Bill Clinton Says He Deserves Blame for Failed Health Reform
Former President Bill Clinton, husband of presidential candidate Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.), on Thursday during a speech in Glenwood, Iowa, said his wife has "taken the rap for some of the problems" that his administration had with efforts to implement health care reform during the 1990s, although those issues "were far more my fault than hers," the AP/Minneapolis Star Tribune reports.
Bill Clinton said that efforts to implement health care reform failed during the 1990s because of a lack of funds and opposition in Congress. He said, "We told her she had to get to universal coverage and there would be no new money. She had to figure out how to do it." In addition, he said, "This time, when you let the tax cuts for upper-income people expire, it'll create a pool of money that wasn't there last time" (AP/Minneapolis Star Tribune, 11/8).
In response to the comments from Bill Clinton, presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) said that Hillary Clinton has accepted credit for efforts to implement health care reform during the 1990s and also must accept responsibility for the failure of the efforts. Obama said, "All I know is that part of the record she's running on is having worked on health care, so it's kind of hard to gauge if one of her claims is to have experience in this issue to then suggest that somehow she doesn't have anything to do with the fact that it didn't work" (Zeleny, New York Times, 11/9).
MSNBC's "Live with Dan Abrams" on Thursday included a discussion with Arianna Huffington of the Huffington Post and political analyst Pat Buchanan about Bill Clinton's comments (Abrams, "Live with Dan Abrams," MSNBC, 11/9). Video of the segment is available online.This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.