Donna Shalala Reflects on Legacy in NPR Interview
With the Clinton administration coming to a close, Donna Shalala reflected on her eight years as HHS secretary in an interview on NPR's "Morning Edition," highlighting a legacy of "healthier and wealthier" children. "American kids are better off. That's as good a legacy as anyone could wish for," she said. She also spoke about other health care-related problems that the Clinton administration faced, including the failed 1993 universal health coverage plan spearheaded by first lady Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.). According to Shalala, the failure taught her that "you can't write huge treatises to change the American health care system" without public consensus. Still, she said that the health care system had improved during the past eight years, citing higher rates of insurance for Americans, especially children. Asked about the effect a potential economic slowdown would have on American health care, Shalala argued that the new administration could still "cover every kid" in four years. "A little less tax cut and a little less spending, we can take care of every American kid," she said. In June, Shalala will become president of the University of Miami. Prior to taking the helm at HHS, she served as president of New York's Hunter College and chancellor of the University of Wisconsin (Stamberg, NPR "Morning Edition," 1/5).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.