We review the record and conclude that she deserves plenty of credit, both for the passage of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) legislation and for pushing outreach efforts to translate the law into reality.
The Boston Globe ran a story with the headline, “Clinton role in health programs disputed.“ We reviewed the Globe story: it quotes a political foe, Sen. Orrin Hatch. About Sen. Ted Kennedy, who cosponsored the original 1997 SCHIP legislation, the Globe said he wouldn’t criticize Clinton ”directly.“ Kennedy is now backing Obama, but said last year, ”The children’s health program wouldn’t be in existence today if we didn’t have Hillary pushing for it from the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue.“ Others concur. Our conclusion: Clinton is right on this one.
“Children need us. They are not rugged individualists. They depend, first and foremost, on their parents, who bear the primary responsibility for their upbringing.” She cited Jesus as the chief motivation in her government-based health care ministry to children.
“Take the image we have of Jesus and transposing it onto the face of every child we see, then we would ask ourselves, would I turn that child away from the health care that child needs?“
In this one passage, she brought her two predominant interests--health care and children--together under the umbrella of religion, in a telling explanation of her motivations for universal health care. It was an important display of the relationship between her private Christianity and her public policy. God had led her to believe in the value of nationalized health care.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, HIV/AIDS is indeed the leading cause of death of black women aged 25 to 34. Sen. Clinton also accused the Bush Administration of “disgracefully” keeping funding for the Ryan White HIV/AIDS program “flat,” and in fact, spending on that program has hovered at just over $2 billion for the past five years, according to figures from the Department of Health and Human Services.
CLINTON: We need to take step-by-step progress toward providing insurance for every American. I’d expand the Children’s Health Insurance Program. I’d allow people between 55 and 65 to buy into Medicare. I want to see mental health considered on parity. He’s opposed the “patients’ bill of rights” that is supported in a bipartisan coalition, as well as by 300 medical and health groups. And he’s gone for the GOP version of the prescription drug benefit, which wouldn’t cover 650,000 New Yorkers.
LAZIO: Mrs. Clinton’s plan in 1993 would have been an unmitigated disaster. No New Yorker would ever have written a bill that would have led to 75,000 jobs being destroyed, health care rationing and the destruction of many of our teaching hospitals. I have supported doubling the amount of money that we spend on health care research. I have voted for deductibility for those employees who are not covered by an employer’s plan.
He appointed Hillary to head his health care advisory committee. He had appointed a health commissioner from out of state who had proposed that nurse-practitioners be permitted to serve as doctors in many areas where physicians were scarce. Bill appointed Hillary to solve the problem of delivering expanded health care to the poorest counties without taking a bite from doctors’ fees. Hillary used her contacts in Washington to obtain federal money to pay for rural health care services in Arkansas. Four rural clinics were opened almost immediately, construction began on three others, and the use of midwives and nurse-practitioners was expanded.
Because I believe that the country is ready for change. I believe America is ready now for universal health care. It is ready to clean up the government after the corruption and the cronyism of the Bush years.
Providing a home health aide, giving some respite to the full-time caretaker of an Alzheimer’s patient, that is all much cheaper than putting the person in a nursing home. Let’s enable older people to live with dignity.
We should build on the employer system. The employers contribute, those who work contribute, and all of us are thus paying our fair share.
Announcer: He couldn’t answer tough questions in the debate. So Barack Obama is making false charges against Hillary’s health care plan. She has a plan everyone can afford. Obama’s will cost taxpayers $1,700 more t cover each new person. Hillary’s plan covers everyone. Obama’s leaves 15 million people out. Obama’s attacks have been called “destructive and poisoning.” There are more and more questions about Obama. Instead of attacking, maybe he should answer them.
It is true that Clinton’s plan would force everyone to buy insurance. Nevertheless, the Clinton camp objects, saying the claim is false. The objection is to the phrase, “even if you can’t afford it.” Clinton says everybody will be able to afford coverage under her plan.
We agree that the ad could mislead anyone who isn’t aware that the Clinton plan would provide subsidies to help people buy health insurance, but Obama’s basic point here is sound. Clinton’s personal mandate would require some sort of enforcement mechanism, such as garnisheeing the wages of those who refuse to comply or automatically deducting the premiums from workers’ pay whether they agree to it or not. Clinton said on Feb. 3 that “I think there are a number of mechanisms, going after people’s wages, automatic enrollment, when you are at the place of employment.”
The Clinton campaign cited as its source a paper by MIT’s Jonathan Gruber, “Covering the Uninsured in the US”. However, Gruber’s paper does not actually compare Clinton’s plan with Obama’s. It compares a Clinton-like plan with mandates and a plan that (unlike Obama’s) does not include any mandates at all. A plan with an individual mandate in his study was “sort of a guess of what a Clinton-like plan would look like,” Gruber told us. He said of Obama, “He’s got an excellent plan which I strongly believe will cover the majority of the uninsured in America. It just wouldn’t cover them all.”
OBAMA: Well, look, I believe in universal health care, as does Sen. Clinton. And the point of the debate, is that Sen. Clinton repeatedly claims that I don’t stand for universal health care. And, you know, for Sen. Clinton to say that, I think, is simply not accurate. Every expert has said that anybody who wants health care under my plan will be able to obtain it. President Clinton’s own secretary of Labor has said that my plan does more to reduce costs and as a consequence makes sure that the people who need health care right now, all across America, will be able to obtain it.
Source: 2008 Democratic Debate in Cleveland Feb 26, 2008
A: Well, I’m proud that I tried to get universal health care back in ‘94. It was a tough fight. It was kind of a lonely fight. But it was worth trying. I made mistakes, but the biggest mistake was that we didn’t take the opportunity that was offered back then to move toward quality affordable health care for every single American. But I’ve come back with a different plan that I believe is much better reflective of what people want, namely, an array of choices. You can keep what you have. But if you’re uninsured or you’re underinsured, you’ll now have access to the congressional plan. You see a lot of people with those stickers that say, “I’m a health care voter.” Well, I want to be the health care president.
CLINTON: And under my plan, it is affordable because, number one, we have enough money in our plan. A comparison of the plans like the ones we’re proposing found that actually I would cover nearly everybody at a much lower cost than Sen. Obama’s plan because we would not only provide these health care tax credits, but I would limit the amount of money that anyone ever has to pay for a premium to a low percentage of your income. So it will be affordable.
OBAMA: It is just not accurate to say that Sen. Clinton does more to control costs than mine. That is not the case. There are many experts who have concluded that she does not.
OBAMA: We still don’t know how Sen. Clinton intends to enforce a mandate. The question is, are we going to make sure that it is affordable for everybody? And that’s my goal when I’m president.
CLINTON: You know, Sen. Obama has a mandate. He would enforce the mandate by requiring parents to buy insurance for their children.
OBAMA: This is true.
CLINTON: If you have a mandate, it has to be enforceable. So there’s no difference here.
OBAMA: No, there is a difference. I do provide a mandate for children, because, number one, we have created a number of programs in which we can have greater assurance that those children will be covered at an affordable price. [But for adults, a mandate would] force them to purchase insurance, or they will be penalized. And that is what Sen. Clinton’s plan does.
A: My health care program will cover everyone. I don’t leave anybody out. It is a universal system. It will build on the congressional plan that provides health care for members of Congress, their staffs, government employees, and therefore it is not a new system. It is not government-run. It has the advantage of being proven, so that we can withstand what will be obviously the attacks coming from the Republicans, and the right, and the drug companies, and the health insurance companies. It also will give comprehensive health care to everyone. It’s especially important we do that with chronic diseases. HIV/AIDS has become a chronic disease. We’re able to keep people alive in the US. We don’t do enough around the world. We don’t do enough yet to get the services as quickly as necessary to a lot of our people who are not given the kind of immediate help that they deserve.
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