February 7th, 2010
01:50 PM ET
13 years ago

Clinton sounds off on health care reform

Washington (CNN) – The woman who was the face of Democratic efforts to pass a health care reform bill when the last Democratic president was in the White House says she’s happy to share her wisdom on the subject when asked.

In an interview set to air Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union, former first lady and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton weighs in on the continuing battle over health care reform on Capitol Hill.

“Are you getting a little déjà vu watching this?,” CNN Senior Political Correspondent Candy Crowley asked Clinton.

“Well it's really hard,” said Clinton. “It is a complex issue that touches everybody about which both people and interests have really strong feelings. But I haven't given up yet, and I know the White House hasn't given up. And I - I don't think a lot of the members of Congress have given up. So I'm not sure that this last chapter has been written.”

Asked whether she dispenses any wisdom garnered during her failed efforts to push a health care reform bill through Congress during his husband’s administration, Clinton said she is glad to share what she knows.

“Well when I'm asked I am very happy to respond,” Clinton said. “I mean it's not anything I have direct responsibility for, but I've had a number of conversations. And both in the White House, and on the Hill, and with others who are playing a constructive role. And I - I like I think many Americans hope that there can be a positive outcome.”

During her 2008 White House bid, Clinton’s failed push for health care reform while first lady got her commitment, if elected, to push for universal coverage dubbed “Hillarycare” by many of her conservative and Republican critics.

After beating out Clinton for the Democratic nod and then besting Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, in the general election, President Obama made passing a health care reform one of his top domestic legislative priorities in 2009. National Democrats have thus far been unable to get a bill passed and the party suffered a large blow recently when Republican Scott Brown won a Massachusetts special Senate election last month. Sworn in last week, Brown is now the 41st member of the Senate Republican Caucus and he ran on a pledge to be the 41st vote Senate Republicans need to filibuster a Democrats’ health care reform bill.

soundoff (91 Responses)
  1. Never mind

    When I first saw the headline I thought it was going to be an interview of President Bill Clinton and I was interested to hear what he had to say. Then I read and found that it was just Hillary, hogging the camera, trying to keep her failed political career in the limelight.

    Never mind, if it had been Bill it would have been worth watching the video. But not Hillary. What a has been.

    February 7, 2010 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  2. lannymous

    It appears this morning that the Progressive/Leftist media has decided to change horses in the middle of the god king's first year in office. You people created these monsters. I hope they consume you.

    February 7, 2010 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  3. Sickening

    It sickens me how people don't want better for the United States, OUR country. Health care should be a right for all Americans. If our new U.S.Senator Brown cares anything about the people, he will quit manipulating and help the Democrats get something passed. I cannot believe the Americans who allow these leaders to deceive them, when it will only benefit us all. It shows just how much we need education reform, too.

    February 7, 2010 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  4. buckwheat

    I was never a Hillory supporter till I saw the results of this election.She would be a breath of fresh air now and would go in in a landslide if the election was held now after the fact. The women had their chance and blew it.

    February 7, 2010 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  5. ICARE - countdown to 2011

    The deal is, Obama lost 2 key individuals to help him out with the reform. They are Kennedy and Daschle. He is left to fight without a shadow to help him oversee this complex mess.

    February 7, 2010 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  6. Scott, Tucson

    obama had his 60 vote veto proof majority and he still could not get his own democrats to pass obamacare, even with the under the table bribes to win votes. It was a bad bill so send it back to committee and improve it. First by including Tort Reform than eliminate the sweetheart exemptions to the unions and to include all politicians shall enroll into the same plan we're being force to sign onto.

    February 7, 2010 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  7. Keith in Austin

    America Needs Healthcare Reform! America does not need Obozocare with our health plans proposed by Harry, Nancy and other liberal Democrats!

    February 7, 2010 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  8. paul

    No matter what anyone wants to say about the Clintons, or even Hillary Clinton, this woman has been nothing but classy over the years. From her comment years ago about not "baking cookies in the kitchen" as a poor metaphor for the working woman to her solid performance of standing next to her husband when he did the unthinkable to her and Chelsea. No other woman has held themselves up right and not sold themselves out or ruined their image.

    I am very happy for Chelsea and definitely for Hillary at this moment. She is truly going to be one happy mother of the bride! And she deserves it as much as the next mother of the bride. HAVE A GREAT TIME!

    February 7, 2010 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  9. Hugo

    As I recall, Clinton's healthcare input on reform during her tenure in the WH was to call for criminalization and penalties to the public should they fail to purchase or sign up....

    It will be a good day for America in 2010 and 2012, when we rid ourselves of these lifer elitists in DC that like John Edwards, think they are above us and know better what we need for ourselves!

    February 7, 2010 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  10. Kevin in Ohio

    Those who fail to learn the lessons of history are doomed to repeat them.... this failed in 1993, and failed in 2010. Why? Its too BIG and too COSTLY!!!!! Its that simple. America needs "surgical" Health Care Reform....one step at a time. Lets start with Tort Reform and allowing competition across state lines, and a workable means to end pre-existing condition exclusions. On those points, there can be agreement, except from those on the fringe lunatic left.

    February 7, 2010 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  11. Willy Brown

    It's dead till after the November republican land slide elections.

    February 7, 2010 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  12. GI Joe

    How come no one ever talks about the biggest entitlement (and least deserved)?

    Our ex-congress members are entitled to a very very very big $$ amount after just 6 or 8 years sitting on a "hill" in D.C. How many Americans get that much after working 40 or 50 years? NONE. How many get that much from corporate america after 6 or 8 years? ONLY wall street and congress.

    Time to wake up people. THAT entitlement needs to change drastically. It's part of our deficit. It's part of the budget EVERY YEAR.

    February 7, 2010 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  13. CC

    Ask yourself one question, when was the last time the Republican party pushed for any changes to the system we have? They, as a party, are completely satisfied with pre-existing conditions, dropping coverage during times of need, and with exponentially rising costs otherwise why wouldn't they have done something. They ruled Congress under Clinton and Bush, yet they pushed for NOTHING no changes that would have an affect on the situation we face today. They don't want health care reform they wan to win a battle for bragging rights on the war.

    February 7, 2010 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  14. Jeremy

    Call the bill whatever silly names want. Even if you personally dislike Obama or Clinton, for whatever reasons you can justify, all Americans need health care and Obama and his team are trying to help us get it. Many of the central ideas in the current bill were originally proposed by Reblicans, like John McCain. While I respect that some Republicans are fundamentally opposed to the ideas in the bill, most who oppose it now do so for purely political reasons. They are concerned primarily with re-election, and have allowed themselves to be overly influenced by the 24 hour news media circus. I'd be interested to hear how many of them would like to repeal Medicare and Medicaid, two incredibly popular "socialist" programs. Democrats should call their bluff, bring on a filibuster, and show the American people where the true interests of many of these politicians truly lie.

    February 7, 2010 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  15. rachel

    Some of you really have issues. You offer nothing but criticisms and no solutions, and the only way the republicans will win the white house again is to starting airing commericals of scott brown and sarah palin without there clothes on with the sound all the way down.

    February 7, 2010 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  16. american patriot

    Hillar Clinton has done about as little as Codeliza Rice.
    Fly all over and accomplish NOTHING.

    February 7, 2010 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  17. Nancy

    It is sick to know that there are so many people that is against health care and the government. Now tell me, if I am correct anyone. Who is taking care all of these people who sit home everyday and watch TV why you go to work. How many people go to the hospital with no insurance and the working people pick of their tab. People let's be for real. You guys who is against health care is only because the President is black and you want nothing to do with hime.

    Well if you elect dizzy Barbie you will not only have Sarah running the country but First Dude calling the shots and she will be paying be prices to get the best potilical speech which is not her own. Why can't people see that Sara Palin is a fake but if this is what you want as President with no brain, we could have left Bush and Chenny in for another disaster.

    February 7, 2010 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  18. lannymous

    rachel honey, patriots ARE offering solutions. You folks are just ignoring them, in favor of a jihadist thug occupying the Oval Office.

    February 7, 2010 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  19. annie against biased news

    This thing the demon-crats crafted behind closed doors is about as far from being a 'health' care plan than a fish on a bicycle. Every REAL AMERICAN realizes there needs to be health care 'reform' but certainly not government rationed health care which would only further destroy our financial part of our country even more so than obama already is. These behind closed doors deals cut with the unions, ben stealin' nelson and the theft of taxpayer dollars by ho landrieu have absolutely nothing to do with health care – it is simply about making the fat cats fatter. The unions should be abolished and if this government rationed (no) health care debacle is crammed down the throats of REAL AMERICAN citizens then EVERY stinking politician should be forced to take it also including the so-called president. Contrary to what they might think they are no better than anyone else and in most cases they are a lot worse than the majority of the people.

    February 7, 2010 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  20. duh ray ray

    Duh,Im from the south,we dont need no stinking healthcare or teeth for that matter.

    February 7, 2010 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  21. Ancient Texan

    America needs Healthcare reform, true. But Government run? NO! The government can't successfully run anything, period. I constantly see Medicare and Medicaid, and Social Security brought up to enforce the LIberal viewpoint. They are all about to be BANKRUPT. Tort Reform, Availability of Insurance across state lines, and eliminating the pre-existing condition exclusion would be an excellant start. Of course, the far left wants single payer-free coverage.

    February 7, 2010 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  22. annie against biased news

    Nancy – bevis and butthead running the country would be better than what we have now who are only trying to destroy this country.

    February 7, 2010 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  23. Drew

    Make the Republican show how stupid they are not to vote for something they wanted. People stop listening to Sarah and the Tea Party because she is only creating a war against our country and the other countries is laughing at the USA. Sarah who don't know which end is up and the stupid people who listen to her speech are just as silly as Sarah. If you read and listen people, Obama is not taking anything that you don't have. What he want to do is add something so that your life will be better. If you listen to Palin speech last night she is dividing the who country into a war and you stupid followers don't see this or don't care. Wake up people before you fall off the cliff with Sarah and the other tea people who are dring more that tea.

    February 7, 2010 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  24. Truth teller

    Who cares what this worthless broad thinks.

    February 7, 2010 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  25. conservative

    She's happy to share what wisdom?

    February 7, 2010 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
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