Clinton Faults Obama’s Health Care Proposal
During an appearance at Des Moines Area Community College in Iowa on Wednesday, presidential candidate Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) said that presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) is "betraying the Democratic Party's principles" because his health care proposal would not expand health insurance to all U.S. residents, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports (O'Toole, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 11/29).
Clinton said, "If anything, Democrats should believe in universal health care," adding, "We should fight for it." Under her health care proposal, U.S. residents would have to obtain health insurance.
Obama's plan provides access to insurance for everyone along with subsidies for lower-income residents, but does not include a requirement to obtain coverage except for children.
According to Clinton, the Obama proposal "does not and cannot cover all Americans."
In a conference call with reporters, Obama said, "Until she clarifies what exactly she intends to do to enforce this mandate ... this is more of a political point that she's trying to make than a real point" (Mehta, Los Angeles Times, 11/29).
Bill Burton, an Obama spokesperson, said, "Demonizing anyone who doesn't share her exact plans on health care is exactly why Hillary Clinton flunked the opportunity she had to pass universal health care in 1993."
Meanwhile, presidential candidate former Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.) described how the individual requirement to obtain insurance under his plan would be enforced, including requiring proof of insurance when filing income taxes and when obtaining health care services, as well as garnishing wages of and using collection agencies for people who don't pay their premiums (McAuliff, New York Daily News, 11/29).
Fox News Channel's "Special Report with Brit Hume" on Wednesday reported on criticism from Clinton about the Obama health care proposal. The segment includes comments from Clinton, Obama, presidential candidate and former Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.) (Garrett, "Special Report with Brit Hume," Fox News Channel, 11/28).
Video of the segment is available online.