Clinton: Battle-Scarred But In The Health-Care Fight

Isaiah J. Poole

A passionate New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton recalled the “battle scars” from the days when she tried to launch a detailed health plan when her husband, Bill Clinton, was president, into what proved to be an unforgiving political environment. In her opening statement, unlike Edwards, she chose to stick to general principles rather than details, but in response to questions she said she would support a plan that would require employers who do not purchase private health insurance for their employees to pay into a pool for a Medicare-for-all-type plan.

She was particularly critical of insurance companies, promising to introduce a bill in this session of Congress that would eliminate barriers that prevent insured people from getting the care to which they are entitled. Recalling the story of a constituent whose insurance company refused to authorize coverage for an urgently needed medical procedure, Clinton said it shouldn’t take a call from a senator’s office to get an insurance company to provide the coverage patients pay for.

Clinton spent a little more time than the other candidates on stressing the importance of getting younger, healthy people into the insurance system and on people taking better care of themselves. She said it would take her two terms to get a universal health care system in place.

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