Clinton Taking Measured Approach to Health Reform
Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) has taken a "more cautious" approach to health care reform as she seeks the Democratic presidential nomination than she did in 1993, when as first lady she led a "disastrous" effort, McClatchy/Minneapolis Star Tribune reports.
According to McClatchy/Star Tribune, although some Democratic presidential candidates have offered detailed health care proposals, Clinton has focused on the "need for a national consensus on the issue" and has offered only "non-controversial" proposals to reduce costs.
Clinton campaign spokesperson Phil Singer said that Clinton will offer a detailed health care proposal, but he did not specify when she would release the plan. Meanwhile, some Republicans have used her failure with health care reform in 1993 to attack Clinton.
Robert Blendon, director of the Program on Public Opinion and Health and Social Policy at Harvard University, said, "It's a problem for her, given her history. She wants people to think about her experience as a U.S. senator and not go back to relive the details of her health care reform plan and her task force and all the problems they had."
Blendon added, "She's put together things that don't look at all like '93-'94. She's been very cautious and very establishment-oriented about what she's proposing" (Hutcheson, McClatchy/Minneapolis Star Tribune, 6/12).
In other campaign news, former New York City Mayor and presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani (R) on Tuesday offered a 12-point proposal that includes a provision to provide U.S. residents with more choice in health care.
As part of the proposal, Giuliani said that he would provide tax incentives to allow residents to purchase private health insurance policies (Campanile, New York Post, 6/13).
Clinton and presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) might have decided to "tread lightly" in the health care debate because "Democrats feel they're winning" on the issue, David Gratzer, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, writes in a New York Post opinion piece.
According to Gratzer, "America is implementing HillaryCare on the installment plan: We are slowly succumbing to government-financed health care." Gratzer writes that "Clinton proposes little because, in some ways, she's already won the arguments of the 1990s."
He adds, "As Washington today debates expanding [the State Children's Health Insurance Program], the only question is by how much," and states "from California to New York are pushing to expand Medicaid."
However, Gratzer writes, U.S. residents "in principle" are opposed to "everything in Hillary Clinton's plan" from 1993, and Republicans have an opportunity to "champion breaking the wage and price controls of Medicare, fostering competition within health care through deregulation and challenging the rising costs by empowering people with more market-friendly options like health savings accounts" (Gratzer, New York Post, 6/12).