mr. Clinton, please go back to your fundraising work. You should not have to sell your soul to Obama and thugs!

    NO MORE SPENDING!!!! LET THE PEOPLE DECIDE!!!!

    August 3, 2009 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  25. DPWEA

    If there is no profit motive, there is no motivation to do better.

    August 3, 2009 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
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