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. KJ

    I think some representatives in Congress should stop griping about a big government plan since their very own health care plan is provided by (guess who?) the government!! They should have that golden parachute removed and told that the plan they come up with for the American people will be the plan THEY will have. I bet we'd come up with a solution fairly quickly.

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

    There are other countries that have made this work but I guess we are a country of selfish morons. Keep punching them Bill.

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

    We need to reform the greedy Health Insurance companies......simple as that!! The Insurance companies make the final decison in the health care world regardless of doctor recommendations. That is where the problems lie.......

    August 3, 2009 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  4. Jann in Denver

    Good job Bill!

    August 3, 2009 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  5. JBud

    Perhaps we need to take small steps to healthcare reform. Put a frog in boiling water, it will quickly jump out. Slowly turn up the heat. The frog in this case is the GOP. No more status quo.

    August 3, 2009 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  6. rob

    The Dems can blame the Republicans and all those EVIL insurance companies they want, its THE AMERICAN PEOPLE who don't want it.

    CNN hid the polls in a story last week. The majority of Americans are against what they are learning about this Bill. The president doesn't even know whats in it. Its all a big scam and thats why they wanted to rush it so badly.

    The more we learn about this BOONDOGGLE the less we want it.

    Nov. 2010 can't come fast enough.

    August 3, 2009 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  7. Darin

    Social Security, Medicare, Subways, trains, police, firefighters, ems, etc...oh and the military, the cia, fbi, etc...all government run and all seem to be doing quite well...why all the animosity towards the government...I guess those against reform enjoy being told their healthcare is cut by a profit hungry beaurocrat...

    August 3, 2009 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  8. Brenda, Maine

    "The American public has always said they wanted the kind of insurance coverage congress has. Well Obama is offering that to you and all I am hearing is unintelligent b.s. from Rebuplicans and some Democrats. Bill Clinton is right. Do you crack heads really know what you want?"

    Amen! That says it all! End of discussion.

    August 3, 2009 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  9. David

    Why do we need health care reform urgently? Only about 8% of the populace is without health insurance for the entire year. The democratic response is to increase taxes for just about everyone, increase the nations debt drastically and, in all likelyhood, deteriorate health care for those who already have it. Maybe provide health care for the 8% or so is a better solution.

    August 3, 2009 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  10. Larry of Massachusetts

    I am happy with my doctor. I am health with my care. I pay a lot for health insurance for my family ($1,400 a month after tax), but I would rather struggle to pay this rather than go onto a public health care program which would adversely affect my choice, my care, or my doctor

    August 3, 2009 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  11. I am The Great and Powerful Wizard of Rush

    The forces against democracy are alive and well in the Birther-g.o.p party.

    If you can justify your position (or your paranoia) just shout down the opposition.

    Stop the teagaggers – Support a Public Option

    August 3, 2009 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  12. Gus

    Liberal speak: corporations bad, business bad; profit bad; government good.

    Reality: without corporations, small business, and profit, how would you be employed and how would the taxes to support government be paid?

    How will it work when everyone works for the government? Seems that has been tried before and failed.

    August 3, 2009 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  13. Corey

    Honestly it seems like a lot of postings here are actually people from the RNC. Truly all the Repub postings sounds like their bullet points. If my Spider-Sense is correct, that's truly sick. 46 million people without health insurance is nothing to turn into a political football.

    August 3, 2009 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  14. Margaret Anderson

    Right now the Special interests, whether it be the NRA, or other Big Corporations, seem to be running the country. Common sense has been shoved under the bus. What about the American people? Democrats, you have the votes, do what is right. I am disapointed in the Republican party for showing such lack of caring for the American people, except for the most priveleged.

    August 3, 2009 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  15. margie w.

    I have United Healthcare and am pleased w/it. Humana and Blue Cross/Blue Shield kept going up on their deductibles so we switched. It is very apparent that the GOP wants to maintain the Status Quo. We middle class are just her to be their Serfs. Thanks Bill!! We appreciate your support. Go Full Steam Ahead and don't let anyone make you feel badly for speaking up. That's what these "bad ole boys need"!!!

    August 3, 2009 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  16. Gus

    the GOP doesn't care about the middle class. When I have medical problems I use the VA (socialized health care). I guess the "bad" system is only good for Vets, but it sure beats the insurance programs out there.the GOP only supports programs for the wealthy.

    August 3, 2009 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  17. A B C

    Do you know what Republicans and Special Interest Groups have in common? They both don't care about the Average American. Do you know what they call a 1000 special interest group members on the bottom of the ocean?Answer: a good start.

    August 3, 2009 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  18. Scott

    Demanding that insurers cover pre-existing conditions is equal to demanding that auto insurance cover damages which occured before the new policy took effect. IT MAKES NO SENSE.

    Insurers are liokely to stop writing new health policies,

    August 3, 2009 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  19. Former Democrat

    Bubba is a fool and the State Run Media is in the bag for this Socialist moron Obama. Thank god the free and alternative media hasn't been outllawed yet, so that the 75% of the people who disagree with his holiness can have their voices heard.

    This isn't the change we voted for!

    August 3, 2009 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  20. Roy

    The Preamble to the US Constitution states it is to "promote the general welfare"

    August 3, 2009 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  21. Zmartmoney Round Rock, Texas

    This is just too much – Clinton coming to the aid of the pillaging of the American people in the name of "Healthcare." There is not a healthcare crisis in America, but there sure are a lot of things that need to be fixed about health INSURANCE in America, including tort reform. But will we see Tort Reform?? Never, under this administration – they owe their lives to tort litigants and union workers. Bill Clinton needs to go back to his spider hole and wait for Saddam.

    August 3, 2009 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  22. I'm A Regan Dem

    Obama=Trickle up Poverty says "What is wrong with those who need this program pay for their own premiums".

    Where have you been and what's wrong with your ears? Haven't you been paying attention? PEOPLE CAN"T AFFORD TO idiot!!

    August 3, 2009 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  23. EM

    Flat out, Republicans have no right to a comment on any issue. Their ignorance and inability to lead have left the Obama administration with one heap of manure to deal with. I'm not happy with every decision Obama has made, but the man is trying to do something. As for all of the angry citizens of this country, were you not paying attention during the Bush administration?

    August 3, 2009 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  24. Seth

    Why does Bill Clinton have a say so in all this? Tell him to mind his own, he is not President anymore.

    August 3, 2009 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  25. Alec, Miami Florida

    I just don't understand why the USA are so pride to be the ONLY ciuntry of the Western developped world without a decent healthcare system for all? I just don't get it.

    August 3, 2009 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
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