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. Cal-G

    "Dem's are in the bed with insurance industry"? Funny, I always thought that industry was yet another bastion of the Republicans. Obama's plan is about offering Americans a choice, and not about taking choices away. That's why the insurance industry is so scared, and has conservative Americans criticizing Obama by playing the socialist card - when they're not playing the race card.

    August 3, 2009 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  2. Paul from Phoenix

    More whining.

    Again, dems control House, have a filibuster proof Senate, and the White House. They have nobody to blame but themselves.

    However, because they can't admit their incompetence, they blame the GOP, who screwed up plenty the last 8 years.

    And, you people making comments blaming the GOP and insurance companies are just as stupid. Sorry for the reality check, but, again, the Dems have nobody to blame but themselves.

    August 3, 2009 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  3. Naomi

    As a single working mother of 2. i would GLADLY and READILY pay more in taxes to get the heatlh care and insurance myself and my children need.

    I do not see why it's such a debate, other then of course, those wonderfull "special interest's" that as per usuall, only give a hoot about the amount of green stuffig in their pockets.

    August 3, 2009 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  4. GM

    Point the finger back at your own party Bill. You don't need any GOP votes to pass this bill.

    August 3, 2009 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  5. Candy West Virginia

    Republicans in the house and senate use the 'socialist' health care plan offered by the gov yet want to deny it to all americans. What is wrong with this picture? They support gun rights for all but not health care.

    August 3, 2009 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  6. inat

    what part of NO do the democrats not understand?! This is not a popular bill. Polls show that less then half of Americans wants this bill. You would think that Specter and Sibilius's town hall would let teh dems know that this is just not REPUBLICANS opposing it but the POPULATION of the UNITED STATES is opposing it. Perhaps CNN should show the footage of that townhall......

    August 3, 2009 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  7. Dotson, IL

    Every Democrat or Republican that would vote against a public option in the Health care plan or the Health care plan needs to be VOTE OUTof office.

    August 3, 2009 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  8. Devin

    Politicians believe they are able to to run the healthcare system which makes up 15% of our economy? Such a small group of people know what's best for millions of diverse Americans? That is arrogance and stupidity. Look at the government's track record? That are incompetent. Democrats have the votes to get it passed alone so if they do, they'll havr to take the full blame for the disaster that follows.

    August 3, 2009 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  9. JA/TN

    maybe if we pulled their high dollar health care, why do we provide it for them, most are wealthy already

    August 3, 2009 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  10. FORMER republican, NEVER again!

    Obama=Trickle up Poverty – the only problem with the Cash for Clunkers program was it was too successful! And oh yeah, other than plunging this country into a recession, how else did trickle down economics work for us????

    August 3, 2009 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  11. BJs

    Bill is right. The special interest groups want to keep things the way they are as they are making a huge profit from it all. Obama has guts to try to change things – and I do believe he has the ability to make it happen. GO OBAMA!

    August 3, 2009 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  12. Dave in Illinois

    Hey, let's trot out bubba Clinton, tax cheat Daschle, pay for play Bill Richardson, leftist Bill Ayers, and any other assorted and sundry characters that will stand behind Obama's plan. If they're all liberal Democrats what else would they believe in besides expansion of the government to provide social welfare to anyone who happens to set foot on US soil.

    August 3, 2009 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  13. Kevin in Ohio

    "Republicans are at it again?" They are the MINORITY. The DEMOCRATS are in control.... why don't these idiots start learning some personal accountability and take responsibility for the state of affairs? The truth is that this health plan is ill-conceived, is being forced down our throats, and the Americans are, thank God, rebelling.

    August 3, 2009 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  14. panem et circenses

    "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.
    Wow, it was so "urgently needed" in 1993 that we were able to go 16 years without it!

    I can't believe that liberals are that stupid not to see the obvious contradition here ... well, maybe I can. They voted in Obama with absolutely no track record of ever having done anything beyond saying "Let her speak" at a housing rally...

    August 3, 2009 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  15. JAP-S

    Don't believe these surveys about the public not supporting health care reform. Those opposed should consider the Republican option. Oops I forgot, there isn't one. There should definitely be a government option! Keeping working at it Dems. The Repubs can plan their retirement.

    August 3, 2009 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  16. Margaret

    The attacks on Democratic Congress members at their town halls just shows the brainless mob mentality of the GOP. It looks like the Brown Shirts all over again.

    August 3, 2009 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  17. Derrick

    It is amazing at home the GOP makes EVERY EFFORT to hold back our country from being the greatest as time goes on.

    Anytime our country fails to accomplish any goal, BLAME THE GOP. They live in the past!

    August 3, 2009 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  18. Rod

    Thanks for backing Obama up Mr. President. He needs someone covering his back and since it seems like the only stories that get a lot of air time are the ones being pushed by the Repubs., it's good to know that you're willing to speak up.

    Keep up the great work! Obama deserves your support!

    August 3, 2009 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  19. I give up

    what health care plan is bill on? not the one they want to shove down our throats.

    August 3, 2009 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  20. Karen

    Thank goodness some of the comments are from people who care about someone besides themselves. It's a disgrace to live in a wealthy country that allows those with less go without basic health care. One reason some of us are opposed is that the plan on the table allows the insurers to keep doing business as usual. We need a single payer system, not more of the big companies getting rich off of our inflated premiums. I'd be happy to have a government run system. Medicare works. We need to expand coverage for all and do away with private insurers forever.

    August 3, 2009 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  21. Common Sense

    Democrats don't need to worry about the Republicans,, they will self-implode all by themselves, as they did in 93/94... For Obama to have sucess,, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi need to exit Washington and let creative new ideas flourish....

    August 3, 2009 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  22. Edith Ann

    It has been far to long that Congress has put it's own greed ahead of the American People. They gave themselves 9 raises in the time they raised minimum wage once. They have expense accounted, cronyed and porked the taxpaper like they were teenagers getting one over on the naive trusting parent.
    Congress needs to know that the American People are fed up with it. If our children are going to fight and die for this country, by God, you will care about it too! People in our country are dying because they had no preventable care, so, we need "everyone" to have healthcare. We need to see Congress take a pay cut and pay freeze before they give themselves a raise not after. Buckle down to a realistic lifestyle....becoming a Congressman/women is suppose to mean that you want to serve your country not vice versa!

    August 3, 2009 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  23. Mississippi Mike

    It's the Democrats who are "doing it again." Taxpayers and insured people don't want socialized health care. Not even the Senators want socialized medicine, they opted out of it.

    August 3, 2009 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  24. chris

    status quo and party of no. The world is all doom and gloom, be pro-life, pro gun, pro-death penalty, pro "family values" and lets go to war! Burn more oil, drill baby drill! More nukes more nukes! yay! Domestic economy? Why change it, that's sooo "un-American" because the status quo of going down the pipes and doing nothing in the name of "socialism" is the American way. DNC = "progressive" party. Who wants progress?

    August 3, 2009 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  25. Proud Member..Party of No

    You want to reform healthcare? 1) Start with tort reform. Eliminating these multi-million dollar settlements would reduce heavy insurance costs to doctors and hospitals.....costs that are passed on to the patients. You dumbocrats should love that because the "evil" insurance companies would take a hit. And 2) NO coverage for illegal immigrants. Illegals that come to a doctor or hospital for treatment should be immediately deported. These people are costing us a fortune and they are here ILLEGALLY.

    There's your start to healthcare reform. Implement just these two things and see how much healthcare costs come down. If we need further reform after that, we'll talk.

    August 3, 2009 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
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