Rodham Clinton Announces Presidential Bid, SCHIP Proposal
Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) on Saturday announced that she has formed an exploratory committee in advance of the 2008 presidential election and said her priorities include Medicare and affordable health care, Cox/St. Paul Pioneer Press reports.
"I'm in, and I'm in to win," Rodham Clinton said in a video posted on her campaign Web site (Shepard, Cox/St. Paul Pioneer Press, 1/21). In the video, Rodham Clinton said she is "beginning a conversation" with voters on issues including how "we can make sure every American has access to adequate health care" (Feldman, Christian Science Monitor, 1/22).
Rodham Clinton on Sunday made her first public appearance as an announced presidential candidate at a New York City health clinic, saying she plans to introduce legislation "in the coming weeks" that would extend and expand SCHIP to cover children whose families earn up to 375% of the federal poverty level. The SCHIP expansion would be "another step towards the day when once and for all America provides quality health care for every American," Rodham Clinton said (Epstein, Long Island Newsday, 1/22).
The bill also would "allow any family, as well as employers, to buy insurance" through the program, the New York Times reports.
A Rodham Clinton spokesperson said another part of the proposal would be an initiative to encourage parents whose children are already eligible for Medicaid or SCHIP to enroll in those programs.
Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.) plans to introduce a similar bill in the House (Healy, New York Times, 1/22).
Focusing on children's health care was a "consistent move" for Rodham Clinton, who "began her career working for the Children's Defense Fund, championed health care as first lady in the early 1990s and authored a book, 'It Takes a Village,' about the way children are handled in society," the Washington Post reports (Kornblut, Washington Post, 1/22). The Times reports that Rodham Clinton's entrance into the presidential race followed Sen. Barack Obama's (D-Ill.) announcement "by less than a week, and highlighted the urgency for her of not falling behind in the competition for money" (Healy/Zeleny, New York Times, 1/21).
A Washington Post/ABC News poll released on Sunday found that Rodham Clinton has 41% of the Democratic vote, more than twice the support for any of her opponents (Fouhy, AP/Detroit Free Press, 1/22).
In related news, Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.) and New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson (D) this weekend announced that they are launching presidential campaigns, USA Today reports.
Brownback, who announced his bid for the Republican nomination on Saturday in Topeka, Kan., said he was a leader on issues important to economic and social conservatives (Lawrence, USA Today, 1/22). Brownback opposes embryonic stem cell research and abortion rights (AP/Dallas Morning News, 1/21).
Richardson, a former Department of Energy secretary and U.N. ambassador during the Clinton administration, said he is running "because we have to repair the damage that's been done to our country over the last six years" (AP/Minneapolis Star Tribune, 1/21).