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. ICARE - countdown to 2011

    To Buckwheat....

    It should have been Hillary/Obama but I am passed that and I have accepted Obie.

    In reality, I really wanted Gore for Prez. He had a vision for America and he even earned a Nobel Prize for his work. He's truly a leader.

    Had he been elected in 2000, America would have been ushered into the Jetson Age, instead, we got stuck in the oil pit with the ELEPHANTS.

    February 7, 2010 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  2. John

    Old timer:

    You say there is nothing wrong with the U.S. health care system. For your information, 45,000 Americans die every year because they don't have health insurance. You call that "nothing wrong"???

    Congress needs to finish the job. No other country on earth would put up with the kind of health care system we have, and none do. We pay twice as much as anyone else and get less. And like I said above, our system is deadly – more Americans die every year from lack of health insurance than from car accidents.

    February 7, 2010 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  3. ICARE - countdown to 2011

    From reading these posts, it seems as if there are many many more Americans with brrains, but after flowing into the system, THE POLICIES came out looking like TOYOTA'S PRISM...

    Something wrong there.... Term limit needed maybe?

    February 7, 2010 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  4. dan

    Sorry, Madame Secretary, it is not hard. Corporate interests control the health care debate, hence why this dog and pony show about health care reform took place. Like other bought politicians, it is hard for you to acknowledge and speak the truth.

    February 7, 2010 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  5. Get Real


    I thought Barack won NOT Hillary.

    February 7, 2010 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  6. Michael

    Yet another triumph of Big Industry over the American people.
    It has been over 150 years since Pres. Lincoln invoked government by the people, of the people, for the people; yet the rights of people to things as basic as health care still take second place to the "rights" of industry to maintain a 60% profit margin!
    Now the neocons are screaming that corporations are entitled to civil rights. We live in a fascist state; the difference is that there are still a few people in our government working for us, the people. Thank you, Sen. Clinton; God bless you.

    February 7, 2010 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  7. RNC = DNC = politics as usual

    Sad to see the Hillary haters are out in force. I think we will see some of the haters turn into whiners when they realize Obama is blowing the chance for healthcare reform. And is the failed attempt of the future.

    February 7, 2010 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  8. brett

    People still say NO to heathcare, why does they still stubborn alike real donkey? Just alike as city's school levy has been stubborn to bring up at every election after vote says NO...

    "NO NO NO NO", why dont they listen to real people?

    February 7, 2010 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  9. Dave R

    There is a way to make Social Security & Medicare instantly solvent. Remove the 1st $100,000 cap on FICA taxes. There were many years when I got a little bonus in December because my gross income had already reached $100,000. Any one making $100,000 or more surely should be able to handle continuing to pay FICA taxes.

    February 7, 2010 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  10. Stop the Nonsense

    Healthcare giant Anthem BLue Cross announced premiums for individuals would go up by 395 starting in March here in California.
    This is a direct repsonse to Congress not passing a healthcare bill.
    They have thumbed thier noses at us, laughed at the inept leaders in The House and Senate and have probalby sent gift baskets to the Republicans.
    All of you that opposed the measures put forth, enjoy what your hysterics will eventually cost you.

    February 7, 2010 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  11. cel

    True health care reform will mean insurance companies are forced to give up their Sherman Anti Trust exemption and compete failry. That will mean they will need and want universal coverage for everyone and We The People will get fair prices for our coverage.

    February 7, 2010 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  12. JonDie

    Republicans will NEVER allow health reform because they fervently believe that:

    1) Insurance and hospital company profits come first;
    2) It is right to deny coverage for pre-existing conditions (to help 1 above);
    3) It is right for let people to easily lose their coverage;
    4) It is right to NOT cover millions of Americans; and
    5) It is in their best interests to let health care costs continue to spiral out of control until the entire system collapses.

    That's what Scott Brown and Sarah Palin and the Tea Party are all about...anarchy.

    February 7, 2010 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  13. JP Bless

    America... the only industrial nation – rather the only developed nation in the world without [some sort of] national healthcare. Does that explain why there are 40 million uninsured Americans who [as a result] have no access to healthcare in the world's richest nation?

    February 7, 2010 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  14. Blutarski

    I am absolutely for Health Care Form. I am one hundred percent against this current bill. I do believe that those people in this country who do not have insurance should have it. Insuring them would be pennies compared to the cost of the current bill. Leave my insurance alone, and don't penalize me, or my employer for having it. My insurance is a benefit which offsets my low salary. Explain why we can't shop for insurance across state lines. Wouldn't the competition drive costs down?

    February 7, 2010 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  15. Perusing-through


    Republican GOP hypocrites and their special interest lobbyist cohorts killed Clinton's attempt at healthcare reform in 1993. These same hypocrites have all but destroyed Obama's attempts at healthcare reform in 2009-2010.

    And in between both Democratic attempts, the GOP hypocrites have done nothing of real significance to help small businesses or hardworking middle-class Americans survive the overbearing weight of securing affordable healthcare.

    February 7, 2010 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  16. annie against biased news

    Social Security is not bankrupt – those funds are being stolen to pay unions high priced retirement plans. Dissolve unions, let politicians keep their theiving fingers out of the Social Security fund and the world would be a much better place.

    February 7, 2010 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  17. Perusing-through


    Republican hypocrites and their special interest cohorts annihilated Clinton's attempt at healthcare reform in 1993. The hypocritical GOP snakes have nearly destroyed Obama's attempts at healthcare reform in 2009-2010.

    And in between both Democratic attempts, the GOP hypocrites have done nothing to help small businesses or hardworking middle-class Americans survive the overbearing weight to secure affordable healthcare.

    February 7, 2010 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  18. proud mother and sister of soldiers

    @ sickening.....it has nothing to do with not wanting health care for all individuals but about reforming health care and making it affordable. That is what the dem's and Obama are overlooking. Citizens also say they want what Canada has. Is everyone willing to pay taxes with a starting tax at 37% for lower income and nnot get refunds? Are seniors willing to pay this tax and not see tax refunds? I don't think so. Canadians ALL pay from 37% to 51%. In this country, less than half the population pay the taxes that actually work for this country. You all get refunds. Another note coming from my Brit and Canadian friends....the system is bankrupting the country because people abuse the medical care simply because it is "free". Affordable insurance is a must for this country but not Obama's plan!

    February 7, 2010 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  19. Steve in North Carolina

    Reply to NS in HI. I agree. What we have now is broken and innefficient. It is fraught with overcharging, fraud and waste. I would like to see some sort of reform, but I would like to see reductions not increases in government spending. The only winners in our current system and what is being proposed to date by congress is insurance companies, drug companies, and medical providers.

    February 7, 2010 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  20. Center left-out

    Oh, pass Health care and get it over. Scrub the Bill get out the backroom deals and pass it! The Democrats are like having a much of cowards for protection. Show the public you can listen /learn from your mistakes and get the job done!

    February 7, 2010 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  21. Jeff Spangler, Arlington, VA

    Can it be totally wrong to pray for the demise of someone who has been so annoying and so wrong about so many things for such a long time as to deprive her of the right to be seen or heard ever again?

    February 7, 2010 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  22. Steve in North Carolina

    Reply to Lisa. Maybe I don't see your big picture. The one I see is the government continuing to throw money (mine and yours) in a wasteful manner to try to make problems go away and in the process create a bigger one. I would like to see a well thought out approach to our medical reform efforts instead of the continued cobbled-up plans that end up benefiting the insurance and drug industries more than the people.

    I think one of the best medical programs sponsored by the government happened to be the physical fitness campaign started by JFK in the 60s. It was economical and produced results.

    By the way, I and my children have worked muliple jobs to make ends meet and I am still singing the same tune.

    February 7, 2010 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  23. Chris

    Health care reform for the sake of saving the American taxpayer money is what we need. Reform to 'give' more aid to those on welfare is the wrong approach and will never work. It's time to get people off of welfare and make them realize they need to go to work to HELP America, not sink America. They wanna pass healthcare reform? Get the freeloaders off of the system!

    February 7, 2010 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  24. In the West

    Fitz: You're mistaken. Jefferson never said this, Gerald Ford did (look it up). How about making a small effort as you try to slam our democratically elected president?

    February 7, 2010 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  25. In the West

    Once again we see the repugnantcans hate Obama so much that they will try to derail legislation that will help many Americans. Around 30 million American citizens can't afford health insurance. Are you right-wingers proud of that?

    February 7, 2010 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
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