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

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

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="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. Sue

    Why don't they go after the high administrative costs – UHC top dog gets over a billion a year – for WHAT? You want to control health care costs – start at the HIGH PAYING POSITIONS that make it so expensive and clean that up first.

    August 3, 2009 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  2. whaley41

    You middle class liberals better get your wallets ready. Obama is getting ready to empty them. I hope you will have a little change left, I know I won't..

    August 3, 2009 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  3. Larry

    Mr Bill, President Obama, has the vote to pass the bill. Why are you blaming GOP? Just say the truth to President Obama the American are not stupid.

    August 3, 2009 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  4. David

    Randolph Carter;
    we all see how well this country ends up when we give the top tax breaks while the rest of us work our asses off in order to be broke. If you enjoy being a slave to the wealthy, keep voting republican...

    August 3, 2009 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  5. Sam

    The Democrats are morally bankrupt! They want nothing but socialism where 45 million Americans are uninsured. They want to keep the unemployment high so people with complain about not having insurance. If this Socialist Healthcare plan passes then they'll worry about the economy.
    We have a broken government that benefits only their socialist agenda. The time for REAL CHANGE is now!!!

    August 3, 2009 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  6. ClintonistaForever

    I like Bill, I'm a Clinton Democrat, but I don't get how he can blame the GOP for this.

    The Democrats have 60 votes in the Senate, to 40 GOP votes. In the House, the Democrats have 256 votes to 178 votes.

    If Congress fails to pass health care reform, how is that the GOP's fault, since it is mathematically impossible for the Republicans to vote it down?

    August 3, 2009 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  7. JPB

    Universal health care for everyone is good, NOT JUST FOR FEW REPUBLICANS and their own friends

    August 3, 2009 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  8. Drew

    Oh geez...this isn't shocking – here again we have Clinton making it about HIM. And by the way, when will Pelosi give back the cash she accepted from those "immoral" health insurance companies?

    August 3, 2009 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  9. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    Why don't you are bill the last administration for pure incompetence!

    August 3, 2009 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  10. Jacob

    Health care reform ROCKS! GOBAMA!

    August 3, 2009 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  11. kevin

    To all of the democrats that support Health Care. Go ahead and you pay for it. I for one do not want nor need health care reform. College education provided me with great job and benefits. If Obama keeps this up-he is bound to be a one termer!

    August 3, 2009 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  12. Bob in Pa

    Sorry Bill, it's not the GOP. Its all us citizens out here flexing our fingers at the polling booths.

    August 3, 2009 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  13. ike

    Nothing good comes easy, but I thing I know, it is real this time. This year will not passbye without a quality and affordable health care signed into law.

    August 3, 2009 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  14. Mark

    What possible credibility could the Republicans have after the 'W' administration and friends almost bankrupted the United States. Now the Republicans say Health Reform would be bad for the country. The people elected Obama for a reason. That reason will be clear when Health Care Reform passes this fall.

    August 3, 2009 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  15. Texas Gal

    Everyone who's against socialized medicine needs to tell their elected representatives to get rid of Medicare and Medicaid.

    The real reason some people are against "socialized medicine" is because they think they'll have to share a waiting room and medical staff with poor people.

    August 3, 2009 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  16. Gil

    Oh here comes Bill to save the day. How transparent

    August 3, 2009 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  17. Keeth in California

    Why are Republicans so against the public option? It's the same health care that all Republican members of Congress receive (as well as Dems and all federal employees). What's the problem? That this is a Dem proposal and so they automatically say No? Sure seems like it to me.

    August 3, 2009 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  18. Art

    if the republicans are so against a goverment health plan than they should decline their what they get from the american people

    August 3, 2009 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  19. awaitingliberalizationbyCNN

    It is not a "buzz saw of special interests." It is a response to a bunch of concerned citizens seeing this government continuing the Clinton path to destruction of American. This jerk should be in jail for lying rather than making excuses for the pathetic Obama administration. Guess he is just trying to make his own lying bunch look better.

    August 3, 2009 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  20. Linda

    There are some very good comments here in support of health care reform. Bill Clinton is right "here we go again". It is the same old fear tactics that have been crammed down our throat for decades. There are none so blind as those who will not see. The republican party has brought my much loved country to its knees and still we hear the same old stuff.

    August 3, 2009 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  21. Andrew

    The United States is the only industrialized INTHE WORLD that doesn't have national health insurance. The Germans have had it since the 1890s, and they haven't exactly suffered from poverty. People are calling it socialistic. What rot! Bismarck put it through in Germany, in the days of the Kaiser (Emperor). What kind of socialism is that supposed to have been?

    August 3, 2009 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  22. Bruce

    I do not have health insurance as I work for a small business with 3 total employees. it is not offered. I am 55 years old and when i go to look and apply tor private insuracne it would cost me anywhere from $200 a month for coverage that covers nothing, to $600 for full coverage.
    I would love to ahve health insurance but to afford what is out there is not in the budget.
    There has to be an alternative.

    August 3, 2009 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  23. Karon - Houston

    We most certainly DO need health care! Let's stop the Congress form of health care and see how much they yell! Let them try to get health care for themselves the same way the majority of America does and see how many of them get turned down for pervious conditions! That would defiately be John McCain!

    August 3, 2009 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  24. Predicta

    Hey Bill, If it seems like 93 all over again, it's because it is. The same bad health care reform that your administration tried to pass back then, is still the same bad health care reform bill today. Tackle the real problems of cost (i.e tort reform and regulation of the health insurance industry), rather than trying to transform a health care system that works for 80 percent of us.

    August 3, 2009 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  25. LOL

    Most Americans don't know what they want because they don't know the facts, only how to reiterate frivolous talking spoon fed to them by the fair and balanced network.

    August 3, 2009 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
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