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. Obama=Trickle up Poverty

    One payer system = Tax payer paying for everyone else.

    August 3, 2009 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  2. The black spider

    The real problem in this country is Education . The first reform should be education. Their is too many Drop out in this country and they are ready to believe any gossip or anything put in their brain by some politicians or self interested Media in the tank of Big coorporations without listening to experts on the matter. They are easily manipulable by the media through fear tactics and they end up buying craps like Unjustified wars, Adjustable rate mortgages, Whole life insurance policies, useless food and drogs you name it.
    By the time they realiase the reality they are already screwed.

    August 3, 2009 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  3. ran

    Why are the insurance companies/republicans so afraid of a single payer non-profit option either co-op or public?

    It is an option for us who refuse to have our health care $ go to multimillion $ salaries/bonuses for insurance executives or shareholders dividends or companies' private jets or their gold trim dinnerware in the board rooms.

    If you are happy with your money going for the above instead of your health care then by all means continue to give your money to these companies; but do not deny me the right to give my money to a non-profit single payer where more of my money will go toward my health care. Simple. I am not denying you your rights but you sure seem intent on denying me mine. How Republican/big business of you.

    August 3, 2009 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  4. Sam I Am

    In his early years, Obama overcame incredible resistance to become the Editor of the Harvard Law Review, a role that had been traditionally held by white, upper-class, privileged students. Obama then took on Chicago politicians. Everyone said he wouldn't make it. He did. Then he ran for the US Senate. Everyone said he wouldn't make it. He did. Then he ran in the presidential primaries against one of the most fearsome political machines in existence (the Clinton Machine). Everyone said he wouldn't make it. He did. Then he ran for president, again against a fearsome political machine (The Republican Machine). Everyone said he wouldn't make it. He did. Don't underestimate Obama. He might be up against special interests, but he knows the game well.

    August 3, 2009 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  5. Larry

    All of the opposition to heal care reform is coming from the corrupt insurance industry and the corrupt congressmen they own.

    Everyone, check out who is financing your congressmen:

    August 3, 2009 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  6. Fla.

    Thank you, President Clinton. Americans should be informed how much "conservatives" are receiving to represent greedy insurance interests, instead of real health care reforms for our country.

    In fact, the media should be reporting on the correlation between funds received from insuance companies and legislators against a public option, which is supported by the majority of Americans to improve competition/care.

    August 3, 2009 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  7. Midwest

    Lets hope these people come to their senses and not approve a bill there is no way they can possibly pay for. Lets all have the same plan that the Politicians in Washington have. I bet they would all vote no in a heartbeat if they had to have the same care as the rest of the public.

    August 3, 2009 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  8. beth

    Yeah, the good OLD republican always only concerned for the wealthy in this country.

    August 3, 2009 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  9. gl, From Pittsburgh

    I still love you Bill Clinton and your ideas. Go after them lying Repubicans for profit insurers.

    August 3, 2009 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  10. jfs Memhis, Tn

    You tell em' Bill. We as a nation cannot be so selfish as to deny 42 million citzens some health care. At the same time make insurance companies AND Hospitals AND medical professionals responsibile for the exbortant costs that the charge. If we have to cut limits on liabilities than let that be the negotiating factor. My health policy that I pay for with my employer has gone UP 530% since 06 !!!!! This has to stop.....frankly, the health of this country is MUCH MORE important than Iran, etc. If we were not paying for that mess how much of that would cover our health care ??? It is the responsiblily of everyone to take care of our brothern.........not big insurance companies nor a ravenous health care system.

    August 3, 2009 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  11. Sam in Houston

    I think everyone in Washington should tried this so call health care plan first. And stay on it for a couple of years before the American ppl.
    And see how well they like it. The ppl that are for it should step back and visit with the other countries that have the same health care plan that bo is trying to push through. You will stop and think about your love ones.

    August 3, 2009 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  12. Brad

    Why cant people see that the repulicans just represent the big corps and the super wealthy. Any middleclass or poor person who votes republican should have their head checked out. Normal folks need health care reform, the republicans are playing politics with this issue. They are indeed in bed with health care companies and the insurance industry. I hope the republicans get completely squashed into paste in the next election, they are killing our country.

    August 3, 2009 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  13. Tom from Canonsburg

    People leaning against this plan either are wealthy or can't see past the advertisements. Back when Hillary was working on this, the insurance companies spent approximately 2 trillion to defeat it. I wonder what the price tag will be this time?

    Let's see who do I believe companies that have no vested interest in what the outcome is or to the healthcare companies who are already regulating what you get and still making a killing. You really need to understand what can happen to you if you lose your healthcare.

    August 3, 2009 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  14. EletterGen

    I personally back a small tax on high sugar soda drinks, to help pay for health care. High sugar consumption leads to many health conditions later in life (resulting in high health care costs), given I like to drink soda, but I wouldn't mind paying a few cents more when I have the urge if it means getting health care to pass without everyone stating it's too expensive.

    People complain the government can't run insurance, so did all of you go to private school? Public schools are run by the government, sure they aren't perfect but I think I turned out alright. If you want to go to private school (i.e. if you want private insurance), you still can. But I think everyone should have the ability to see a doctor to get a check up or to fix a broken bone, etc.

    August 3, 2009 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  15. Moderate Democrat

    Tort Reform: Is nothing more then the latest republican policy to protect the rich. It does NOTHING about controlling health care affordability, it simply guards rich people from being sued. The lie rests in the fact they are trying to tell you that the insurance companies will MAGICALLY pass those savings on to you. Yea, if you believe that, then we have a bridge to hawaii for sale. Since when has the health insurance companies EVER passed on their profit margin to the consumer? fact, they have found new ways (killing people) to profit in ADDITION to keeping their savings as profits.

    August 3, 2009 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  16. Wake Up

    The middle class is going to uprise against federal control of the health care. We are sick of govt. bailouts, "cash for clunkers", stimulus that adds debt and raises unemployment....and now we are going to trust govt with our life!!
    NO WAY. Middle Class is going to uprise. Take the political parties out of this....each wants our freedom and our wallet. Obama is ruining freedom!

    How can anyone be an Obama fan??? Every move he's made is WRONG!

    August 3, 2009 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  17. Jennifer

    Hey Bill – Those special interests groups are called the Americal public (also know as constituents) who like to have their voice heard. We will make sure that a healthcare proposal package is not thrown together and forced on the American people.

    August 3, 2009 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  18. Kim

    Only ones getting taxed is the very rich. The very rich are the ones keeping this health care reform from happening.

    August 3, 2009 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  19. Pat F

    Hey Slick Willie and all Democrats! You said elections have consequences – you have the House, the Senate (filibuster proof), and the White House!

    So Pass Health Care Reform! Why are you in need of so much political cover! Why are you whining about the Republicans, whom you characterize as in free fall, decline, ignored and forgotten?


    What exactly are you afraid of?

    August 3, 2009 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  20. Wake Up

    What happened to people living to their means, saving and being independent? Obamabots, control your own life, I don't want to keep writing checks because you live beyond your means!! Go to college, and get a job.

    August 3, 2009 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  21. SkiDoc

    Give it a rest, Bill. Only besotted libs hang on your every word. The rest of the country just shakes its head when you you open your mouth. This health-wrecking change from President Teleprompter is doomed.

    August 3, 2009 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  22. Listen

    Of course the Republicans want Health Care Reform you bunch of idiots! But we sure as heck don't want THIS ONE!!! And why is CNN NOT reporting that Obama is considering raising taxes to pay for it now after saying or lying over and over that YOUR taxes would not go up on DIME!. Please wake up and pay attention everyone.

    August 3, 2009 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  23. Nicole

    I agree. Obama doesn't need Republican support but because he's been so persistent in seeking bipartisanship, he's allowing Congress to dilute health insurance reform, which over 70% of Americans want. Forget the GOP (they are completely irrelevant and offer NOTHING viable to the debate) and get this thing done by drawing a consensus among blue dogs and progressives. The US is ranked 37th in overall healthcare systems internationally and has seen premiums rise 80% in the last decade. The status quo is unacceptable.

    August 3, 2009 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  24. George

    Lets face it. Republican greed versus American need. A story that continiues forever. Selfish is their way, and they would rather spit on the less fortunate than help them. As long as they have insurance who cares about the guy working at McDonalds that can't afford it.
    But they will lie to their base and convince them that greed is more improtant than need.

    August 3, 2009 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  25. geecee

    The Republicans do not want any program that will help Americans while at the same time, depriving their big corporate buddies out of any profit-taking. First and foremost, their primary interest is in keeping that money coming from the health care industry and other special interests to fill their campaign coffers. Some Democrats are guilty of this, too. Don't do what is right, do what is financially expedient for your pocket – not the rest of America. Be greedy first, then worry about everyone else. I do agree, however, the medical malpractice system has to be overhauled so doctors don't have to pay such a high insurance premium that it discourages them from staying in practice. We can have the best health care in the world, but it won't do us any good if we don't have any doctors to administer it.

    August 3, 2009 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
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