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. Robert

    1/8th over...had enough yet??? Am I the only one who is sick and tired of paying for everyone else's stuff???????

    August 3, 2009 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  2. Father

    Fake paid protesters and forged letters to Dem congressman. Righties are dirty and I am completely elated they are not in power and we will get healthcare, we will get cap n trade and we will get through recession despite their antiamerican tactis. bunch of wusses

    August 3, 2009 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  3. beevee

    One way to get the much needed health care reforms done is to get the american public to your side and make them kick ther elected legislators in their b... to support the president and his health care plans. If the reforms have merit, which I think they do, people will eventually recognize it and not fall for the special interests 's bait.

    August 3, 2009 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  4. John

    As an American living for the last 6 years in a European country that has single payer, all I can say is get ready. The tax out of my paycheck is around 45% and with what is leftover, I get to pay 23% VAT on EVERYTHING I buy (food, medicine, housing, etc...). Earning what I do, I am at the poverty level for America.

    When my wife went to the hospital 5 years ago to give birth to our son, she was given a list of items to bring, which included toilet paper. Of course, she was in a room with 3 other women, bathroom down the hall. Wake up America, there is no free lunch. Someone has to pay.

    August 3, 2009 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  5. I luv Sarah Palin

    Republicans Say No to Everything ????????

    – “NO” to healthcare because they are in bed with big insurance company. These are major campaign contributors
    – “NO” to green energy because they are in bed with a big oils company. These are major campaign contributors
    – “NO” to tax cut for higher bracket earning ($250K and up). These are major campaign contributors
    – “NO” to rebuilding America because they might lose out on major campaign contributors
    – YES to Wars, – many Contractors and Big Corporate are major campaign contributors
    – YES to lobbyists – These are major campaign contributors

    Long Live the Party of NO

    August 3, 2009 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  6. paul

    Make your insurance the same as being pushed on us.If we need it so do you Mr X pres

    August 3, 2009 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  7. Melissa

    Clinton is so completely right, its scary. He was so good for this country.

    August 3, 2009 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  8. T

    I am glad Bill is still around and putting his thoughts out there. I would love to hear more from Ralph Nader about a lot of these issues. Would make for more interesting press.

    August 3, 2009 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  9. Ken in Pisgah Forest

    Our healthcare system is in the trauma center and fighting for its life. Right now, it is ranked 37th in the world, behind most industrialized countries and is dropping fast. Some Reps say it is still number one, but they haven't looked around and seen what the rest of the world is doing. The Dems have a plan, or at least pieces of one, to save it. The Reps are standing around, wringing their hands, and saying maybe it is not as bad as it looks.

    We have one chance to get this right so we can have a health care system.

    Who do you trust?

    August 3, 2009 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  10. Profit to Non-Profit

    Bottom line problem is, is that this country is all about making profits. This is why health care is so expensive and also higher education. Healthcare and Education should all be ran by non-profits giving healthcare and educational professionals minumum gauranteed salaries, even if a part of those salaries had to be paid for from tax dollars.

    August 3, 2009 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  11. Deborah/Kansas City

    We must have healthcare reform and it is a lie to say the Majority of Americans don't want it. President Clinton is right, the right, the South and the conservatives are trying once again to scare everyone. Hate, fear and greed are the only things motivating the No change is needed gang. The Republicans came right out and said that the Insurance comanies don't need to change or be monitoried. OH, I get it; the idea from the right is DEREGULATE THEM, CUT TAXES FOR THEM and LET THEM DO AS THEY PLEASE in the free market. That worked so well for the financial and auto industries.

    August 3, 2009 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  12. FD

    No government healthcare for me. The government is not qualified to run my healthcare.

    August 3, 2009 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  13. Tyler Derden

    Federal tort reform has 2 major problems. 1. there is no federal constitutional basis for restricting state causes of action (the interestate commerce clause? please. Even Chief Puppet Roberts woudn't go that far). 2. It is the consumer, not the insurer, that pays the price. Look at Texas. The extreme caps on damages awards here lowers the cost of malpractice and makes sloppy medical providers insurable. But those sloppy providers don't pass the savings of lower rates on to you (assuming the insurer passes the savings down to them through lower premiums, which they often don't). Instead, they pocket the difference and buy the latest model BMW to park at the country club while you sit in their waiting room like a putz waiting to get butchered.

    -A Texas Lawyer disgusted with the dumb sheep in this state

    August 3, 2009 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  14. Tina, NC

    If so many of the Republicans are against socialized medicine then we don't have to worry about the cost of Medicare anymore because I'm sure they will be now be refusing theirs. Thanks GOP!

    August 3, 2009 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  15. ssgt Rock

    Do not forget this is the same president that stated categorically, "I did not have sexual relations with that woman". And now Hussein Obama has already stated he will not raise taxes on the middle class Americans... His health care debacle is not withstanding public scrutiny when it all comes down to, who you trust. Better answer that question as it relates to this massive of a change in our healthcare and who Hussein Oabama aligns him self with...

    August 3, 2009 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  16. Brian, Detroit, MI

    The GOP is thrusting us into a future that we do not want to be in. The GOP is evil. The GOP is pain. We do not want to live that life. The GOP is nothing. We do not want to live that life. The GOP is nothing.

    August 3, 2009 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  17. Ed, Santa Fe, NM

    GOP is the Party of No...... yet they never have any alternatives....

    August 3, 2009 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  18. Bj

    Do something about tort reform first, and then attack health care. The biggest contributor to health care costs is due to the malpractice insurance premiums that doctors have to pay due to the sue happy consumers in this country. I've lost 2 very good primary care physicians in the last four years who could no longer afford to practice medicine because of their malpractice insurance premiums, and neither had ever been sued.
    And as to Obamacare, eliminate ALL illegal aliens from access to the health plan, and make all federal workers (including congress and the POTUS) and labor unions fall under the same guidelines as the rest of us, and that would go a long way in making this more palatable to the American public.

    August 3, 2009 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  19. Tom Carullo, NJ

    I want to know why none of our elected officials are talking about real health care reform, in the way of tort reform and being able to purchase a polilcy across state lines. All you need do is look what happened when you were enabled to purchase a mortgage across state lines. This sparked competition and mortgage rates dropped for everyone. The same thing will happen with health care. Add tort reform to this and we will have health care everyone can afford.

    August 3, 2009 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  20. Steve In Tampa

    At it again like in '93? ... It failed then for good reason, and looks like we have survived for the last 16 years..... Insurance reform would help those who participate in a program by choice, but a lot of this "socialized" medicine will simply dilute the quality of care, and give some people something for nothing more that Medicare does..... Fix the wheel that is spinning, and keep it spinning, but don['t act like it has yet to be invented......

    August 3, 2009 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  21. Brian, Detroit, MI

    The GOP is nothing>

    August 3, 2009 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  22. Paul C.

    Don't you find it amazing that the politicians who oppose a public option health plan enjoys one of the best that money can buy?
    I suggest that our elected "public servants" be enrolled in Humana's HMO plan to help reduce the deficit.
    What a great idea!

    August 3, 2009 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  23. Victor Nwaneri

    What many of the GOP congressmen are failing to understand is the apparent severity of health care in the United States. Clinton is simply acknowledging Obama’s efforts on pushing health care reform, not undermining the GOP in this subject. In retrospect, health care in the early ‘90s was a heavily debated issue of his time and has failed to progress ever since then. Rather than viewing the issue of healthcare through the lens of Barack’s plan vs. GOP congressmen with intentions of good positioning for political parties in 2012 presidential election, we should support the push of health care reform without bias views and work towards congressional bipartisan in developing a bill that unifies citizens from both ends of the economic and political spectrum.

    August 3, 2009 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  24. Peggy

    The republicans are brilliant at one thing: convincing the American public, with the use of buzz words like "socialism" to shoot themselves in their own foot! Wake up people! Healthcare has only been privatized since Ronald Reagan! The insurance companies were not for their only purpose it to make a profit at the expense of all of us!

    August 3, 2009 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  25. Rush Goebbels

    The blue dogs are Corporate Fascist plants in the Dem. party.Their sole mission in life is to make this bill fail.I think they have been paid millions in bag money already and have great jobs lined up for when they get booted out of office.Both parties may now be too infected with the fascist virus to regain their health.

    August 3, 2009 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
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