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. Party Purity will never bring Political Power!


    If the conservative "christians" are indeed the "living example of Christ",
    He would stand by and let 45,000 adults, children and infants die each year just so He could keep his "gold coins" and attempt to defeat a black President..

    December 17, 2009 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  2. ggb

    Why do the dems still allow former pres Clinton a stage? The man was one vote away from impeachment, turned a blind eye to this country's security and yet, they allow the leach a voice. When will our elected officials hear those who oppose this bill? I want health care reform but overhauling the system to a government run agency is not the answer. There are so many less costly ways to accomplish affordable health care. Obama's plan will fail all people. It is your right to purchase health care....not the governments job to provide for you.

    December 17, 2009 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  3. Johnny DC

    Lets break down each of Clinton's big points:

    more uninsured Americans - plan fixes this

    more families struggling to keep up with skyrocketing premiums - costs per family will absolutely rise with this plan

    higher federal budget deficits - are you kidding?

    health costs so much higher than any other country's they will cripple us economically - are you kidding?

    Will we insure more Americans? With a public option, almost certainly. So Bill gets 1 point. But the other 3? They are beyond jokes. They will not only not be accomplished by the plans being debated right now, they will only be exacerbated.

    The Democrats are looking for one thing and one thing only - the passage of ANY health plan. They just want to score one giant point. America is waking up and won't fall for this. The Democrats have built their casket now - pass the bill and America will rebel, fail to pass the bill and America will laugh at the ineptness of a party given all the power yet still incapable of leading.

    December 17, 2009 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  4. Perusing-through

    NO ONE HAS MORE CREDIBILITY ON THIS MATTER THAN PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON. Thank you Mr. President. Thank you for such simplistic clarity.

    I am not sure who is worst? The Republican Party of NO (GOP), or the Progressive Liberal Democrats?

    December 17, 2009 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  5. T'SAH from Virginia

    The Democrats SHOULD listen but the RepubliCAN'Ts are Hard Headed – Head Strong and Dead Wrong – Playing with Politics – they have NO Suggestions and NO Solutions and NO Brains!!

    December 17, 2009 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  6. Kokua4u

    It certainly appears that it's the Republican's who have not read
    the reform bill, they keep making thoroughly erroneous claims!
    Democratic Party receiving 45% of new voter registrations here, with
    nearly 30% choosing "Independent".

    December 17, 2009 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  7. Gerry NH

    The health care bill is still behind closed doors but Bill Clinton wants it passed. No one has read it . At least ever senator should be required to read it before they are allowed to vote on it. Its like giving a blank check to a homeless person and telling them not spend more than $5.

    December 17, 2009 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  8. T'SAH from Virginia

    Everyone wants to TRASH the current bill and it's ONLY NO GOOD beause of the Public Option being SCRATCHED... We have to have something in this bill that would FORCE the insurance compainies to bring the prices DOWN – without that, YES, the bill is TRASH!!!

    But what really upsets me is that the RepubliCAN'Ts know we need health care reform and instead of making suggestions to make it work – they are "personally" on mission to not only DESTROY the bill – but to DESTROY President Obama.............. that is what makes me ANGRY!!!

    December 17, 2009 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  9. gary davis harbor oregon

    any democrate that doesn't vote yes on the health care bill should be ousted from office along with all the republican liers and some one please shut Howard Dean's mouth . nothing of any good ever comes out of this wanna be's mouth . he can get on a bus with Palin and move out of the country they are both idiots of a bottom feeding caliber. america needs to wake up and stop beleiving the liers against health care bill . if this doesn't get passed then I won't feel sorry for any american that votes against health care reform ..simple thing is ,liers usually win in a debate ,they can tell you what ever you need to hear , and that america majkes us all stupid so get used to higher premiums and wealther CEO'S of the insurance industry. you could take evrery one of them out and load them on a bus out of the country . GOD BLESS STUPIDITY 🙂

    December 17, 2009 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  10. Albo58

    Why anyone with even a little integrity would actually entertain listening to this convicted perjurer and complete party hack is beyond me! Furthermore, unless you have been sneaking into Harry Reid's office every night for the last couple of days you have NOT even read the bill because that's where it is locked up! So I have to ask, which sounds more logical: A. I am for the bill because I haven't read it or B. I am against the bill because no one has made it available for me to read it so I can make an educated decision? For the lib loons, you should have chosen B.!

    December 17, 2009 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  11. File under "Sarcasm"

    It's interesting that both former President Clinton and President use very similar words about how the bill is not perfectly written but since nobody by Harry Reed and a few cronies have seen it, I doubt very much that either Clinton or Obama know exactly what is written into the 2000 page Senate bill.

    The real issue is in their statements that not passing it would be a colossal blunder "politically for our party" regardless of wether it is good or bad for America.

    December 17, 2009 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  12. Ted:Canada

    Obama – keep the public option – without it the Insurance companies will bring you down – you need the option to keep them in check!!!!

    Letting them compete amongst each other across states is a myth – they will conspire to control – Been there!!!!

    In America five people own your health care system – only in America!!!

    YOU FOOLS!!!!!

    stop being a third world country – and put your people FIRST



    December 17, 2009 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  13. T'SAH from Virginia

    You know what – on a second thought – this may be good for the Democrats if they SCRATCH the bill and start all over. What EXCUSE would the RepubliCAN'Ts have then???? Huh???

    President Obama should VETO the bill and then see what happens. Give them another MONTH to get it RIGHT. We SHOULD NOT depend on any ONE or TWO persons to be the deciding factor of this bill either.............Hmm, for instance, LEIBERMAN!!

    December 17, 2009 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  14. Fitz In Texas

    What part do these people in Washington don't get. ...............THE AMERICAN PEOPLE DO NOT WANT THIS BILL......real simply to understand but Cliniton, Reid, Pelosi, Obama and the rest just don't get it.

    December 17, 2009 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  15. Change We Can Believe In


    Over Christmas, talk Hillary in to challengin Obama in the primary. At this point, John Edwards and all his baggage could beat this teleprompter-in-chief.

    December 17, 2009 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  16. phoenix86

    Leave it to Bill to keep trying to screw Americans.

    December 17, 2009 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  17. AJ

    I agree that we need health care reform. This bill is a disaster. It's nothing but a give away to the health insurance industry and a testament to bad leadership.

    December 17, 2009 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  18. Rebecca

    I find it fascinating that Sarah Palin could'nt find another hat to wear.
    That type of hat isn't expensive and she could, and should have easily picked one up at the airport on her way to Hawaii. So for her to say it was just a mistake, is a lie. It was intentional and I think shows her contempt for John McCain, and the lie, her contempt for the American people. If she really believes that people couldn't tell it was her just because she blacked out McCain's name then she is a fool!

    December 17, 2009 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  19. guy from NM

    Clinton is like Obama . Another Democrat who betrayed over and over whoever voted for him. Health care so called reform is another gift to the insurance companies. I already sent my voting card to the White House, not voting ever again in this country. The crooks are running it.

    December 17, 2009 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  20. Mountain Dude

    Anyone that votes against this has lost my vote along with Lieberman, for life. We wanted nationalized healthcare and I am sure a majority would support that over this bill too but with the GOP obstruction of the will of the people we have to take this, FOR NOW. I HOPE EVERY GOP SENATOR IS GONE IN 2010 SO THE WILL OF THE PEOPLE CAN NO LONGER BE SUBVERTED BY INDUSTRY WITH DEEP POCKETS!!!

    December 17, 2009 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  21. Renee, WA

    I love this president, President Obama. He makes me proud to be living in a world where there is hope. An Obamaless administration would mean going back to torture and big business ruthlessness. He has taken a lemon and made lemonade, but the right is still whining because their man lost.

    I can't wait to vote for President Obama again. Election day will be just as exciting as it was on November 4th, 2008. I can not wait. He is the right man, at the right time, and nobody, and I mean nobody is going to stop him from a second term.

    Obama/Biden 2012 and counting.

    December 17, 2009 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  22. YBM

    From reading the ignorance of the comments here, it is no wonder Obama won the election. The people that voted for him and are for this bill obviously cannot think for themselves.

    December 17, 2009 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  23. Rob

    Learning this week that the pharmacy companies, the insurance companies and the doctor's trade organization are very happy with the latest GOP supported version of the health care bill makes it clear that the nearly 100 million dollars they spent lobbying was money well spent. Now they have a bill wherein the BIG winner will be them and the uninsured or under insured will get kicked to the curb with a crumb in there about a denial of coverage preventative law. Congratulations to our Legislative Branch and Executive Branch for giving the next big corporate windfall to the medical industrial complex. Once the bill is passed and in place expect to see huge bonuses for their executives and the major players in Congress to emerge from office to go to work for them, quid pro quo.

    December 17, 2009 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  24. GI Joe

    Some of you say "we haven't seen it yet" --

    Good point. How can the republicans say they will vote NO if THEY haven't read it yet?

    Republicans are obstructing and trying to destroy all but the wealthiest in this country. That should work well. Where will they get their salaries then?

    December 17, 2009 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  25. Bpin

    Yep. Let's just pass it. Don't worry what is in it. Our number one mission in this effort is to be historic. First Black American President signs long awaited healthcare reform. Now that will standout in future history books. It will cure the ills of all the broken promises BHO has made but failed to achieve. It will signify that great change in Washington that BHO stirred in that campaign koolaide. It will get the Black Caucus off his back. He will be immediately hailed as the greatest President in US history and the greatest leader of all time, even topping Jesus Christ. A national week of praise and honor will immediately be declared. He will be annointed as the second coming and will send all the liberals to heaven. Hold it...waking up....what a nightmare!!!

    December 17, 2009 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
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