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. g

    I love when republicant's post messages on this board protesting the government as being unable to handle our healthcare issues. I guess it's now patriotic t protest your government, where were you the last 8 years? This is why republicant's will continue to lose elections.... they can't come to terms with the fact that Americans want a new direction in politics and all they can offer negativity.

    August 3, 2009 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  2. Ronald Clowney

    The majority of Americans do want health insurance reform. That is you are comfortable with Americans being white, black, and latino. Of course, if you are referring to the majority of Americans that do not want it are white then you are more than a right leaning independent. If you think someone is trying to ram something down your throats that you do not want, try being black in America for awhile.

    August 3, 2009 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  3. A.W.F.

    You can compare single payer to failed Canadian and UK healthcare easily. At least it's not as rationed under the current private system. Profit is a good thing in healthcare because it creates the new medicines and technologies you have now. The countries with socialized healthcare aren't leaders in new technologies or cures because they're political motivated, not financially. Single payer or government healthcare is a loser.

    August 3, 2009 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  4. Christian

    "Anyone see what happened in Philadelphia this weekend" – NOPE – because the media right now is pretending it didn't happen.
    Wake up please. No one wants this at the expense of additional tax dollars and more important, personal freedom and choice.

    August 3, 2009 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  5. Roger

    The Republicans distorting facts & a person's record!!! Hey wait thats old news....they've been doing that since Nixon....ho hum.

    August 3, 2009 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  6. Republican not buying it..

    Get'em Bill.

    August 3, 2009 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  7. MommaM

    Well said Dutch/Bad Newz – the GOP is running its usual let's scare everybody campaign without a solution – looks to me like the economy is improving – people are feeling good and things are getting back on track. I don't know how President Obama does it but I know he will stay strong and in the end we'll all be better off because of him! We need healthcare reform and we need it NOW!!!!!!!!! Thanks Bill for standing behind the President!

    August 3, 2009 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  8. Mary

    Sam - 45 million who pray every day that they don't get sick? All the while they smoke their cigarettes, drink Coca-cola (or some equivalent) while they spend their money on items made in foreign countries and elimnate even more American jobs that have health care benefits. When will we learn? Health care starts at home. Not smoking, but taking care to eat healthy.

    August 3, 2009 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  9. Johnny DC

    As for you people that are begging for a profit-less, government controlled system.... do you have any idea what you are talking about? Profit is what drives capitalism, innovation, and efficiency. Take a look at other federal government-run "profit-less" systems and show me where the glory is? Social Security? Medicaid? The VA in general. The military?

    Stop talking. All of you. There should be an IQ test associated with posting comments.

    August 3, 2009 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  10. IndependentMinded

    Americans didn't want it then and we still don't want it now!!

    August 3, 2009 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  11. Kevin from Co

    Oh yes, pass this quick so I can pay for all the lazy people's health care while I keep paying for my own like I have for the past 20 years.

    August 3, 2009 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  12. Thinks for Himself

    My wife and I both work. She has 2 degrees and I am on my way to my first. We have 2 kids and no health insurance. We have to rely on public health facilities if we get sick or injured. If we get hospitalized we are screwed for who knows how long financially. So to those people who say only the unemployed degenerates are in need of this plan, you are wrong. We have friends who are in the same boat as us, yet every one of us pays our taxes.

    August 3, 2009 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  13. Edward

    Bill Clinton, the "tax and spend liberal" who turned the economy around before the "fiscal conservatives" sent it back into a nose dive. Bravo!

    August 3, 2009 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  14. Bananarama Victim II: Electric Boogaloo

    For every Republican sure that what you call "socialized medicine" is such a bad idea, consider viewing it from a realistic point-of-view. America's veterans are under "socialized healthcare," would you want that to be taken away? Also, if it's so horrible, why treat our nations heroes to such terrible service?

    Fact is, Vets have outstanding "socialized healthcare." America has outstanding socialized Firemen and policemen. Yet somehow, within hypothetical situations, Republicans constantly warn us of the dangers of socializing anything.

    Do you own math, please don't let someone do it for you, especially not someone vested in the survival of the current health care system.

    August 3, 2009 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  15. Jack Walden

    Oh, please..please..All these apologist nitwit Republicans who cry "socialized medicine". If socialized medicine is so bad, here is a suggestion you should not refuse. Give an affidavit that you will forgo all your medicare benefits when you turn 65 as Medicare too is "socialized medicine'". Lets see how many takers we have....

    August 3, 2009 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  16. Legna

    I'm sure you are still at it....Go back into your hole where you and all politicans belong ...that goes for Republicans,Democrats,and Independent waste mongering idiots. We are sick of all your liberal spending .Here comes TAX TAX TAX!!!!

    August 3, 2009 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  17. Dan p Mills Jr

    Bet you never hear the ins companys complaining they need money.They destroyed health care in this country along with there republican friends.Wake up people!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!The republicans and there friends the( ins companys) had had there years to fix it and they didnt.Greed is the root of all evil.Laughing at all these lobbiests while they are crying.

    Dan Pa

    August 3, 2009 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  18. Obama 2.0

    Thank you Bill!

    August 3, 2009 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  19. RR

    but unlike 1994, the GOP does NOT have enough votes to block or obstruct anything. Every GOP member in the house and senate can vote against health care, and the dems still have enough votes to prevent a filibuster and pass it.

    Blaming the GOP is getting old.

    The GOP does NOT have the votes to block anything!

    If health care fails, it will be because the democrats couldn't get their own party to back it.

    August 3, 2009 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  20. Shannon Lien

    What "quality of care" are people opposed to health care reform worried about? If you don't have insurance or have any kind of pre-existing condition, there is no care, let alone quality care. The real problem is the reliance on private insurance companies. Simply make it that they must all be nonprofits and must provide insurance to anyone who applies. Basic health care for everyone is way better than fancy health care for the few and little or nothing for the rest.

    August 3, 2009 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  21. Melissa

    The majority of Americans DO want health care to change. Stop trying to twist things, Republicans. We don't need your mindset anymore.

    August 3, 2009 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  22. Independent

    Welcome Back Bill....We Love You!!!!

    August 3, 2009 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  23. Frank


    "Universal Healthcare" = "Socialized Medicine",


    "Commercialized Healthcare" = "Profiteering from Pain"

    August 3, 2009 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  24. Nelson Colorado Springs Co.

    Former President Bill Clinton is right the GOP is at it AGAIN on health care for America. Why don't CNN, while congress and the senate is on break do a study on how much the insurance CEO make off American people like retiring Cigna CEO Edward Hanway making over 12 MILLIONS a year plus.

    August 3, 2009 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  25. Joe in NJ

    Oh shut up, Bill. People were against your health care plan for valid reasons, just like they are against this one. Well, actually it was your wife's health care plan which was an even bigger joke since you had no business putting her in charge of it.

    August 3, 2009 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
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