February 7th, 2010
01:50 PM ET
5 years ago

Clinton sounds off on health care reform


Washington (CNN) – The woman who was the face of Democratic efforts to pass a health care reform bill when the last Democratic president was in the White House says she’s happy to share her wisdom on the subject when asked.

In an interview set to air Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union, former first lady and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton weighs in on the continuing battle over health care reform on Capitol Hill.

“Are you getting a little déjà vu watching this?,” CNN Senior Political Correspondent Candy Crowley asked Clinton.

“Well it's really hard,” said Clinton. “It is a complex issue that touches everybody about which both people and interests have really strong feelings. But I haven't given up yet, and I know the White House hasn't given up. And I - I don't think a lot of the members of Congress have given up. So I'm not sure that this last chapter has been written.”

Asked whether she dispenses any wisdom garnered during her failed efforts to push a health care reform bill through Congress during his husband’s administration, Clinton said she is glad to share what she knows.

“Well when I'm asked I am very happy to respond,” Clinton said. “I mean it's not anything I have direct responsibility for, but I've had a number of conversations. And both in the White House, and on the Hill, and with others who are playing a constructive role. And I - I like I think many Americans hope that there can be a positive outcome.”

During her 2008 White House bid, Clinton’s failed push for health care reform while first lady got her commitment, if elected, to push for universal coverage dubbed “Hillarycare” by many of her conservative and Republican critics.

After beating out Clinton for the Democratic nod and then besting Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, in the general election, President Obama made passing a health care reform one of his top domestic legislative priorities in 2009. National Democrats have thus far been unable to get a bill passed and the party suffered a large blow recently when Republican Scott Brown won a Massachusetts special Senate election last month. Sworn in last week, Brown is now the 41st member of the Senate Republican Caucus and he ran on a pledge to be the 41st vote Senate Republicans need to filibuster a Democrats’ health care reform bill.

soundoff (91 Responses)
  1. Steve in North Carolina

    Reply to Robe. I understand that we are paying for the uninsured now. I agree that something needs to be done. I don't support Medicaid Part B or any other programs that supports continued drugging up of our citizens.

    I disagree that Republicans are all to blame for this. We are all to blame. We keep putting people in office (Democrat or Republican) who are not acting in our best interests. I'd like to see a program come out of Washington that benefited the people instead of some big company.

    We would have been better off on the road to economic recovery if they just handed back the first $350 billion in TARP money back to the citizens instead of the banks and GM. That would have stimulated things!

    February 7, 2010 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  2. Guest333

    What this all boils down to....considering Hillary works extremely well on the International Stage as Secratary of State and if well liked/respected all around the world .....and considering that she is an effective Domestic problem-solver and a virtual encyclopedia for Heatlh Care Reform which is one of the countries top priorities this term...and considering her husband and her surname have connections to the people and minds behind one of the most prosperous (or frugal) times our country has enjoyed ....

    I totally should have voted Hillary in 2008! It seems like she is doing all the things she can within her power and title, to achieve the things we need as a country.....and with a command of the appropriate systems and ways to operate in Washington.

    Furthermore, she does it without all the talk, egomaniacal approach and without all the passive aggressive "vibe" just under the radar of perception...unlike Obama...

    I like that Hillary can "just talk" like a normal human being...without all the "stare into the bright light and listen to the sound of the timber in my deep voice as I appeal to your idealism" which is pretty much all Obama has offered ever since I voted for him.

    February 7, 2010 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  3. D. Bunker

    I see some of the clueless "tort reform" parrots have come crawling out from under their rocks already. This is a myth spread by those who hate lawyers and the law; it has no basis in fact. I live in a state with "tort reform" and its made no difference except to limited recovery by those who've been harmed.

    Here's an honesty test: Do you believe government should be "run like a business"? If so, why are you focusing on a 1-2% saving (the alleged savings for tort reform) rather than reducing administrative costs (over 10%)? Get a clue, people, tort reform is just propaganda by insurance companies wanting more profit and doctors wanting to avoid responsibility for malpractice. Want to reduce malpractice awards? Then reduce malpractice!

    February 7, 2010 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  4. Henry Miller, Libertarian

    "I don't think a lot of the members of Congress have given up."

    In other words, despite the fact that an absolute majority of Americans don't want the government to meddle in health care, and only a bit more than a third do want it, the Dems are determined to ram it down our throats.

    This is called tyranny.

    Tyranny makes Americans angry.

    February 7, 2010 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  5. fred

    Social Security is NOT an entitlement. I have paid, my employers have paid and we (both),. have paid a lot. It is a payment for retirment income. Which by the way I need to supplement my other retirement income. Which by it's self is NOT enough to live on comfortable. If the Govt would simply pay back what it has borrowed,it SS will out live all of us.. But NO, it's a pocket of money that burns a hole in the pocket and HAS to be spent or is cookie jar for special project/programs....What I cant understand is why no one (in power) has raised a hand to stop the pillage of SS.???????????????

    February 7, 2010 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  6. Henry Miller, Libertarian

    "Health care should be a right for all Americans."

    Your "right" to health care stops when the cost of it comes out of my wallet.

    February 7, 2010 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  7. Sandy SC

    If everyone would focus on why need health coverage more now than ever we would have solve the problem of home foreclosures. Remember this all who oppose health care. When you lose you home because of paying your health care bill then quess what. Eveyone who do have health care will be chipping in to pick up the tab for these people. If you are a Republican and make more than 100,000 a year then hey talk to the people who support you but if you are not you need to get in line and see who will protect you.

    February 7, 2010 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  8. Guest333

    A president is only guaranteed office for four years but everyone is acting like Obama is a shoe-in for a repeat until 2016....there is such a thing as free-will when you want it....Hillary in 2012! She is either going to relax/retire from politics after this administration ....as she has done more in her time than anyone posting here,...... or she may continue her SERVICE to her country if asked by the people. She is no faded glory nor has she "failed".

    February 7, 2010 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  9. Enough

    Well give up on the crap they are trying to shove down our throats and get to work on REAL health care reform, that makes health insurance affordable and available for everyone to purchase on their own...........Yes, everyone purchase it for themselves, not taxing some to pay for others. Self responsibility.

    February 7, 2010 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  10. ToThePoint

    Produce more doctors and nurses and build some public hospitals, may cure the problem.

    February 7, 2010 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  11. Dave

    Health care is not complex.

    It is the 2000 page pork and special interest group laden disasters that few can understand and the US cannot pay for that is complex.

    The answer is a one page single spaced page that says : Every US Citizen gets the same health care at the same rate as the Congress of the United States and President get.

    That is something all the tax payers could agree on.

    February 7, 2010 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  12. normajean

    I think one of the smartest things that our president Obama has done was to aquire Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State. She is doing remarkable work connecting with other nations and being such a credible representative of our country. I have to admit wondering what kind of president she might have been. {or, still might be} This woman is every thing that Sarah Palin thinks SHE is. I wish it were possible for Sec. Clinton to be more involved in our current problems,but unfortunately that is not part of her job.

    February 7, 2010 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  13. Albo58

    For the life of me, I can not believe how the lib loons worship Hillary and all her "accomplishments"! Does anyone on earth believe she would have become an US Senator if she wasn't married to that slime, Bill Clinton? And what about all her efforts as a senator from New York? To listen to New Yorkers, they weren't too pleased. Then, she ran an egotistical campaign for President where she was soundly beaten by a very junior senator from Illinois with nada for actual experience. Now she is the Secretary of State and other than traveling a whole lot, she has actually accomplished the exact same amount of major diplomatic coops as I have!

    February 7, 2010 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  14. Ray E.

    It is a shame that people like Hillary don't know we have Constution! Health care and a slew of other programs are Un-Constutional. Health care needs to be returned to the States. With the National Debt going up to 14 Trillion Dollars it is just a matter time until the depression is complete and we are right back to the 30's again.

    Then you will have to do it yourself, like it or not! Social Security is running ot of money, or it would if we still had any money. It should have been Privitized and soon it will be as soon as the whole system collapses. Happy landings everybody!

    February 7, 2010 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  15. ib

    You people think that Obama is not spending this country into brankruptsy are blind period. you say the republicans are trying to spend this country into being brankrupt; blind again. They are trying to controll at least some of this spending although they are almost as guilty as Obama. We need healthcare reform not healthcare takeover. We are senior citizens and I'm still working full time due to health ins. so don't tell me I don't know what I am talking about. And by the way my wife is disabled; won't to hear what our out of pocket costs are?? So please don't tell me I'm far right for not wanting total gov. controll of healthcare; I;m not just want what is really needed for this country. Tort reform and making laws to allow ins. companies to cross state lines and compete with each other would be a good start to this mess.

    February 7, 2010 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  16. normajean

    I don't understand the people that laud Medicare but don't want government running health care. Wha'ts wrong with you? They are one and the same. Medicare works and would be great if everyone had it but you people fearful of government handling it have pretty much killed it.

    I've had Medicare since I retired and it is fine but it's not available to a large segment of our society. My daughter just lost her job of some twenty years and now has no health insurance at all.She is one of millions. Thanks to the "Party of No", they may never have it.

    February 7, 2010 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
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