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. Tom Everhardt

    Where is all this 'urgency' you dems talk about? Haven't we had about 250 years of highly successful American history without nationalized health care?

    August 3, 2009 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  2. Nancy G

    "The Socialist want to take over our health care now. I don't understand so let me get this strait".

    Insurance is socialism. We all "share the risk" . What happens when you have too many claims in one territory, you got it the rates go up. Funny though, I haven't seen insurance companies share their profits willingly with insuredsor their employess unless you either own shares with them, or a state makes them give it back in the form of a premium decrease which don't happen to often, or it's given to executives in the form of outrageous bonuses.

    August 3, 2009 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  3. Andrew

    The fact that some private insurers have made record profits in the last quarter while middle America continues to get squeezed and shrunk, work longer and harder for less, live sicker and die earlier should be wake up call enough. If I had my 'druthers, I'd have them scratch this bill and start over as single payer. Supporting the status quo without recognizing that it is on track to bankrupt us is simply insanity.

    August 3, 2009 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  4. Shawn

    Yea theya re at it again, they are trying to protect the people of this country AGAIN.

    Healthcare needs to be fixed no doubt, however raising taxes in order to fix it is not the way. Obama's solution to everything is to throw money at it.

    The details are being kept from us and the more than do come out the worse this plan is showing itself to be.

    Let us not forget that this President has a clear majority so stop trying to blame the big bad rep. party.

    God Bless America, her people and her President.

    August 3, 2009 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  5. Independent_me

    The Repugnants have said that they want to make health care "Obama's Waterloo". That means that they want him to be defeated, just like Napoleon was defeated at the Battle of Waterloo.

    They intend to SAY that they want health care reform, while they DO everything that they can to defeat it. Part of that strategy is to twist the facts and scare people especially old people- with the most vile lies and accusations.

    These people keep quoting the Lewen Group as a "think tank" that says Obama's health care initiatives will backrupt the nation, etc. etc. However, does anyone know who the Lewen Group really is?

    The Lewen Group is an Insurance Group.

    So the Republicans are quoting the insurance industry in saying the things that they are saying. Whose side are they on?

    The Lewen Group = the insurance industry.

    That is "family values" Republican style for you! Put the screws on poor and middle-class families, and continue to enrich the wealthy...after all, the wealthy have families too!

    August 3, 2009 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  6. Joan

    It just doesn't get any better than Bill Clinton and Barack Obama!!! Love those men and feel so secure when they are in charge!!! I'm not at all surprised by the Republican defense because they know they have to bring out the big guns (no pun intended) against these two men. As usual, Republican fear...except when it is against these tow men, it is justified fear because they are smart and effective.

    August 3, 2009 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  7. April in Texas

    Right now is the time for health care reform! Those who sadly have any precondition are refused coverage or must pay excessive amounts, so unless your rich and have a preconditon you only get worse because you cant get health insurance. Right now the health care we have is KILLING those who can not afford it or have preconditions that could be controlled with a health care plan. Migraines, asthma, colesterol, diabeites and even those with cancer or family history will die because of lack of health care. Some minor things that could be controlled or prevented. Those saying this would kill seniors are not thinking. The health care we have now keeps younger folks from living to reach being a senior!

    August 3, 2009 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  8. Shawn

    There is a reason that there is reports of major protests at Dem town halls, far more than rep. ones.

    These people need to listen to those that elected them

    August 3, 2009 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  9. Gail

    The core reason that everyone has forgotten, are the folks who do not recieve medical care at all.

    The reason health care is so expenxive is the Insurance Companies are FOR PROFIT enterprises. They can afford to pay millions for adverts to save their monopolies, on who gets health care, and how much upper managment gets in bonuses. How many people would be afforded health care if one bonuse of millions of dollars was used to give the towards those in need and refused care because they are not INSURED. The term UNISURED is a label tincorrect, DEPRIVED of medical care is the way it is.

    August 3, 2009 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  10. Tyler Derden

    Universal health care works in England. Even their conservative party considers it a moral responsibility to make health care available to the sick. It also works in Canada. The Republic party styles itself as the "morally superior" party (that is, when they aren't texting Argentenian pages with a "wide stance"). What is "morally superior" about denying health care to the sick? Hypocrites.

    August 3, 2009 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  11. Change_Has_Begun

    Yes! President Clinton get behind these republicans. I don't understand why we all can't see the big insurance companies are doing everything to stop this reform and the republicans are going hand-in-hand with these companies. WAKE UP AMERICA...LET'S MAKE THE INSURANCE COMPANIES PAY FOR OUR HEALTH CARE FOR A CHANGE...

    August 3, 2009 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  12. Carol

    Insurance Companies need to be kept in check. Now is the time to do it. The GOP have the dumbest forwards out, to scare they hope everybody, and the shame is some of them really believe the garbage.

    August 3, 2009 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  13. margaret b. turner

    For all those people who are uninsured, anything is better than nothing! I, for one (70 senior still working) am willing to pay more taxes to help those who need insurance coverage. True, what is being proposed may not be the best answer, but it is a start. There are thousands of people out there who can't wait while the "perfecf" plan is hammered out. Get something started, and then "tweak" it as we go along. Go, President Obama!

    August 3, 2009 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  14. CJ/PA

    Thank you, President Clinton, for empathizing with President Obama's efforts to finally reform a failing system that could bankrupt us all. We know how you tried, and how the "Rght" stopped you, we know there was nothing done in the last 8 years under the Republicans because they are "in bed" with the insurance companies, and we know that's why they're "at it again" - to protect their own self interests. Since when did they care about the American people? I'd venture to say it's been decades!!

    August 3, 2009 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  15. jobo2612

    Americans do want health care reform, but are confused by republicans that claim it can be for free. Just ask them to give up medicare - the government run health care program, or social security - the government run retirement program. Republicans are afraid that once Americans try it, they will like it.

    August 3, 2009 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  16. Rich

    All of the Democrat's ideas would be great if nobody had to pay for them. Just because stealing is legal doesn't make it right.

    August 3, 2009 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  17. CF

    Republicans are shameful on this. They think the system we have no is so perfect, but try telling that to me and the millions of hardworking, honest Americans like me who can't afford insurance. If I became injured or sick tomorrow, there's nothing I could do because I cannot afford insurance or a doctor. Do Republicans and "blue dogs" just want us to die?

    August 3, 2009 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  18. AXH

    STOP ramming this so called Health care reform down our throats!

    The American people do not want this and we certainly don't want more taxes to cover this cost!!

    STOP this maddeness, the Dems are trying to turn this country into a Socialist America!!

    STOP it NOW!

    August 3, 2009 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  19. AP in Illinois

    The Republicans in Congress are already enjoying Government Sponsored health care. That not only makes them hypocrites, but Socialists as well.

    August 3, 2009 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  20. A Question

    If this plan for healthcare reform is so wonderful, then I am certain that the members of Congress, the White House, and their families will be the first ones to sign up for the coverage. Leading us by example. What's that you say? Congress exempted themselves from this bill? I am flabbergasted that they would do anything so underhanded. Almost like voting yourself a raise, you know.

    August 3, 2009 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  21. Edward lawler

    I suspect Clinton wants health care reform so that all hookers and bad girls have access to free health care associated with the contagious "bugs" they coime in contact with, there by easing his mind on the subject.

    August 3, 2009 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  22. J.Havis

    It boils down to the Health and RXs companies that are giving money to those Reps.and Dems. who are balking at helping us out in the trenches. Have they all sold their souls to the DEVILS? We will not forget this DOG congress. How can they face their familes with their GRAFT faces and smile. God does punish the wicked. I only pray God grants me a little longer so I can see them all defeated. Our President is working for US. Don't be blinded by the lies and don't take their dirty money.

    August 3, 2009 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  23. Kevin

    Good to see the healthcare/insurance PR companies reps are already posting to blogs and websites. Also, not surprising.

    August 3, 2009 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  24. Dan

    Don't rush this through, it takes time to get this right.

    August 3, 2009 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  25. mc16

    Looks like Old Bill is at it again...He breaks ranks with the Democratic leadership when he's campaigning...Then comes back like Jordan, wearing the 4-5....

    August 3, 2009 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
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