December 17th, 2009
04:48 PM ET
8 years ago

Former president's plea for health care reform

(CNN) - Former President Bill Clinton released a statement Thursday that calls for the passage of health care reform. Last month the former president met behind closed doors with Senate Democrats, to urge them to come to agreement on a health care bill. Clinton pushed for, but failed to win, major health care reform during his first term in the White House.

Statement from President Bill Clinton on Health Care Reform
December 17, 2009

New York, NY – "America stands at a historic crossroads. At last, we are close to making real health insurance reform a reality. We face one critical, final choice, between action and inaction. We know where the path of inaction leads to: more uninsured Americans, more families struggling to keep up with skyrocketing premiums, higher federal budget deficits, and health costs so much higher than any other country's they will cripple us economically.

Our only responsible choice is the path of action. Does this bill read exactly how I would write it? No. Does it contain everything everyone wants? Of course not. But America can't afford to let the perfect be the enemy of the good.
And this is a good bill: it increases the security of those who already have insurance and gives every American access to affordable coverage; and contains comprehensive efforts to control costs and improve quality, with more information on best practices, and comparative costs and results. The bill will shift the power away from the insurance companies and into the hands of consumers.
Take it from someone who knows: these chances don't come around every day. Allowing this effort to fall short now would be a colossal blunder - both politically for our party and, far more important, for the physical, fiscal, and economic health of our country."

Filed under: Bill Clinton
soundoff (117 Responses)
  1. Randy

    I get sick of hearing over and over the Repubs are in with big corporations, and that the same corporations are ruining the country. The same people who believe this are typically anti-capitalism and totally against the trickle down economics of the 80's. Now lets take a look back at the almighty ones stimulus plan, that was fully supported by the Dems. Look at how the money was dispersed, did one indivudual person get a government check, or did Obama and company pass this money down through large corporations. Trickle down with government at the top. All 536 (1 Pres, 435 House, 100 Senate), are in the pockets of big corp. Our country as we knew it is gone, the people need to revolt.

    December 17, 2009 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  2. mjm

    "It's obvious that Republicans no longer work for the people, they work big insurance companies."

    I never get tired of hearing this one.

    Republicans can't stop the bill.

    AARP stands to make millions off this deal. They support the Democrats

    30 Democrats just voted against an amendment that allowed drugs to be imported because they're in the pocket of Big Pharm.

    Insurance companies provide coverage for over 150 million people. They pay millions of health care bills, and somehow they are the bad guys.

    Where would we be without big business? How about 10% unemployment and growing?

    December 17, 2009 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  3. Reggie

    Why is it that only the liberalist of all democrats seem to want this bill passed, while only 34% of Americans want it to pass. Something is horribly wrong here. Vote those liberals right out of the senate.

    December 17, 2009 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  4. Jacqueline

    @ you think you would know what you were reading if you saw it? It's obvious what we have now isn't working. @ concerned democrat...It's not over yet. By the way all the items that would have helped American have not been removed. If there's one thing in there that would help is good, for example insuring those with precondition illness. Sometimes we start out small, and get more on the way as we go. Get your faith going Critics. Adobt a new attitude and plenty of gratitude. There's plenty to be grateful for. The Bill is better than what we have now..and again as I've said it's not over yet. We will get more.

    December 17, 2009 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  5. Dean

    It's simple guys NO PUBLIC OPTION =NO BILL, Trash it and start over
    oh and to our elected ones fix it or no vote

    December 17, 2009 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  6. Peggy - TX

    re Tom L. : The true irony of this is that people on the left say that all Republicans care about is big healthcare companies. However, this "reform" will mandate that every individual in the is country has to buy insurance from one of those big, bad companies. Pretty hilarious.

    Yes Tom, that is becasue we NOW are obliged to spend big $ when the uninsurred go to the emergency room for a bad cold; individuals need to take responsibility and ALL individuals need to contribute. Unlike the current situation where for every $3 going to health care $ goes to pay for deadbeats who use the emergency room as a clinic.

    December 17, 2009 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  7. Christian Values

    kat December 17th, 2009 5:45 pm ET

    The only thing the Healthcare debate has done over the past two years has increased the cost of healthcare coverage for those who already had healthcare coverage, (my monthly payments have gone up 40% over the past two years since Obama scared the insurance companies and the healthcare providers.)
    Did you say 'the last two years while Obama has scared insurance companies". I don't want to call you stupid, but he's been president less then a year. Get out of your little retarded corner and try to concentrate. They were going up PRIOR to him being president. Oh, and in case you are a FULL BLOWN MORON, here's a fact: They have ALWAYS gone up at a furious pace, hence the reason why we have been discussing health care reform for the past FORTY YEARS.

    Ok, thanks, now go on and share that info with the rest of your moron friends.

    December 17, 2009 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  8. mjm

    Clinton is full of it. He didn't read the bill. He has no clue what's in it, what it will cost or what kind of coverage it'll provide.

    NOBODY but Reid has read the bill. Reid is afraid to show the bill to anyone until the last minute.

    Must be a great bill.

    I remember when Bill lied about Monica. Once a liar....always.

    December 17, 2009 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  9. JulioW


    Democrats rove to be ineffective in convincing lawmakers to pass the bill.
    I don't understand their strategy. The same way Republicans go to Washington in TEA PARTY why don't they organize movements, sittings, and marches to support the Health care bill.

    They stay behind their computers sending letters asking for money but they are afraid to show their supports in the street. If they don't pass the health care bill I will never vote Democrats again.

    December 17, 2009 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  10. Peggy - TX


    NO IT IS NOT!!!

    I bet all of you are doctors and hospitical workers that simply do not want insentives to not make mistake. I wentt to the emergency room a month ago, had to wait a long time for theunisured to be seen, while my head bleed profusly. Then 10 days latter, when I came back to get staples removed from hy head, the Doctor that removed them did not know he was supposed to brake the staple before removing them and instead pulled them out – it hurt and took another week to heal. No, of couse I let that slide as I came out of it ok, but I hesitate to ever go back. If they can't get the simplest proceedure right, what else are messing up on and we never know about it.

    That emergency room visit cost my insurance company $1600+ and I had to pay $600 out of my pocket. I could have done an better job with just a stappler.

    December 17, 2009 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  11. u2canfail

    I was really happy about the buy in option to Medicare, what happend? AT 60+ this is a nightmare.
    I pay for my own insurance, can't wait to get sick and be dropped, but then I just got the notice..... going up another $150 a month next year. Maybe no insurance is the best option.

    I know the GOP doesn't want me to have insurance at all. At ever turn I have been told, "It is not a right." I can pay, but the rate is going out of my reach.

    I now hope for a "pox" on them. Then the loss of job, and insurance.

    December 17, 2009 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  12. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    We care about the unborn babies and we care about what happens to them after birth. Democrats for healthcare for all.

    December 17, 2009 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  13. Greg

    Just some clarification for those that believe tort reform is the answer. While I do not disagree that there should be changes to our litigation happy society, lawsuits are way less that 1% of healthcare costs. As far as crossing state lines that will not work without a federally mandated coverage as each state has different laws on the books, so you can be denied or not have access to the coverage you desire

    December 17, 2009 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  14. terry,va

    If the libs don't like this bill because it doesn't give enough handouts, then they need to go to Canada. The only people complaining about not getting enough, are those that don't have to pay higher taxes, insurance premiums etc.

    December 17, 2009 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  15. mjm

    "Yes Tom, that is becasue we NOW are obliged to spend big $ when the uninsurred go to the emergency room for a bad cold"

    Since when do we have to flip the bill for uninsured ER visits?

    Did read that in the "45000 people die every year because they have no health insurance" article? Because that was made up as well.

    December 17, 2009 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  16. LacrosseMom

    One more try to be posted............


    Place the Public Option BACK INTO THIS BILL!

    Capitalism = Competition! No competition, means, we the People, have no voice or choice!

    To all the naysayers: It is FACT that 99% of Americans are ONE medical crisis away from ......... bankruptcy.

    December 17, 2009 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  17. Marc, Canada - America handicapped by lack of single payer healthcare

    Americans are handicapped against all other nations economically and competitively by not agreeing to eliminate health insurance companies who cost you an extra 30% for healthcare that only covers 2/3rds of your population.

    TIme for a good dose of common sense? Single payer healthcare works in Canada and many other countries at a fraction of the cost of your insurance based for profit programs and ALL of our citizens are covered equally regardless of race, class or income status.

    We took action several decades ago to implement Universal Healthcare and it's the best thing our government ever did for the people.

    Stop listening to the GOP and insurance lobbyists and commercials that are motivated and financed by inurance companies that only have their own interests at heart.

    If you want to compete with the rest of the world then it's time to learn from the rest of the world.

    December 17, 2009 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  18. Hot Dog

    The failure to pass health care reform with out the public option is going to impact our economy in the long term. People will be unable to afford the cost of health care and the premiums will continue to increase over time.

    December 17, 2009 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  19. Cindy

    Nelson is Grandstander part deux. Disengenuous.

    What ever. We're this close. Make him happy... like good enough happy, not ecstatic happy, but just enough. And then vote. Just get it done already.

    December 17, 2009 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  20. stop the madness

    We are $12 trillion or so in debt, medicare is going broke, social security trust fund is empty and the country is literally operating off of a credit card. With all this, so many STILL insist on yet another entitlement program? This country's days are numbered....

    December 17, 2009 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  21. JES

    Go back into hiding.

    Just like the rest of them spend, spend, and spend our tax dollars without balancing the budget.

    December 17, 2009 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  22. B

    If the Democrats ALLOW the Republicans to screw this up and this goes down, we deserve what we get.....

    WAKEUP AMERICA before it is TOO LATE !!

    December 17, 2009 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  23. Crazy ass human being

    How affordable is affordable? Fed's get theirs for free off our dime.
    They call us the government. Riiigghhhtttt! They vote if WE get health care, the insurance companies gouge us for the price and decide if we get care.

    December 17, 2009 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  24. Marc, Canada - America handicapped by lack of single payer healthcare

    Can anyone explain why the White House continues to claim that proposed healthcare reform meets the test of lowering the cost of healthcare when the CBO still has not released the projections?

    December 17, 2009 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  25. Greg, MN

    Americans have spoken. Look at the polls (done by dem leaning news organizations). Watch the youtube videos of town hall meetings. Americans do not want this complete overhaul of the system some tweeks sure – sweeping change NO

    The DNC and their congress and administration want the power which means the dollars that will fund campaigns.

    Its all about money. And its not to save your health care costs.... or quality.

    December 17, 2009 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
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