Clinton Health Care Reform Experience Draws Scrutiny
Health care reform served as the "biggest test" for Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) during her tenure as first lady, NPR's "All Things Considered" reports.
According to NPR, Clinton made a "consequential decision -- not to compromise with any of the alternative proposals that would have provided less than universal coverage." Clinton during her presidential campaign has said that she has "learned some valuable lessons that have shaped how I approach health care reform today," such as the need to compromise. Whether voters accept her position on health care "may determine whether she becomes president," NPR reports.
The segment includes comments from:
- Sally Bedell Smith, author of "For Love of Politics," a book about Clinton and her husband;
- Carl Bernstein, author of "A Woman in Charge," a biography of Clinton;
- NBC Washington bureau chief Tim Russert;
- David Gergen, a senior adviser during the Clinton administration; and
- Leon Panetta, White House chief of staff during the Clinton administration (Liasson, "All Things Considered," NPR, 11/7).
Audio of the segment is available online.
"Despite their shaky reputation when it comes to health care policy," Republicans "are positioned to make major strides in this debate -- but they just don't know it yet," Gary Andres, vice chair of research and policy for Dutko Worldwide, writes in a Washington Times opinion piece. Health care "policy ideas long championed by the GOP are popular with voters," he writes, adding, "Just ask" presidential candidate Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.).
According to Andres, the "traditionally 'Democratic' elements of Mrs. Clinton's plan are less popular with voters than those she borrows from Republicans." He adds, "She names her initiative 'The American Health Choices Plan,'" focuses on "putting 'consumers in the driver's seat,' ... says health care is all about 'your choices,'" and "explicitly rejects the notion of 'government-run health care' or that the plan creates any new bureaucracy."
Andres writes, "Republicans and conservatives should realize their ideas garner strong popular support and that their unjustified diffidence on health care is politically debilitating," adding, "They need to package, market and communicate their policies before Mrs. Clinton cherry picks and takes credit for the most popular ones" (Andres, Washington Times, 11/8).