Hillary Clinton And Health Care Reform

[N.B. Lots of events worth following today in the Democratic presidential nomination race. Wes Clark will be on CNN’s Late Edition and Jim Webb will be on the C-SPAN show Newsmakers. The Tom Harkin Steak Fry will also be Live – online. The Steak Fry with most of the presidential candidates attending will begin at 2:30 p.m., CST.]

The third, and final, part of Hillary Clinton’s health care plan will be presented tomorrow in a speech delivered from a Des Moines, Iowa Hospital. Details of the plan are beginning to emerge.

Hillary Rodham Clinton will plunge back into the health care debate tomorrow with a sweeping plan that would require all Americans to sign up for health insurance — putting her at odds with top rival Barack Obama, Newsday has learned.

Her new plan would also make it easier for companies with fewer than 10 employees to offer affordable insurance, an attempt to defuse the opposition of small business owners and insurers who financed the infamous “Harry & Louise” TV ads that doomed “Hillarycare” 14 years ago.

Hillary of course is the undisputed master and initiator of health care coverage for all Americans.

I don’t think she’s got a lot to prove on health care at this point, she’s already got a tremendous amount of credibility on the issue,” said Jonathan Cohn, author of “Sick: The Untold Story of America’s Health Care Crisis” and a fellow at the progressive Demos network. “Clearly the lesson everyone has taken from 1994 is that she was too ambitious, so I think she’s not going to be as bold or challenge people as much this time around.”

She doesn’t have any qualms about challenging her opponents, however. The small business incentives in particular are intended to be “a point of distinction between her and Obama,” said a source familiar with the planning.

Obama favors forcing employers, not individuals, to sign up for insurance. Edwards and Clinton favor an “individual mandate,” which conservative critics believe is the first step to socialized medicine.

The price tag for the Clinton plan will be closer to Obama’s $50 billion to $65 billion estimate than Edwards’ $90 billion to $125 billion plan, sources said.

It’s not clear if Clinton will finance her proposal by repealing the Bush administration’s tax cuts for the wealthy, as Edwards and Obama have proposed. On the campaign trail, Clinton has hinted that she would save money by fostering efficiencies and squeezing savings from insurers and drug companies.

All the major Democratic candidates have plans which have some similarities:

The long-anticipated initiative has much in common with the Obama and Edwards proposals. All three plans allow individuals to choose among a wide array of private insurance plans, all would create massive “purchasing pools” of patients to drive down costs to individuals and all would prevent insurers from denying coverage to people with pre-existing illnesses.

Edwards, Obama and Clinton would also pump hundreds of millions into additional funding for wellness programs, fighting chronic illnesses, improving mental health services, combating obesity and expanding free health care to more poor and working-class children.

She first made a lot of these proposals in 1993 and they were regarded as revolutionary,” said Carol McDaid, a longtime health care industry lobbyist. “Now it doesn’t seem so revolutionary, it’s in the mainstream.”

Among the more incoherent attacks on Hillary by her opponents, regarding health care, is the notion that Hillary is beholden to health care lobbyists. At the same time the charge is made that she was too tough with health care lobbyists. Usually lost in the incoherent babble is the tens of millions of dollars spent by pharmaceutical companies to defeat health care when Hillary boldly attempted to reform the crumbling system.

One former insurance company executive recalled Clinton summoning top drug company executives to the White House for a dressing-down. “She storms into the meeting and ‘The days of profiteering in the pharmaceutical industry are over!'” the lobbyist recalled. “There were no handshakes, no ‘How was your flight’ … It was ugly, nasty. From that point on I knew her plan was dead.”

Clinton, who says she still bears “the scars” from the experience, is a less fearsome figure these days. Since being elected to the Senate, she’s enjoyed a good relationship with in-state drug companies such as Pfizer and has delivered federal funding to the hospitals she once demonized. Her rhetoric, particularly against Big Pharma, can still be fierce, but her pariahs are now patrons: The industry contributed more than $850,000 to her re-election campaign, the second highest level of contributions to any senator.

The charge of secrecy is also once again raised against Hillary and how her plan has been formulated, but of course no such “secrecy” charge is leveled against her opponents who also had private teams of health care specialists develop their plans. Hillary will be speaking with American voters to explain her plan.

Clinton also seems determined not to be undermined by a new “Harry & Louise,” pitching the plan all this week during a spate of network and cable TV appearances, a town hall meeting with voters and a Tuesday night webcast put on by media guru Mandy Grunwald.

“We’re taking this very seriously,” said a person in the Clinton camp. “It’s the biggest thing since we rolled out the campaign in January.”

We Need Hillary’s Experience And Wisdom To Make This Needed Change In Our Health Care System Happen.


47 thoughts on “Hillary Clinton And Health Care Reform

  1. hi all,

    good morning. we are pushing hard on creating some little buzz on Hillary’s healthcare plan on myDD. It looks to me Team Clinton is going out with a bang next week on this issue. The article suggests she’ll do speech, some prime time interviews, live webcast, townhall meeting. So I guess the next week our task is focused on her message, and create more momentum. Hopefully nothing will happen to distract her from staying on the message.

    Go Hillary.

  2. remember to stay on message next week. She’ll do speech, townhall meeting, interviews, live webcast on healthcare reform next week. Let’s help her create more momentum.

  3. Kostner, this week is going to be a serious battle with both the media and the ‘roots. If Hillary wins on health care(which clearly she should) then she wins the primary. I can’t see how she can lead on the two major issues of the day, Iraq and health care, and lose the primary. This week the knives come out. The oppo research is going to fly. We need to prepare for tht reality.

  4. I just finished watching Fridays Bill Maher show, and one of his guests were Carl Bernstein, as we know he wrote a book about her Woman in Charge. Bill said he had read as much as he could of it, saying it’s a BIG book.

    Now, what I found interesting is that Mr. Maher in the past has always said he is leaning towards John Edwards, partly because he thinks he could actually win in the GE. But on his show now he says that the republicans in the past have said they want Hillary to be the dem nominee because they think she will be easiest to beat, but he continues: “I don’t know anymore, she is getting stronger and stronger” and offers in a jokingly way, but still true to reality, what the republicans might be thinking now: “let us trick them into nominating the black guy”.
    This is the first time I have seen Maher come out and say that he thinks she’s a strong candidate who can actually win.
    It seem Bill Maher could in the near future push Hillary and be more positive towards her.

    Now of course the other two guests on his show Drew Carey, and Rep. Jan Schakowsky seemed more in the Obama camp, Schakowsky said she was working on his staff in her state. And Drew came off as a non informed bonehead. But apart from that, Hillary got some good advertisement if you will on this show, and I think this shows a general trend in society now, people are coming around to Hillary!! Even Bill Maher!! Hehe
    Here’s a link to this specific incident, 1 minute in and they begin talking about her. And then Bill does a little bit of trashing her(gotta get that in there) regarding health care, and bashing dems for being weak instead of standing up for that they believe in, oh well.
    And he does throw dirt at rudy for his attempt at muddling Hillary with his ad.


  5. Well, and last week Bill called Bill and Hill policy nerds, and said maybe that is what we need. People who know how to run government competently and are really into it. Yes, for about a month or so now, he has definately been turning toward Hill. His friend, Arianna, mst hate it. I think Drew Carey is a Republican.

  6. On Health Care there is only one question to ask. What other candidate has actually put together a National Health Care plan, and done battle with the opposition?

    HRC is the only one with first round expeirence, that will result in a second round win.

    We don’t have time for the learning curve to take place. We need a National Health Care Plan IMMEDIATELY. The other developed countries solved this a long time ago.

  7. Mark Green on Air America yesterday with Huff and friends really pressed Arianna about why Obama’s plan on Iraq is any better than Hillary’s. She really couldn’t come up with much. Obama’s plan is similar – in fact he probably stole most of it from Hill. Arianna was saying he thinks Congress needs to do more than just symbolic things. Well, BO is IN the Congress so what the heck is HE doing that is distinguishing himself from anyone else? Except for giving opportunistic speeches. Her hate Hill stance is starting to show its true colors. Good for Bill M. – I though he was actually sounding pretty sexist when talking about his support for Edwards instead of Hill. Maybe the guy’s getting a clue.

  8. I think Arianna is kinda like Oprah, I think they both realize now that they jumped on the Obama wagon too early, as they are both women who wants to be on the winning team, this must hurt!! 🙂

    You know, after watching the Petraeus hearing, I thought Hillary was kinda sober and subdued and quiet. But she sure knows what she is doing, she stole the headlines once again with her ‘suspension of disbelief’ line. Got so much attention for that, and Obama who spent his entire time giving his stump speech, quite flamboyantly and loudly, got: A-S-S…..hihihi

  9. Hello,

    Hillary seems to be an workaholic, she’s going to event after even and working very hard to get support. Obama, on the other hand, seems to be a rather lazy candidate…It’s just weird…

    U.S. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton told the biggest annual gathering of Lowcountry civil rights leaders Saturday that she will take five specific steps to help their cause if she wins the presidency next year.

    Clinton addressed almost 1,000 people during the Charleston NAACP’s 91st annual banquet, and she chose the occasion to unveil her plans for bolstering civil rights.

    Addressing the NAACP banquet was a political coup for Clinton, whose main rival in South Carolina is U.S. Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois. Black voters are expected to make up about half of those voting in the state’s Democratic presidential primary on Jan. 29.

  10. Gorto,

    “And Drew came off as a non informed bonehead.”

    That’s because he is.


    “I think Drew Carey is a Republican.”

    He is.


    Drew Carey has always been a ‘non-informed bonehead’, but at least he used to be a really nice guy, working-class Democrat from Parma, Ohio. Sometime after he started making the big bucks from his first TV show, he decided that he no longer wished to pay his fair share of taxes, and turned into a greedy Republican. How someone who arose from such humble roots can support an agenda that he now does is completely beyond me.

  11. I take your point. We have had six plus years of a lazy president, look where it has gotten us. We need a hardworking, committed, visionary one to put our country back on track. Hillary fits that bill, Obama does not, action speaks louder than words.

  12. Mornin’ y’all. Our girl is just amazin’. I believe the workaholic business somebody mentioned above. Has anybody diaried the speech last night on the big blogs? I cannot believe how Hillary just keeps on with somethin new all the time. She has a speech for seniors, a speech to the NAACP, a speech on Health Care. And in the midst of all that she flew to LA and held a town meeting and a fundraiser, then to South Carolina, then to Iowa. ANd yeah she touches down in the senate and does just the right thing. And a general endorses her. Not just any general but Wesley Clark. Had some folks on kos drinkin’ koolade over that one. Lord. She is amazin’. She doesn’t say the same thing over and over and over again like some folks. It’s new stuff and it’s just great. Sometimes i just gotta say how amazin’ she is. It doesn’t surprise me one bit cause I been watchin’ her for years doin’ great things. But she’s just amazin’. Mollyj

  13. If anybody’s out there, have you gotten through to the Steakfry yet? I can’t get the webcast. I just got CSPAN walkin’ around interviewin’ people. Some of ’em are right on with Hillary! –mollyj

  14. Saw this on a campaign blog. Is this potentially a problem for Hillary?

    nd then comes the bad news. The DNC and the Florida primary party have been engaged in harsh war of words for the past few weeks. No one really expected the Florida Democrats to back down, but it appears this is exactly what they are planning on doing:

    While state party officials insist no ”consensus” has been reached on what the party should do, there is a growing recognition that within the next week Democrats will announce a plan that renders the primary vote non-binding in order to comply with national party rules. Florida Democrats will instead decide some time after Jan. 29 which presidential candidate is the winner of the state’s delegates to the national convention. One suggested plan is to have Democrats vote by mail, although another proposal that may win out calls for Democrats to hold a state convention sometime after Feb. 5.

    I’ve written over recent weeks about why even DNC punishments would not reduce Florida’s advantage significantly enough to actually threaten the Clinton campaign. Whether or not there were delegates at stake the media would still treat the contest seriously and report it the results, especially because the GOP contest will happen the same day and will not be a beauty contest. Even if Florida Democrats back down and say themselves that no delegates are at stake on January 29th, the same caveats will apply: Republicans have a contest the same day, Democrats will have a winner, newspapers will mention it, etc. But if the Florida party itself says that this is a beauty contest, well then it would become very hard for the Clinton campaign to recover from potential early state trouble with a Florida firewall strategy!

  15. Paula, I can’t make heads or damn tails outta what’s goin on in FL. I couldn’t get my computer streamin to work to hear HIllary at the steak fry either so i am fit to be tied. IT got stuck on Richardson sayin the same phrase over and over and over again. It was like a nightmare. Anyhow, that FL shit worries me too. SOmebody who knows somethin please explain thanks, mollyj

  16. The Steak Fry is also on C-Span so they will probably have a video of it up soon.

    As a reminder, Tom Harkin ran an honorable and courageous campaign in 1992 opposite Bill Clinton. Tom Harkin is a reminder to all Democrats about how to run a clean campaign based on issues. Harkin also did not use his wife to attack other candidates.

    Tom Harkin deserves a great deal of praise and re-election in 2008.

  17. Gorto Rep. Jan Schakowsky seemed more in the Obama camp

    She formally endorsed Obama early on, along w/ the entire IL delegation save Emmanuel.

  18. Admin you are sure right about Tom Harkin. He’s a great person and a good democrat that doesn’t resort to those kinds of tactics.

  19. guys rep emmanuel is torn. he worked with the clintons for years. better he stay neutral than endorse the favorite sun.

  20. The Steak Fry was fun. Hillary as always shone. It is something that keeps popping up repeatedly with Hillary that even as she discusses somber issues there is an impish gleam in her eyes and she appears to genuinely be having fun and enjoying herself.

    One “gossipy” note: did anyone notice Hillary’s security guy (trailing her as she signs autographs) has an eerie resemblance to John Edwards? Catch the rerun and watch him (white shirt, dark jacket, not as nice a haircut) following Hillary after the Steak Fry on the C-SPAN coverage. Not an earthshaking observation but it struck our beady eyes.

    Lots and lots of women at this event and they all surround Hillary. Wonderful sight.

    Update: We were remise in not noting Hillary endorsee Ruth Harkin in Hillary matching Pink was there too.

  21. I missed the speeches but am now watching as they are working the crowd on C-SPAN. A LOT of people around Hillary, maybe Obama had walked far away and few people were standing far out, but it seems a lot of people follow her and their enthusiastic as well.

    A funny moment just happened to Obama tho, did anyone else see it?
    Someone handed Obama a Hillary sign!! And he commented, “A Hillary sign?!” hahahaha, very funny. he seemed appalled, hihi

    Shes still working the crowd, I can’t imagine anyone really like doing that stuff, cameras right in your face, and hands, politicians, a weird species.
    hehe, but shes a good version!

  22. The Iowa Independent has a summary of Hillary’s remarks at the Steak Fry:


    Harkin is introducing Sen. Hillary Clinton, who will speak next. Clinton staff and supporters are drowning out Harkin’s introduction with chanting, “HILLARY!”
    “Hillary did us proud in her two terms as our nation’s first lady,” Harkin said. Mentions that Clinton won reelection in both Democratic and Republican sections of New York. “She was… raised in a middle class family in the middle of America… She’s in the middle of a quest to become the first woman president of the United States.”

    3:28 Clinton takes the mic.

    “What we’re doing today is building a new ‘Field of Dreams,'” quoting the movie about the field located in Iowa.

    On to the list of thank-yous.

    3:30 Call and response, early on:

    “Are you ready for change?”

    “Are you ready for quality affordable health care?”

    “Are you ready for a Vice President who respects” the Constitution?

    Are you ready to bring troops home “as quickly and responsibly as possible?”

    “We cannot continue on the path that George Bush has taken us… You cannot be a leader if no one follows, and right now, our values, our interets, are being shoved aside — not only by our enemies who have been emboldened, but by our friends and allies who think we no longer know how to lead.”

    Troops deserve to come home, “because there is no military solution.”

    “Unfortunately, both the Iraqi government and the Bush administration have failed.”

    “I will not wait until I’m inaugurated. The day after I’m elected,” she’ll send people around the world to say “The era of cowboy diplomacy is over!”

    3:32 And now she’s running through various constituencies, who each “feel invisible.” (This messaging is consistent with her TV ad, which was called “invisible.”) “How have we come to apoint where even our veterans feel invisible in America?”

    Talks about the economy, and how good a job her husband did as President. Even Alan Greenspan, a Republican, has praised Bill Clinton’s administration, she notes.

    On health care: 1. get costs down, 2. improve quality, 3. cover everybody.

    Tomorrow, Clinton will lay out “the third part” of her plan, which she says will “guarantee” universal coverage. “I understand that the special interests don’t want change… We’re going to take them on this time, and when I’m president, we’re going to get it done. We’re going to have universal health care.”

    Citing the importance of a strong labor movement (did not use the word “union” at any point, but it was a short soundbyte). Improve education, including early childhood. Transparency in government. Appointing “quality” people to do federal jobs.

    3:37 Running for president, Clinton says, is an extension of her life “as an activist.” She mentions her time working for the Children’s Legal Defense Fund.

    Mentions explicitly, “I am excited about being the first woman president.”

    In the face of doubts [lanudry list of them], Clinton responds “Yes, we can,” also echoing campaign messaging.

    Mentions that parents bring their daughters to Clinton rallies to show them that they can grow up to be President. Old women (in their 90s), are thrilled to have the opportunity to see a female president within their lifetimes. This is a direct, explicit appeal to women: “Be part of making history with me starting with the Iowa Caucus…”

    Folds back into general stump speech. “And I am ready to lead, if you’re ready for the kind of changes that America desperately needs.”

  23. It was a great showing for our girl. Good introduction by Tom Harkin, great speech, and good job of mingling with supporters, who managed to out shout the Obamaniacs. Hillary was in her element and seemed to have a good time.

    I thought the next best candidate on the stage was Joe Biden. He is smart guy and a straight shooter. Perhaps that is why he and Hillary have so much respect for eachother.

  24. a sidenote today at the steakfry-hillary’s got game—
    Hillary, confrontational on healthcare

    Hillary, who has been pushed by John Edwards on this specific point, adopted a strikingly more confrontational tone talking about healthcare reform today in her address to Tom Harkin’s Steak Fry in Indianola, during almost-shouted, hoarse-voiced speech interrupted repeatedly by applause.

    “I know how hard it is,” Clinton said of healthcare reform. “I’ve been up against these people. I understand that the special interests don’t want change. They’re willing to just keep dragging us further and further into the ditch.

    “We’re going to take them on this time, and whem I’m president, we’re going to get it done – we’re going to have universal healthcare.”

    Minutes later, she returned to the theme of confrontation, this time narrowing her field of opponents.

    “To those who think we can’t have universal healthcare because the insurance companies and the drug companies won’t let us, I think we say, ‘Yes we can,'” she said.

  25. mollyjrichards:

    I agree…hillary did great at the harkin fry….did anyone notice that Obama mentioned that recently in S.C., he arrived late, had to get up early, drive (BE DRIVEN) to event for 90 min and it was raining! And how TIRED he was!….Hmmmm he better realise that being POTUS is hard work….Not cut out to the do job yet!!!!

    Hillary outworks them all!

  26. Thank’s everybody for puttin’ up that blog of the events. I’ll wait for the re-runs. I am listenin’ to Jim Webb talk on CSPAN. He comes across quite well. I have to say I haven’t seen him before. He’s talkin’ about his kids. I wonder if Hillary ever gets tired? –mollyj

  27. haha that’s funny mp, yeah he is whining, and still he is not doing his job in the senate as well as Hillary is either, she by far out performs them when it comes to actually voting in the senate.

    And you never hear Hillary whine!

    Another bad thing about having Bush in the white house is, it is making people such as Obama think he can be President too. Must be thinking to himself “well I can do that!, he (bush) does it, how hard can it be?”
    Maybe he is looking forward to vacationing as much as bush does.

  28. Hey molly, you can actually see Hillary in an off the moment say she is tired in one of her HillCam videos on her website, the one where she and Bill goes to a dairy queen, and she looks tired too, poor thing, she it busting her a-s-s off working tho. 🙂

    She has also talked about her staff knowing so well what she is able to take, when she needs to rest etc… they know her well and lays her schedule to fit her capabilities.

  29. Hey Gorto, She’s got such a great organization. A good team who knows her very well. I’m sure she does get tired. I’m listening to the rerun on CSPAN right now. Hopefully my computer won’t go bonkers when bill richardson is talkin and I’ll be able to hear her speech! I’m listening to BO’s speech right now. He’s talking about workin’ with a home health aid. He’s making experience synonomous with Bush. Again. I’ll get back to makin’ my freezer jam till Hill gets on. –mollyj

  30. When Hillary spoke today she also mentioned Alan Greenspan’s praise of Bill Clinton’s economic policies in Greenspan’s new book. Hopefully Big Media will take the time to point that tidbit out in their articles.

  31. I just got back from the Harkin Steak Fry, we dominated the sign wars. Hillary signs lined the main highway to the event, and there were the big signs every where too. She had tremendous support there and there were 12,000 + at the event. Tom and Christie Vilsack were there too. It was wonderful.

  32. Hello folks,

    I read the following from freeper land. Can anybody comfirm this?

    60 Minutes Greenspan Interview Trashes Republican Presidents; Clinton was the Smartest –

    60 Minutes aired an interview with former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan this evening. He inferred Nixon was vulgar and profane, Ford was a nice guy, Reagan wasn’t that bright and was just an opportunist intested in his public image, and naturally Bill Clinton was the smartest of all that he’d served under. He went on to say how bright Hillary was and that Bush lied to him about the truth of our prosperity. Now folks, I’m considering the source and I knew where this propaganda piece was heading, but it was pathetic. Barf-a-rama.

  33. Hello Admin,

    I found the ’60 minutes’ Greenspan interview transcript. We should push this story in the next few days. Here’s the money quote.

    President Bush later said it was Greenspan’s fault he lost the election in 1992 to Bill Clinton.

    Clinton was the only Democrat Greenspan served under, and he says he was the smartest. “Even though I clearly was a Republican, I had to admit he was an extraordinarily effective president,” Greenspan says.

    “You seem to have gotten along with him best of all your presidents,” Stahl remarks.

    “That’s right,” Greenspan agrees. “The bottom line is what he called our relationship when he said, ‘We, I think, are the odd couple.'”

    Stahl asked what he thought of Hillary.

    “Very smart. She and I got along reasonably well,” Greenspan says.

    Asked if he thinks she can handle the presidency, Greenspan says, “Certainly. I think she’s unquestionably capable. The question is she the best person for the job?”

    “And?” Stahl asks.

    “My tendency would be to vote Republican,” Greenspan says.

    He got so close to Clinton and his economic team, that he began visiting the White House as often as once a month, something his predecessors had not done.

    What was going on?

    “Well, I was basically being an economic consultant,” Greenspan says.

    “But is that proper for the Fed chairman to become an economic consultant of the administration, given the need for the appearance of total independence?” Stahl asks.

    “We are one government. The Federal Reserve is not the foreign enemy. I was very knowledgeable about lots of different subjects,” Greenspan admits.

    “You were influencing policy,” Stahl remarks.

    “I hope I was,” Greenspan says.

  34. I’m actually a little surprised he didn’t like Reagan more, since he’s the president conservatives absolutely adore.

    His comments about Hillary are classy, too.

  35. Paula,

    Yes. Media is always falling for this sort of stuff. But even without O.J. story, don’t expect them to cover Hillary’s healthcare plan extensively. Policy to them is just boring.

    CNN will be talking about Greenspan next!

  36. I am so sick of people sayong Obama is more “progressive” than Hillary. They seem to think he and Edwards are of the same cut and then there is corporate Hillary. First, all three are extremely close on the issues, most of this is just posturing. But, look at Hil’s health care proposal, it’s much more progressive than Obama’s, and this is tru on a number of issues.

  37. when is hillary’s speech tommorrow? will it be on cspan or her website? I would think so. I need to cirulate those details to our volunteers here in texas..

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