Clinton Talks Health Care at Iowa Campaign Visits
Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) this weekend during campaign events in Iowa said that she supports universal health coverage but has not developed a specific proposal, the New York Times reports (Nagourney/Healy, New York Times, 1/28). Clinton last week announced that she has formed an exploratory committee for a presidential campaign in 2008.
At one event, Clinton asked the audience to raise their hands "to see how many would prefer employer-based health insurance, how many would prefer a system in which individuals purchased insurance, with help from the government if necessary, and how many would prefer a system modeled on Medicare," the Washington Post reports. Most of the audience supported a health care system modeled on Medicare (Kornblut/Balz, Washington Post, 1/29).
According to Clinton, a health care system modeled on Medicare "really makes a lot of sense because you could get the costs down," although such a proposal would face criticism from opponents of "government-run health care." Clinton said that she will seek opinions from voters before she proposes broad reforms to the health care system (Lawrence, USA Today, 1/29).
She said, "I want to hear what people say first. We need to build consensus first" (Thrush, Long Island Newsday, 1/29).
In addition, Clinton said that this year she will seek to provide health insurance for all children (USA Today, 1/29). She said, "When I was in the White House, I worked to help craft the children's health insurance program, and it has worked extremely well, but now the administration has begun to cut it back" (Finnegan, Los Angeles Times, 1/28).
Last week, Clinton used the Yahoo! Answers service to ask voters for their opinions on health care reform. Her question has received more than 33,000 responses (Ackerman, San Jose Mercury News, 1/26).
In related news, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) on Sunday announced that he has formed an exploratory committee for a presidential campaign in 2008. Huckabee said he supports an expansion of health insurance for children, adding, "Some of us Republicans actually like kids" (Lawrence, USA Today, 1/29).
According to the Los Angeles Times, Huckabee might "be best known nationally for his efforts to promote health and for his own dramatic 110-pound weight loss" (Serrano, Los Angeles Times, 1/29).