Hillary Clinton on Health Care

Democratic Jr Senator (NY); Secretary of State-Designee

Don’t legitimize end-of-life decision, but ok to help decide

Q: Do you believe it is compassionate, that it is appropriate to let someone who is really suffering choose to end their life?

A: This is one of those incredibly challenging issues. You know, the Terry Schiavo case posed that for many people. There wer people of good faith on both sides about what should happen to that woman’s life. And I don’t know that any of us is in a position to make that choice for families or for individuals, but I don’t want us also to condone government action that would legitimize or encourage end of life decisions. Somehow there has to be a framework for us to determine: How can people who are able to make these decisions on their own do so? Or if they are not, how best do we create a decision process for their families to try to decide? And now we are being faced with a lot of these difficult decisions because of what the world we live in today with modern technology and so much else. And we’re going to have to come to grips with them one way or another.

Source: 2008 Democratic Compassion Forum at Messiah College Apr 13, 2008

Decrease generic drug costs for developing countries

Q: Current US trade policies toward developing countries make it sometimes extremely difficult for poor people to access inexpensive, generic drugs for the treatment of AIDS and other sicknesses. How would you shape this policy?

A: I believe that our government must do so much more to get generic drugs and low-cost drugs to people suffering. Not only from HIV/AIDS, but the range of diseases that affect disproportionately the poor. Our great pharmaceutical companies invent the compounds and put them together that the generics then are able to copy. But we need to do much more to get our pharmaceutical companies to work with us to get the drug costs down and to open the pathway for generic drugs. And that’s going to take presidential leadership. I commend Pres. Bush for his PEPFAR initiative [President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief]. It was a bold & important commitment, but it didn’t go far enough in opening up the door to generics and getting the costs down. And as president, I will do that

Source: 2008 Democratic Compassion Forum at Messiah College Apr 13, 2008

FactCheck: Yes, she deserves credit for SCHIP

Clinton’s foes say she doesn’t deserve credit for expanding federal health insurance, a claim Clinton has made literally thousands of times. She “got health insurance for six million kids,” according to one ad.

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.

Source: FactCheck.org analysis of 2008 campaign ad, “Obligation” Mar 18, 2008

Bottom line is cost; mine is more affordable than Obama’s

OBAMA: If we don’t know the level of subsidies that [Hillary’s plan is] going to provide, then you can have a situation, which we are seeing right now in the state of Massachusetts, where people are being fined for not having purchased health care but choose to accept the fine because they still can’t afford it, even with the subsidies. And they are then worse off.

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.

Source: 2008 Democratic Debate in Cleveland Feb 26, 2008

Obama’s plan includes mandate on 150 million parents

CLINTON: Sen. Obama has a mandate in his plan. It’s a mandate on parents to provide health insurance for their children. That’s about 150 million people who would be required to do that.

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.

Source: 2008 Democratic Debate in Cleveland Feb 26, 2008

Taxpayers pay for drug R&D, not drug companies

We’ve got to make it clear to the drug companies that they do deserve to be part of the solution, because we all benefit from the life-saving remedies they come up with, but we pay for it many times over. It is American taxpayers who pay for the research & a lot of the clinical studies.

That’s why, while we’re looking at getting to universal health care, we also have to give Medicare the right to negotiate with drug companies to get the price down, to begin to rein in those costs across the board.

Source: 2008 Democratic debate in Los Angeles before Super Tuesday Jan 30, 2008

My health care program will cover everyone

Q: Why is it that African-American women would be better off in your health care program?

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.

Source: 2008 Congressional Black Caucus Democratic debate Jan 21, 2008

Need a health care system that manages chronic diseases

We need a universal health care system where we manage chronic diseases, where we get prices down because we can bargain with the drug companies, where we say to the health insurance companies that they must cover everyone, they have to do it at an affordable rate. For people who might have some financial challenges, I am proposing health care tax credits that will make health care for everyone affordable. That that is the right way to go, because if we don’t have everybody in the system, we know what will happen. The health care companies will continue to cherry pick. The hidden tax that comes when someone does finally show up at the emergency room will be passed onto everyone else. So I am adamantly in favor of universal health care. We will have a system to make it affordable, but it will be required, as part of shared responsibility, under a new way of making sure that we don’t leave anybody out and provide quality, affordable health care for everyone.
Source: 2008 Congressional Black Caucus Democratic debate Jan 21, 2008

Universal health care is a core Democratic principle

If you don’t start out trying to get universal health care, we know--and our members of Congress know--you’ll never get there. If a Democrat doesn’t stand for universal health care that includes every single American, you can see the consequences of what that will mean. It is imperative that we have plans, as both John and I do, that from the very beginning say, “You know what? Everybody has got to be covered.” There’s only three ways of doing it. You can have a single-payer system, you can require employers, or you can have individual responsibility. My plan combines employers and individual responsibility, while maintaining Medicare and Medicaid. The whole idea of universal health care is such a core Democratic principle that I am willing to go to the mat for it. I’ve been there before. I will be there again. I am not giving in; I am not giving up; and I’m not going to start out leaving 15 million Americans out of health care.
Source: 2008 Congressional Black Caucus Democratic debate Jan 21, 2008

Pledges to support $50B for AIDS relief in US and world

Today is World AIDS Day. All of us have committed to supporting $50 billion for global AIDS relief, which I am very excited about. But let’s not forget that AIDS now is growing again in our own country, particularly among African American and Latino women. The leading cause of death for African American women between the ages of 25 and 34 is AIDS. So I want to ask all of my fellow candidates here if they would join me, not only in a pledge for what we’re going to do globally to address the AIDS pandemic in Africa and Asia and elsewhere, but will you join me in a pledge that we’re going to do everything we can once again to address the AIDS pandemic right here in the US, and to put the money in that will provide the services and the treatment and the prevention that our own people deserve to have. Because frankly we have turned our backs, we have frozen the amount of money, and I am very worried about what is happening to countless numbers of Americans when it comes to HIV and AIDS.
Source: 2007 Iowa Brown & Black Presidential Forum Dec 1, 2007

Restore National Institutes of Health funding

It’s just outrageous that under Bush, the National Institutes of Health have been basically decreased in funding. We are on the brink of so many medical breakthroughs, and I will once again fund that research, get those applications processed, get those young researchers in those labs, to know that we’re going to tackle cancer and try to do everything we can to drive its death rate down.
Source: 2007 Democratic debate at Drexel University Oct 30, 2007

No parent should be told ‘no’ for healthcare for their kids

Q: As first lady, your attempt to establish universal health insurance failed. What did you learn so you can be successful the next time?

A: Well, I am very proud that we tried to provide universal health care to every American back in 1993 and 1994. I learned a lot from that, and I’m going to be presenting a plan next week that will be universal. It will cover everyone, and it will make it clear that we as a rich nation with the values that should be the best in the world will once & for all make it absolutely positive that everyone will have health care. Now it’s not only about the 47 million uninsured. Millions of insured Americans don’t get the health care they paid for. We have a lot of people who, all of a sudden, their child needs an operation and the insurance company won’t pay for it. Well, we’re going to make it clear that there will be no parent who ever is told no when it comes to getting health care for their children.

Source: 2007 Democratic primary debate on Univision in Spanish Sep 9, 2007

Local smoking bans ok, but no national ban

Q: Over 400,000 Americans have premature death due to smoking or secondhand smoke. Would you be in favor of a national law to ban smoking in all public places?

A: Well, we banned it in New York City. And people thought it would be a terrible idea, and everyone was really upset about it. And actually business at a lot of establishments, like restaurants and other places, increased, because many people felt more comfortable going when there was no smoking. I think that we should be moving toward a bill that I have supported to regulate tobacco through the FDA. And once it has those health warnings and once the FDA can regulate it, I think that will give a lot of support to local communities to make these, what are essentially zoning decisions. And I’d fully support that.

Q: But you’re not in favor of a national law to ban smoking in public places?

A: Not at this point. I think we’re making progress at the local level.

Source: 2007 Democratic primary debate at Dartmouth College Sep 6, 2007

Passion for healthcare rooted in Jesus’ teachings

In 1996, the first lady delivered the keynote speech to the annual United Methodist General Conference. This was one of Hillary’s finest religious speeches.

“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.

Source: God and Hillary Clinton, by Paul Kengor, p.156-157 Jul 18, 2007

Outcry if AIDS were leading disease of young whites

Q: African-Americans, though 17% of all American teenagers, are 69% of the population of teenagers diagnosed with HIV/AIDS. What is the plan to stop and to protect these young people from this scourge?

A: Let me just put this in perspective. If HIV/AIDS were the leading cause of death of white women between the ages of 25 and 34, there would be an outraged outcry in this country.

I’m working to get Medicaid to cover treatment. I’m working to raise the budget for Ryan White, which the Bush administration has kept flat, disgracefully so, because there are a lot of women, particularly, who are becoming infected in poor rural areas as well as underserved urban areas in states where, frankly, their state governments won’t give them medical care.

So this is a multiple dimension problem. But if we don’t begin to take it seriously and address it the way we did back in the ‘90s, when it was primarily a gay men’s disease, we will never get the services and the public education that we need.

Source: 2007 Democratic Primary Debate at Howard University Jun 28, 2007

FactCheck: Yes, AIDS is leading disease of young black women

We found that the candidates’ claims checked out, even some of the more conspicuous ones. Our ears perked up when Sen. Hillary Clinton talked about the impact of HIV/AIDS on African American women. Clinton said, “If HIV/AIDS were the leading cause of death of white women between the ages of 25 and 34, there would be an outraged outcry in this country.”

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.

Source: FactCheck.org on 2007 Democratic Primary Debate at Howard U. Jun 28, 2007

1979: Named by Bill as AR healthcare head; program worked

The budget book Bill Clinton presented to the Arkansas state legislature in 1979 had identifiable priorities, including providing a rural health care system in a state where doctors and hospitals were many miles away from people with little means of transportation.

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.

Source: A Woman in Charge, by Carl Bernstein, p.147 Jun 5, 2007

Lower costs and improve quality and cover everybody

We have to lower costs, improve quality and cover everybody. What’s important and what I learned in the previous effort is you’ve got to have the political will -- a broad coalition of business and labor, doctors, nurses, hospitals, everybody -- standing firm when the inevitable attacks come from the insurance companies and the pharmaceutical companies that don’t want to change they system because they make so much money out of it.
Source: 2007 Dem. debate at Saint Anselm College Jun 3, 2007

Electronic medical records save $120 billion in health care

I have put forth approximately $120 billion in savings from health care changes--everything from electronic medical records to better management of chronic care. That is about in the ballpark of what all of us believe it will cost to cover everyone. The challenge that I’m wrestling with is how do we realize the savings? I don’t think there is any Democrat that is not going to let the Bush tax cuts on the wealthiest Americans expire. We’re all going to do that, so that money will be available.
Source: 2007 Dem. debate at Saint Anselm College Jun 3, 2007

Insurers must fund prevention without preexisting conditions

Q: You said that we’re going to change the way we finance the system by taking money away from people who are doing well now. Who specifically are you talking about?

A: Well, let’s start with the insurance companies. The insurance companies make money by spending a lot of money and employing a lot of people to try to avoid insuring you, and then, if you’re insured, to try to avoid paying for the health care you received.. My office spends a lot of effort helping people who have insurance get health care. The insurance companies don’t want to pay for preventative health care because that’s like a lost amount of money because they’re not sure that the patient or the insured person will still be with them. That is upside down and backwards. So we could save money if we changed the incentive to require that preventative health care and wellness be covered and incentivized, and we could require that every insurance company had to insure everybody and no exclusions for preexisting conditions.

Source: SEIU Democratic Health Care Forum in Las Vegas Mar 24, 2007

Require electronic medical record for all federal healthcare

I want to start requiring that people who do business with the government, namely Medicare, Medicaid, VA, you name it, they’re going to have to move toward electronic medical records. And I’m willing to put some up front money into that to create a system where all these different health care IT systems can talk to each other, [so no matter where you are], you start with a history.

After Hurricane Katrina I went down to Houston to see the people who had been evacuated, most in them from the convention center. The elderly, the frail. People who were very dependent upon health care, their records were gone. Those 15 pieces of paper were destroyed. And a lot of doctors told me their biggest problem was trying to figure out what prescriptions to give to people. The only people they could help were the people who had shopped at chain drug stores because they had electronic medical records. If we had that for all of our health records, we’d get costs down & we’d have higher quality health care.

Source: SEIU Democratic Health Care Forum in Las Vegas Mar 24, 2007

Increase America’s commitment against Global AIDS

Sen. Clinton continues to work to increase access to health care. She authored legislation that has been enacted to improve recruitment and retention of nurses, to improve quality and lower the cost of prescription drugs, and to protect our food supply from bioterrorism. She sponsored legislation to increase America’s commitment against Global AIDS, and is now leading the fight for expanded use of information technology in the health care system to decrease administrative costs & reduce medical errors.
Source: PAC website, www.hillpac.com, “Biography” Nov 17, 2006

FDA should compare drug effectiveness--not just safety

In 2003, President Bush and Congress upset their conservative base by creating the largest new entitlement program since the Johnson presidency.

Hillary opposed the bill, on the grounds it was not comprehensive enough. She supported numerous amendments that would have enlarged the program and further increased government involvement in the dispensation of prescription drugs.

One of her amendments sought to order the National Institutes of Health to conduct and compile more drug studies, as well as to advise and inform patients and doctors about which drugs work best. The amendment was specifically aimed at increasing the government’s role in medicine. Clinton defended it by noting, “While the FDA is responsible for determining safety and effectiveness of prescription drugs compared to a placebo, there is no government entity responsible for examining whether drug A is more effective at treating a particular condition than drug B.”

Source: Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy, by Amanda Carpenter, p. 75-76 Oct 11, 2006

Supply more medical needs of families, & insure all children

We have family responsibilities on both ends of the age spectrum. We need to expand the Family and Medical Leave Act. It doesn’t cover enough people. We need paid parental leave so that people can afford to have time off. We need to ensure that every single child in America has health care, and these are the kinds of issues that Moms Rising is promoting.
Source: Annual 2006 Take Back America Conference Jun 14, 2006

Healthcare system plagued with underuse, overuse, and abuse

Hillary is the one person running for president with an enormous piece of unfinished business that requires her to succeed in the area where she has suffered her biggest defeat. She even has a sense of humor about it. Here is Hillary on Health Care:
Source: The Case for Hillary Clinton, by Susan Estrich, p.199 Oct 17, 2005

Fought for pediatric rule: new drugs tested for child safety

Sometimes Hillary does come through in an important way. Republican Sen. Mike DeWine (R-OH) recounts how she battled successfully alongside him for the “pediatric rule” requiring drug companies to use scientific testing to determine if their medications are safe for children and at what doss they should be administered. “When she was First Lady, Hillary pressured the FDA to approve the rule,” DeWine said. “But the courts threw it out saying Congress had to authorize the FDA to issue the rule first. So when she got to the Senate, she worked hard with Democratic senators and me to pass a bill doing just that.“ DeWine, a card-carrying Republican, credits Hillary with ”holding the left in check“ so that they would not load the bill with requirements as it passed the Senate, which would have doomed it in the more partisan and conservative House of Representatives.”

But her proposals reflect a minimalist bite-size strategy--her proposals have been very limited, mostly just nibbling around the edges.

Source: Condi vs. Hillary, by Dick Morris, p. 84&86 Oct 11, 2005

Low-tech low-cost water treatment for developing world

Bangladesh, the most densely populated country on earth, presented the starkest contrast of wealth and poverty I saw in South Asia. But this was another country I had long wanted to visit, because it was home to two international recognized projects--the International Center for Diarrheal Disease Research (ICDDR/B) in Dhaka, Bangladesh, and the Grameen Bank, a pioneer of microcredit. The ICDDR/B is an important example of the positive results that come from foreign aid. Dysentery is a leading cause of death, particularly among children, in parts of the world where there are limited sources of clean drinking water, The ICDDR/B developed "oral rehydration therapy" (ORT), a solution composed mostly of salt, sugar and water, that is easy to administer and responsible for saving the lives of millions of children. This simple, inexpensive solution has been called one of the most important medical advances of the century, and the hospital that pioneered it depends on American aid.
Source: Living History, by Hillary Rodham Clinton, p.283-284 Nov 1, 2003

Millions uninsured is source of America's healthcare crisis

By the time Bill became President, 37 million Americans, most of them working people & their children, were uninsured. They weren't getting access to care until they were in a medical crisis. Some went broke trying to pay for medical emergencies on their own.

Rising health care costs were sapping the nation's economy, undermining American competitiveness, eroding workers' wages, increasing personal bankruptcies & inflating the national budget deficit. As a nation, we were spending more on health care-- 14% of our GDP--that any other industrialized country.

This terrible cycle of escalating costs and declining coverage was largely the result of a growing number of uninsured Americans. Patients without insurance seldom could afford to pay for their medical expenses out-of-pocket, so their costs were absorbed by the doctors and hospitals that treated them. Doctors and hospitals, in turn, raised their rates to cover the expense of caring for patients who weren't covered or couldn't pay.

Source: Living History, by Hillary Rodham Clinton, p.144-145 Nov 1, 2003

Recommended "managed competition"; not single-payer system

[On the 1994 healthcare taskforce], some proposed a "single payer" approach, modeled on the European and Canadian health care systems. The federal government, through tax payments, would become the sole financier--or single payer--of most medical care. A few favored a gradual expansion of Medicare what would eventually cover all uninsured Americans, starting first with those aged 55 to 65.

Bill and other Democrats rejected the single-payer and Medicare models, preferring a quasi-private system called "managed competition" that relied on private market forces to drive down costs through competition. The government would have a smaller role, including setting standards for benefit packages and helping to organize purchasing cooperatives. The cooperatives were groups of individuals and businesses forget for the purpose of purchasing insurance. Together, they could bargain with insurance companies for better benefits and prices and use their leverage to assure high-quality care.

Source: Living History, by Hillary Rodham Clinton, p.150 Nov 1, 2003

When last Republican backed out, Hillarycare die

[In July 1994], we continued to try to work for a compromise with Republicans in Congress on various aspects of reform. I admired Sen. John Chafee (R, RI) for his principled stands and decent manner; he had been an early supporter of reform and an advocate for universal coverage. Sen. Chafee had worked with his Republican colleagues to develop his own thoughtful proposal and hoped that, by melding his plan with ours, he would garner enough bipartisan support to pass a bill. Chafee made heroic efforts to bridge the gap between Republicans and Democrats, keeping up his effort until he was the lone Republican still fighting for reform. Finally, he, too, abandoned his cause. Without a single Republican supporter, health care reform was like a patient on life support being given last rites.

Health care faded with barley a whimper. I still think that was the wrong call. Giving up without one last public fight demoralized Democrats and let the opposition rewrite history.

Source: Living History, by Hillary Rodham Clinton, p.245-247 Nov 1, 2003

Despite failure, glad she tried system-wide reform

Bill and I were disappointed and discouraged [by reform failure]. I knew I had contributed to our failure, both because of my own missteps and because I underestimated the resistance I would meet as a First Lady with a political mission. But our most critical mistake was trying to do too much, too fast.

That said, I still believe we were right to try. Our work in 1993 and 1994 paved the way for what several economists dubbed the "Hillary Factor," the purposeful restraint on price increases during the 1990s. It also helped to create the ideas and political will that led to important smaller reforms in the years following.

On balance I think we made the right decision to try to reform the whole system. Someday we will fix the system. When we do it, it will be the result of more than fifty years of efforts by Harry Truman, Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter and Bill and me. Yes, I'm still glad we tried.

Source: Living History, by Hillary Rodham Clinton, p.248-249 Nov 1, 2003

1994 "Harry & Louise" ads exploited consumer fears

The Health Insurance Association of America launched a round of advertisements, featuring a couple named Harry and Louise. Sitting at a kitchen table, Harry and Louise asked each other cleverly contrived questions about the plan and wondered aloud what it might cost them. As intended, the ads explained the fears--pinpointed by focus groups--of the 85 percent of Americans who already had health insurance and worried it might be taken away.

For the Gridiron Dinner, Bill and I decided to stage a parody of the insurance lobby's TV spot, with Bill playing "Harry" and me playing "Louise." It would give us a chance to expose the scare tactics employed by our opponents and have some fun:

Me: On page 3,764 that under the Clinton health security plan, we could get sick.

Bill: That's terrible.

Announcer: "Paid for by the Coalition to Scare Your Pants Off."

Our videotaped performance was widely covered, even replayed on several Sunday morning new shows.

Source: Living History, by Hillary Rodham Clinton, p.228-229 Nov 1, 2003

Health goal is affordable coverage for all

Q: Would you support a universal health care bill?

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.

Source: Senate debate in Manhattan Oct 8, 2000

Fund teaching hospitals federally because market fails

Q: In 1993, why did you recommend measures that would have hurt New York’s teaching hospitals?

CLINTON: Senator Moynihan was absolutely right to propose a piece of legislation that would guarantee that our teaching hospitals will be funded to perform the functions that they do which can not be performed within the market at a profit, namely, training our doctors and nurses and providing health care for the sickest of the sick and doing the research we all benefit from.

LAZIO: You know, a New Yorker would never have made that proposal. Mrs. Clinton has had two opportunities - two opportunities to make policy: One on health care and one on education. And on health care it was an unmitigated disaster. It would have led to health care rationing. It would have destroyed teaching hospitals. It would have led to all types of unintended consequences, perhaps. But the bottom line is it would have been terrible for New York.

Source: Clinton-Lazio debate, Buffalo NY Sep 13, 2000

Regulate tobacco; fine of $3000 for every underage smoker

By regulating tobacco products, we can make sure that the tobacco industry is not allowed to target our kids with their deadly products. If elected, I would work on legislation to regulate tobacco. I would also assess the Tobacco Industry $3,000 for every underage smoker if youth smoking is not lowered by 50% by 2004.
Source: Remarks at New York City Annual Kick Butts Day Apr 5, 2000

Be prepared with defenses against infectious disease

We need to be as well prepared to defend ourselves against public health dangers as we should be to defend ourselves against any foreign danger. The Republicans are sending a message that we don’t need to be prepared. for early detection of infectious outbreaks like encephalitis or the West Nile-like virus.
Source: Remarks at Fordham University, Armonk Oct 14, 1999

Medicare should be strengthened today

We must extent Medicare’s life by an additional decade and offer a prescription drug plan. We have the means to do it today.
Source: Remarks in Great Neck, Long Island Sep 14, 1999

Smaller steps to progress on health care

In 1993, Hillary chaired the Task Force on National Health Care Reform. After months of meeting with families & health care professionals, the Task Force recommended the Health Care Security Act of 1994. “I am disappointed we were not able to make more progress.” Hillary said. “Now I’m from the school of smaller steps, but I believe we must continue to make progress. It’s still important that we increase access to quality health care for working families.”
Source: www.hillary2000.org “About Hillary” Jan 1, 2000

Hillary Clinton on 1990s Hillarycare

Hillary appointed 8 days after inauguration to health cmte

Eight days after the inauguration, Bill appointed Hillary head of the health-care task force, which was charged with developing a plan to re-structure the health-insurance system. The move took nearly all his top officials by surprise, including Al Gore. Bill had invested Gore with considerable responsibility, but his failure to confide in his vice president was a telling sign of the real pecking order.

Bill and Hillary’s joint decision-making at the beginning of his presidency was as overt as it would ever be in the White House. “He would say, ‘Hillary thinks this. What do you think?’” said one insider. “They really were a partnership. She was the absolutely necessary person to bounce things up against. I sensed a tremendous need for each other.

Gore was the one most affected by Bill’s reliance on his wife. It was a given in the White House that everyone would ”just have to get used to“ the fact that Hillary, along with Bill and Gore, had to ”sign off on big decisions.“

Source: For Love of Politics, by Sally Bedell Smith, chapter 1 Oct 23, 2007

A plan is necessary; but consensus is more necessary

Q: You have been involved with health care for a long time. Because of your long involvement, you should have been first out of the gate on health care.

A: Well, I’ve been at the gate and out of it for 14 years, and you know when we weren’t successful with the overall reform, I moved ahead and was one of the people responsible for the children’s health-insurance program and trying to make sure drugs were safe for kids, and dealing with aftereffects the Gulf War veterans suffered. So, I’ve stayed consistently focused on health care and am engaged right now in this battle with the president over his threatened veto of the children’s health-insurance program. But I learned, among other things, that we’ve got to build a consensus. A plan is necessary but not sufficient. We’ve got to have a political consensus in order to withstand the enormous opposition from those interests that will have something to lose in a really reformed health-care system.

Source: Huffington Post Mash-Up: 2007 Democratic on-line debate Sep 13, 2007

1993:Ambitious role plagued from start by secrecy complaints

Five days after reciting the oath of office, Bill announced the formation of the President’s Task Force on National Health Care Reform, to be chaired by the First Lady.

Bill and Hillary set two ambitious goals--rewriting the complex rules that governed 14% of the economy & meeting the deadline of delivering a proposal to Congress within 100 days.

The country seemed comfortable with the historic decision to put a First Lady in charge of a major policy challenge. It didn’t take long for the honeymoon to end. The Washington Times, in an article entitled “First Lady’s Task Force Broke Law on Secrecy,” claimed that reporters had been barred from the first meeting of the task force--an apparent violation of a law because Hillary was not a federal employee and the law allows outsiders to be kept out of advisory committee meetings only if all participants are federal employees.

Source: Her Way, by Jeff Gerth & Don Van Natta, p.117-119 Jun 8, 2007

1990s plan failed after big pharma & insurance worked on it

I do have the experience of having put forth a plan, with many of the features that [my opponents have] mentioned. And people were enthusiastic about it initially, but then after the insurance companies and the pharmaceutical companies got finished working on it, everybody got nervous and so politically we were not successful. Well, I’m ready to try again, and there’s three things we’ve got to do. We’ve got to control and decrease costs for everyone. This is not just about the uninsured. Yes, we have nearly 47 million uninsured, but we’ve got many millions more who have an insurance policy that they can barely afford and that they can’t get the treatments they need under it. We have to cover everybody but we’ve got to improve quality. We can save money within the existing system. I am not ready to put new money into a system that doesn’t work until we’ve tried to figure out how to get the best outcomes from the money we already have.
Source: 2007 South Carolina Democratic primary debate, on MSNBC Apr 26, 2007

1990s healthcare reforms laid groundwork for today’s reforms

I feel a little bit like this is deja vu all over again. All those years ago, we tried to convince the country and the Congress--we convinced the country but we didn’t convince the Congress!--that we needed to move toward and achieve universal health care coverage. Now, I am proud we tried. We may not have succeeded, but we set the groundwork in place so that now people are saying, boy, we wish we had done that back then because costs have continued to increase. Pressures on the system, on our doctors, our nurses, our health care workers have just been so stressful. So what we need to do is to make a commitment. And I’m proud that everyone running on the Democratic side is committed to universal health care coverage. I am in favor of universal health care coverage that brings in the 47 million who are uninsured--which is a disgrace--and begins to guarantee coverage to people who already have insurance, because there are a lot of people who think they have insurance except when they need it.
Source: SEIU Democratic Health Care Forum in Las Vegas Mar 24, 2007

Still scarred from 1990s reform, but now doing it better

You know, I have a little bit of experience in trying to reform health care. And I still have the scars to show for it. I needed some health care after that was over. And I am absolutely convinced this time we’re going to do it because the people that come to talk to me now they’re CEOs of companies, they’re doctors and nurses and hospital administrators. They know that if we don’t change the system we have, it’s going to continue hemorrhage money. We’re going to have more uninsured people. We’re going to have the fastest growing problem of people who are not going to get what they thought they paid for, and we’re going to continue to lose jobs. They’re going to be sent to other countries because we’re not being able to provide health care at a decent cost.
Source: 2007 AFSCME Democratic primary debate in Carson City Nevada Feb 21, 2007

1997: Helped found State Children’s Health Insurance Program

As First Lady, I worked with members of Congress in creating the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) in the summer of 1997. It made a tremendous investment in the expansion of children’s health insurance, and it has had tremendous results. Today, because of SCHIP the number of children who lack health insurance coverage has dropped from over 10 million in 1995 to some 8.3 million kids in 2005. However, the number of uninsured have grown in the general population over the last 10 years.
Source: 2006 intro to It Takes A Village, by H. Clinton, p.302 Dec 12, 2006

Hillary Clinton on 1990s HillaryCare

1993 health plan initially praised as moderate & workable

[Under the Clinton health plan], everyone would have coverage, through private insurers, that would not be lost when there was an illness or a job change; there would be far less paperwork because of a uniform minimum-benefit package; we would reap large savings through lower administrative costs.

I proposed that all employers provide health insurance, as 75% of them were already doing, with a discount for small-business owners who otherwise couldn't afford the insurance. The subsidy would be paid for by an increase in cigarette taxes.

Hillary, and all those who helped, had crafted a plan that we could implement while reducing the deficit. And contrary to how it was later portrayed, health experts generally praised it at the time as moderate and workable. It certainly wasn't a government takeover of the health-care system, as its critics charged, but that story came later.

Source: My Life, by Bill Clinton, p.548-549 Jun 21, 2004

Hillary Clinton on 1990s Hillarycare

1990s reform called “secretive” but had 600 in working group

In the absence of a crisis like a depression, passing a health care plan was going to be difficult. We wanted a plan that dealt with all aspects of the health care system.

In addition to the President’s Task Force, we organized a giant working group of experts that would consider every aspect of health care. This group, comprising as many as 600 people, met regularly to debate and review specific parts of the plan in detail.

On February 24, we were dealt a blow that none anticipated. Groups affiliated with the health care industry sued the task force over its composition, claiming that because I was not a government employee, I was not allowed to chair or attend closed task force meetings.

It was a deft political move, designed to disrupt our work and foster an impression with the public and the media that we were conducting secret meetings.

We were trying to move too quickly on a bill that would fundamentally alter social and economic policy for years to come.

Source: Living History, by Hillary Clinton, p.153-154 Nov 1, 2003

1990s plan based on employer mandate

The health insurance fiasco involved two related failures: a substantive failure and a political one. The substantive failure had to do with the plan that emerged from the Health Care Task Force led by Mrs. Clinton and Ira Magaziner: It was intended as the simplest, most direct path to universal coverage, a mere extension of the messy American status quo--all employers would be required to provide health insurance for their employees. This "employer mandate" aroused intense opposition from the small-business community and it Republican friends in Congress, of course. But it was also an odd position for Bill Clinton to be taking, more of an Old than a New Democrat solution. The plan was cluttered with ancillary details: In order to "prove" that the new system would not bust the budget, a ridiculously detailed proposal was written, which specified the sort of coverage employers would have to provide & also created a complicated bureaucracy to make sure that health care costs remained in control.
Source: The Natural, by Joe Klein, p.119 Feb 11, 2003

Learned lessons on health care; but hasn’t given up goal

You may remember I had a few ideas about health care. I’ve learned a few lessons since then. But I haven’t given up on the goal. That’s why we kept working step by step to insure millions more kids through the Children’s Health Insurance Program. And that’s why it’s time to pass a real Patients’ Bill of Rights and provide access to affordable health care for every single child and family in this country.
Source: Address to the Democratic National Convention Aug 14, 2000

1979: Developed program to deliver rural healthcare

In 1979, Bill Clinton named Hillary Rodham to head a state board. As chair of the forty four member state Rural Health Advisory Committee, she helped develop a program to deliver adequate health care to people in small, isolated communities. The appointment was made without fanfare, and there were no public condemnations by partisan opponents.
Source: The Inside Story, by Judith Warner, p.102 Aug 1, 1999

Hillary Clinton on 1990s HillaryCare

Vince Foster's downturn began when task force got sued

I think the beginning of Vince's downturn was when the Health Care Task Force was sued. That happened when those opposed to health care reform went into court to force all White House meeting on this issue to be made open to the public under the Federal Advisory Committee Act. It happened very soon, in early February, and though the effect on Vince was one that would build over time, the immediate effect was a subtle shift in his relationship with Hillary. Instead of a team working together toward a glorious goal, they were suddenly attorney and client. His legal advice was now front-page news. And with the pressure Hillary was under to get a health care bill passed in the administration's avowed "one hundred days," she became a very demanding client indeed.
Source: Friends in High Places, by Webb Hubbell, p.193-194 Nov 1, 1997

Vince Foster's downturn when Hillary's task force got sued

I think the beginning of Vince's downturn was when the Health Care Task Force was sued. That happened when those opposed to health care reform went into court to force all White House meeting on this issue to be made open to the public under the Federal Advisory Committee Act. It happened very soon, in early February, and though the effect on Vince was one that would build over time, the immediate effect was a subtle shift in his relationship with Hillary. Instead of a team working together toward a glorious goal, they were suddenly attorney and client. His legal advice was now front-page news. And with the pressure Hillary was under to get a health care bill passed in the administration's avowed "one hundred days," she became a very demanding client indeed.
Source: Friends in High Places, by Webb Hubbell, p.193-194 Nov 1, 1997

Hillary Clinton on 2008 HillaryCare

AdWatch: My plan costs $1,700 less per person than Obama’s

Clinton TV ad, “False Charges”

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.

Source: AdWatch of 2008 campaign ad: “False Charges” Apr 21, 2008

FactCheck: Yes, Hillary’s plan might include wage garnishing

Obama’s TV ad says that Hillary’s healthcare plan “forces everyone to buy insurance, even if you can’t afford it. And you pay a penalty if you don’t.”

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.”

Source: AdWatch of 2008 campaign ad: “Phantom Saving” Apr 21, 2008

FactCheck: “$1,700 less than Obama plan” misinterprets study

Clinton counterattacked an Obama ad, accusing Obama of making “false charges” and saying his plan would cost taxpayers $1,700 more than hers to cover each new person. It may be correct that Clinton’s plan will cost taxpayers less to insure each previously uninsured individual, but the $1,700 figure is a misinterpretation of a study done by one economist.

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.”

Source: AdWatch of 2008 campaign ad: “False Charges” Apr 21, 2008

AdWatch: Got health insurance for six million kids

Clinton campaign ad, “Obligation”:
Narrator: She fought for universal health care long before it was popular. Got health insurance for six million kids, and expanded access to health care to the National Guard. Now she’s the only candidate for president with a plan to provide health care for every American. A top economist calls Hillary’s plan the difference between achieving universal health coverage--and falling far short. If you believe health care is America’s moral obligation, join her.
Source: FactCheck.org analysis of 2008 campaign ad, “Obligation” Mar 18, 2008

Include everyone, to avoid cherry-picking and its hidden tax

CLINTON: Sen. Obama’s plan does not cover everyone. It would leave, give or take, 15 million people out.

OBAMA: Sen. Clinton suggests that I want to leave 15 million people out. I dispute it, and I think it is inaccurate. The reason she thinks that there are more people covered under her plan than mine is because of a mandate.

CLINTON: The difference between Sen. Obama and myself is that I know, from the work I’ve done on health care for many years, that if everyone’s not in the system we will continue to let the insurance companies do what’s called cherry picking--pick those who get insurance and leave others out. We will continue to have a hidden tax, so that when someone goes to the emergency room without insurance-- 15 million or however many--that amount of money that will be used to take care of that person will be then spread among all the rest of us. In my plan there is enough money to provide the kind of subsidies so that everyone would be able to afford it.

Source: 2008 Democratic Debate in Cleveland Feb 26, 2008

Without a universal mandate, it’s not universal health care

CLINTON: I think it’s imperative that we stand as Democrats for universal health care. I’ve staked out a claim for that. Sen. Edwards did. Others have. But Sen. Obama has not.

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

Healthcare without mandate is like voluntary Social Security

CLINTON: I know that parents who get sick have terrible consequences for their children. So you can insure the children, and then you’ve got the bread-winner who can’t afford health insurance or doesn’t have it for him or herself. And in fact, it would b as though Franklin Roosevelt said let’s make Social Security voluntary--let’s let everybody get in it if they can afford it--or if Pres. Johnson said let’s make Medicare voluntary. What we have said is that at the point of employment, at the point of contact with various government agencies, we would have people signed up. It’s like when you get a 401(k), it’s your employer. The employer automatically enrolls you. Now, if you want to say that we shouldn’t try to get everyone into health insurance, that’s a big difference, because I believe if we don’t have universal health care, we will never provide prevention.

OBAMA: I believe that if we make it affordable, people will purchase it. In fact, Medicare Part B is not mandated, it is voluntary.

Source: 2008 Democratic Debate in Cleveland Feb 26, 2008

Many uninsured are young & don’t think they need coverage

CLINTON: About 20% of the people who are uninsured have the means to buy insurance. They’re often young people who think they’re immortal.

OBAMA: Which is why I cover them.

CLINTON: Except when the illness or the accident strikes. And what Sen. Obama has said, that then, once you get to the hospital, you’ll be forced to buy insurance, I don’t think that’s a good idea. We ought to plan for it, and we ought to make sure we cover everyone. That is the only way to get to universal health care coverage. But if we don’t even have a plan to get there, and we start out by leaving people, you’ll never ever control costs, improve quality, and cover everyone.

OBAMA: With respect to the young people, my plan specifically says that up until the age of 25 you will be able to be covered under your parents’ insurance plan, so that cohort that Sen. Clinton is talking about will, in fact, have coverage.

Source: 2008 Democratic Debate in Cleveland Feb 26, 2008

Make it illegal to discriminate against sick people

You know, 350,000 children in Texas get health care every month because I helped to start the Children’s Health Insurance Program. And 21,000 National Guard and Reserve members get access to health care because I went across the party line and joined up with a Republican senator to make that happen. So there’s a lot that we’ve already done. But there’s so much more to do.

I want to take on the tough issues that face us now. I want to stop the health insurance companies from discriminating against people because they’re sick. You know, it’s unconstitutional to discriminate on the basis of race or gender or ethnic origin or religion, but it’s OK to discriminate against sick people. And we’re going to end that, because it’s time we said no more.

Source: 2008 Democratic debate at University of Texas in Austin Feb 21, 2008

Tired of health insurance companies deciding who live or die

When I took on universal health care back in ‘93 and ‘94, it was against a firestorm of special interest opposition. I was more than happy to do that, because I believe passionately in getting quality affordable health care to every American. I don’t want to leave anybody out. I see the results of leaving people out. I am tired of health insurance companies deciding who will live or die.
Source: 2008 Democratic debate at University of Texas in Austin Feb 21, 2008

Universal health care will not work if it is voluntary

Obama has a mandate for parents to be sure to ensure their children. I agree with that. If we don’t go and require everyone to have health insurance, the health insurance industry will still game the system. Everyone of us with insurance will pay the hidden tax of approximately $900 a year to make up for the lack of insurance. Edwards made a great point. It would be as though Social Security were voluntary. Medicare, one of the great accomplishments of President Johnson, was voluntary. I do not believe that is going to work. You look at what will work and what will not work. If you do not have a plan that starts out attempting to achieve universal health care, you will be nibbled to death, and we will be back here with more and more people uninsured and rising costs. Obama recognizes that unless we have some kind of restriction, we will not get there. He’s also said that if people show up at a hospital sick, without health insurance, maybe at that point you can fine them.
Source: 2008 Democratic debate at University of Texas in Austin Feb 21, 2008

Mandate insurance AND make it affordable for all

OBAMA: [to Clinton]: About 95% of our plans are similar. But I emphasize reducing costs. Sen. Clinton believes that we have to force people who don’t have health insurance to buy it. But if you are going to mandate the purchase of insurance & it’s not affordable, then there’s going to have to be some enforcement mechanism that the government uses. And that, I don’t think, is helping those without health insurance.

CLINTON: Contrary to that description, we actually will make it affordable for everyone, because my plan lowers costs aggressively; and improves quality for everyone. And the way it covers all of those who wish to participate is that it will provide subsidies, and it will also cap premiums, because we want to make sure that it is affordable for all. So, when you draw the distinction that, “Well, it’s not affordable, therefore people will have to be made to get it,” well, the fact is, it has been designed to be affordable with health care tax credits.

Source: 2008 Democratic debate in Los Angeles before Super Tuesday Jan 30, 2008

Health care tax credit ensures affordability

I helped to create the children’s health insurance program back in 1997. I am totally committed to making sure every single child is covered. I provide a health care tax credit under my American Health Choices Plan so that every American will be able to afford the health care. I open up the congressional plan, but there is a big difference between Obama and me. He starts from the premise of not reaching universal health care.
Source: 2007 Democratic debate in Las Vegas, Nevada Nov 15, 2007

Insurance companies cannot deny people coverage

My proposal gives the insurance companies an ultimatum. They have to get into the business of actually providing insurance, instead of trying to avoid covering people. They cannot deny people coverage. They cannot have a pre-existing condition which is not covered. That is one of the biggest problems that doctors face. They face this constant barrage of harassment and bureaucratization from the private insurance world. We need to clean up Medicare & Medicaid. They’re not as friendly as they need to be.
Source: 2007 Democratic debate at Drexel University Oct 30, 2007

Condemns insurers as motivated by greed

[In 1993, Hillary defended her health care plan] She bitterly condemned the greed of health insurers, who she said were pushing the United States “to the brink of bankruptcy.”
Source: For Love of Politics, by Sally Bedell Smith, p.129 Oct 23, 2007

American Health Choices Plan: keep yours or pick Congress’

The American Health Choices Plan does not create any new bureaucracy. It is not government-run health care. If you are satisfied with your health care, you keep it, no questions asked.

But if you are one of those 47 million uninsured, or if you are one of the many millions more who actually have insurance except when you really need it and the insurance company won’t pay for what your doctor has prescribed, you will now have the same choices that are available to members of Congress, because we will open up the plan that members of Congress have and give you a health choices menu to choose from.

We will also provide a health care tax credit for those who cannot, on their own, afford it or who don’t have employer help. Similarly, I will provide a new small business health care tax credit because a lot of small businesses tell me that they’d love to be able to help provide health care for their employees, but they just can’t afford it, and we’re going to make it affordable.

Source: CNN Late Edition: 2007 presidential series with Wolf Blitzer Sep 23, 2007

Pay for health plan by $52B tax repeal & $77B efficiencies

Q: Your new plan says you would insure the 47 million Americans who are uninsured. And let’s talk about how you would pay for it. You say that you’d get $52 billion from repealing the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy and $77 billion from making the system more efficient. If you’re unable to get those savings from waste and fraud and abuse, would you raise taxes further or would you cut your program?

A: In our system, we have a lot of inefficiencies. Let’s take electronic medical records, because if we were to have a system where everyone had a private, confidential health care record--this is something that I’ve worked on with Newt Gingrich--we would see that we would save a lot of money. If we better managed chronic care, we would save money, because right now we don’t, and we pay a big price for it. My plan has about $52 billion in tax cuts, by moving the tax rates back to the pre-Bush era. And yes, taxes will go up on people making $250,000, but most Americans will see a net tax decrease.

Source: CNN Late Edition: 2007 presidential series with Wolf Blitzer Sep 23, 2007

Mandated responsibility by individuals, industry & employers

Q: You talk a lot about choice in your plan, but you still have sweeping government mandates.So isn’t there still a good deal of government coercion in your plan?

A: Well, there is certainly a shared responsibility that goes with having a health care system that both can afford to provide quality affordable health care for everyone and puts responsibility on everyone in our country. Individuals will have to have insurance, but we’re going to make it affordable. The health care industry, the drug industry, are going to have to change the way they conduct business. Business will take responsibility, but within a system that will actually get their costs down.

Source: CNN Late Edition: 2007 presidential series with Wolf Blitzer Sep 23, 2007

Since 1993, new consensus developed on need for healthcare

Q: You introduced a bill in 1993 when you were first lady working with President Clinton, on this big issue of universal healthcare. It got nowhere. What’s different now?

A: I’m proud that we tried in ‘93. Obviously, we made a lot of mistakes. [With my new plan], if you’re one of the 47 million Americans without health insurance, then you are going to have access to the same health choices menu that members of Congress do. I proposed that back in ‘93, and ran into a firestorm of opposition from the Congress. But I think a lot has changed in the last 14 years. A consensus has developed about what we need to do to try to reach quality, affordable healthcare. A consensus has developed because people who didn’t approve of what we were trying to do or who were on the sidelines have seen what has happened. It is not only a moral imperative that we try to cover everyone, it is now an economic necessity.

Source: Meet the Press: 2007 “Meet the Candidates” series Sep 23, 2007

Include insurance industry in discussions, but rein them in

Q: Should the insurance industry be kept out of healthcare reform?

A: Well, I can’t say how you prevent people who have legitimate businesses in America from participating in the political process. It’s somewhat silly to suggest that talking to people is somehow out of bounds. My coverage plan dramatically reins in the influence of the insurance companies, because frankly I think that they have worked to the detriment of our economy & our healthcare system.

Q: Because of your long history, do you take contributions from insurance companies?

A: Well, I take from executives or people that work for them, just like I do from every part of the economy. What’s important here is, can you put together a strong enough political coalition to withstand their understandable efforts? In American democracy, everybody gets to express an opinion, and some unfortunately have a disproportionate opinion, and that’s why it takes a lot of strength & experience to stand up to them. And I think I have proven that.

Source: Huffington Post Mash-Up: 2007 Democratic on-line debate Sep 13, 2007

I want to be the health care president

Q: As first lady, your major initiative was health care. You acknowledge that you did some things wrong in that. If, in fact, you made fundamental misjudgments on health care as first lady, why shouldn’t voters say, “She doesn’t have the judgment to be president”?

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.

Source: 2007 Democratic primary debate at Dartmouth College Sep 6, 2007

Universal health care coverage by the end of my second term

Q: Many experts project that it would cost between $90 billion and $120 billion to actually achieve universal health care for everyone in America. Is comprehensive reform achievable financially?

A: We already spend more money than anybody else in the world, by about $800 billion, and we have 47 million uninsured. We’re also at a competitive disadvantage because other countries either provide health care or don’t, and our companies are trying to be competing in a global economy. So I want to figure out how we provide universal health care without putting billions more into the system. Let’s get prescription drug prices down by negotiating with the drug companies, for example. I am going around the country, and I’m asking people’s advice, then I’m going to be proposing a specific plan. You know, President Kennedy said in his inauguration that he wanted to have a man on the moon by the end of the decade. Well, I want to have universal health care coverage by the end of my second term.

Source: 2007 AFSCME Democratic primary debate in Carson City Nevada Feb 21, 2007

I have the expertise to achieve universal healthcare for all

We are going to provide quality, affordable, universal healthcare coverage to every single American! I learned a lot about what we need to do to get it done. There’s a big difference between calling for it, impassioned speeches about it, presenting legislation that embodies your hopes and dreams, and another thing to put together the political coalition to actually make it happen.
Source: Speech at Democratic National Committee winter meeting Feb 2, 2007

We need a uniquely American solution to health care

Q: What about health care?

CLINTON: We need a uniquely American solution to our health care challenges. [For example], I have pushed to have a big pool that small businesses could participate in, like we do in the federal government. Small businesses should be able to join together like the Federal Employee Health Benefit Plan. There are pieces of things we should do now, but there’s no doubt that we need to have a national conversation-the payers, the employers, the doctors, the nurses, and those of us in public life--we need to get this fixed, once and for all.

SPENCER: I believe in the concept of health savings accounts. That creates jobs instead of punishing corporations and providers of jobs. Cut the taxes, and let them set up health savings accounts. With regards to the small business pools, small business owners say they are not getting help from Sen. Clinton to create associations so they can get the same rate as IBM and General Motors on health insurance. That’s what we need to do.

Source: NY 2006 Senate Debate, at University of Rochester Oct 22, 2006

Hillary Clinton on Voting Record

Health care initiatives are her first priority in Senate

In her first address from the Senate floor, Hillary Clinton offered an agenda of health care initiatives, casting herself as a moderate on the very issue that resulted in one of her most embarrassing defeats as first lady. The Clinton administration’s failed attempt to overhaul the nation’s health care system was widely derided at the time as big-government liberalism. She said that the experience [taught her] “the importance of bipartisan cooperation and the wisdom of taking small steps to get a big job done,“ she said.

She called for expanding eligibility for the government-run Children’s Health Insurance Program. Her plan, she said, would enable roughly five million more children to enroll. Clinton also proposed financial bonuses as a reward to states that aggressively enroll more children in the program. And she called for establishing a new national health insurance program for low-income families that is modeled after a NY program. She offered no details in her speech.

Source: NY Times, p. A22 Feb 13, 2001

Voted YES on overriding veto on expansion of Medicare.

Congressional Summary:Pres. GEORGE W. BUSH's veto message (argument to vote No):In addition, H.R. 6331 would delay important reforms like the Durable Medical Equipment, Prosthetics, Orthotics, and Supplies competitive bidding program. Changing policy in mid-stream is also confusing to beneficiaries who are receiving services from quality suppliers at lower prices. In order to slow the growth in Medicare spending, competition within the program should be expanded, not diminished.

Proponent's argument to vote Yes: Sen. PATTY MURRAY (D, WA): President Bush vetoed a bill that would make vital improvements to the program that has helped ensure that millions of seniors and the disabled can get the care they need. This bill puts an emphasis on preventive care that will help our seniors stay healthy, and it will help to keep costs down by enabling those patients to get care before they get seriously ill. This bill will improve coverage for low-income seniors who need expert help to afford basic care. It will help make sure our seniors get mental health care.

Reference: Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act; Bill HR.6331 ; vote number 2008-S177 on Jul 15, 2008

Voted NO on means-testing to determine Medicare Part D premium.

CONGRESSIONAL SUMMARY:To require wealthy Medicare beneficiaries to pay a greater share of their Medicare Part D premiums.

SUPPORTER'S ARGUMENT FOR VOTING YES:Sen. ENSIGN: This amendment is to means test Medicare Part D the same way we means test Medicare Part B. An individual senior making over $82,000 a year, or a senior couple making over $164,000, would be expected to pay a little over $10 a month extra. That is all we are doing. This amendment saves a couple billion dollars over the next 5 years. It is very reasonable. There is nothing else in this budget that does anything on entitlement reform, and we all know entitlements are heading for a train wreck in this country. We ought to at least do this little bit for our children for deficit reduction. OPPONENT'S ARGUMENT FOR VOTING NO:Sen. BAUCUS: The problem with this amendment is exactly what the sponsor said: It is exactly like Part B. Medicare Part B is a premium that is paid with respect to doctors' examinations and Medicare reimbursement. Part D is the drug benefit. Part D premiums vary significantly nationwide according to geography and according to the plans offered. It is nothing like Part B.

Second, any change in Part D is required to be in any Medicare bill if it comes up. We may want to make other Medicare changes. We don't want to be restricted to means testing.

Third, this should be considered broad health care reform, at least Medicare reform, and not be isolated in this case. LEGISLATIVE OUTCOME:Amendment rejected, 42-56

Reference: Bill S.Amdt.4240 to S.Con.Res.70 ; vote number 08-S063 on Mar 13, 2008

Voted YES on requiring negotiated Rx prices for Medicare part D.

Would require negotiating with pharmaceutical manufacturers the prices that may be charged to prescription drug plan sponsors for covered Medicare part D drugs.

Proponents support voting YES because:

This legislation is an overdue step to improve part D drug benefits. The bipartisan bill is simple and straightforward. It removes the prohibition from negotiating discounts with pharmaceutical manufacturers, and requires the Secretary of Health & Human Services to negotiate. This legislation will deliver lower premiums to the seniors, lower prices at the pharmacy and savings for all taxpayers.

It is equally important to understand that this legislation does not do certain things. HR4 does not preclude private plans from getting additional discounts on medicines they offer seniors and people with disabilities. HR4 does not establish a national formulary. HR4 does not require price controls. HR4 does not hamstring research and development by pharmaceutical houses. HR4 does not require using the Department of Veterans Affairs' price schedule.

Opponents support voting NO because:

Does ideological purity trump sound public policy? It shouldn't, but, unfortunately, it appears that ideology would profoundly change the Medicare part D prescription drug program, a program that is working well, a program that has arrived on time and under budget. The changes are not being proposed because of any weakness or defect in the program, but because of ideological opposition to market-based prices. Since the inception of the part D program, America's seniors have had access to greater coverage at a lower cost than at any time under Medicare.

Under the guise of negotiation, this bill proposes to enact draconian price controls on pharmaceutical products. Competition has brought significant cost savings to the program. The current system trusts the marketplace, with some guidance, to be the most efficient arbiter of distribution.
Status: Cloture rejected Cloture vote rejected, 55-42 (3/5ths required)

Reference: Medicare Prescription Drug Price Negotiation Act; Bill S.3 & H.R.4 ; vote number 2007-132 on Apr 18, 2007

Voted NO on limiting medical liability lawsuits to $250,000.

A "cloture motion" cuts off debate. Voting YEA indicates support for the bill as written, in this case to cap medical liability lawsuits. Voting NAY indicates opposition to the bill or a desire to amend it. This bill would "provide improved medical care by reducing the excessive burden the liability system places on the health care delivery system." It would limit medical lawsuit noneconomic damages to $250,000 from the health care provider, and no more than $500,000 from multiple health care institutions.
Reference: Medical Care Access Protection Act; Bill S. 22 ; vote number 2006-115 on May 8, 2006

Voted YES on expanding enrollment period for Medicare Part D.

To provide for necessary beneficiary protections in order to ensure access to coverage under the Medicare part D prescription drug program. Voting YES would extend the 6-month enrollment period for the Prescription Drug Benefit Program to the entire year of 2006 and allows beneficiaries to change plans once in that year, without penalty, after enrollment. Also would fully reimburse pharmacies, states and individuals for cost in 2006 for covered Medicare Part D drugs.
Reference: Medicare Part D Amendment; Bill S Amdt 2730 to HR 4297 ; vote number 2006-005 on Feb 2, 2006

Voted YES on increasing Medicaid rebate for producing generics.

Vote on an amendment that removes an increase in the Medicaid deduction rebate for generic drugs from 11% to 17%. The effect of the amendment, according to its sponsor, is as follows: "This bill eliminates the ability of generic drugs to be sold using Medicaid. Over half the prescription drugs used in Medicaid are generic. Because we have raised the fees so dramatically on what a generic drug company must pay a pharmacy to handle the drug, pharmacies are not going to use the generic. In the long run, that will cost the Medicaid Program billions of dollars. My amendment corrects that situation." A Senator opposing the amendment said: "This bill has in it already very significant incentives for generic utilization through the way we reimburse generics. Brand drugs account for 67% of Medicaid prescriptions, but they also account for 81% of the Medicaid rebates. This is reasonable policy for us, then, to create parity between brand and generic rebates. This amendment would upset that parity."
Reference: Amendment for Medicaid rebates for generic drugs; Bill S Amdt 2348 to S 1932 ; vote number 2005-299 on Nov 3, 2005

Voted YES on negotiating bulk purchases for Medicare prescription drug.

Vote to adopt an amendment that would allow federal government negotiations with prescription drug manufactures for the best possible prescription drug prices. Amendment details: To ensure that any savings associated with legislation that provides the Secretary of Health and Human Services with the authority to participate in the negotiation of contracts with manufacturers of covered part D drugs to achieve the best possible prices for such drugs under Medicare Part D of the Social Security Act, that requires the Secretary to negotiate contracts with manufacturers of such drugs for each fallback prescription drug plan, and that requires the Secretary to participate in the negotiation for a contract for any such drug upon the request of a prescription drug plan or an MA-PD plan, is reserved for reducing expenditures under such part.
Reference: Prescription Drug Amendment; Bill S.Amdt. 214 to S.Con.Res. 18 ; vote number 2005-60 on Mar 17, 2005

Voted NO on $40 billion per year for limited Medicare prescription drug benefit.

S. 1 As Amended; Prescription Drug and Medicare Improvement Act of 2003. Vote to pass a bill that would authorize $400 billion over 10 years to create a prescription drug benefit for Medicare recipients beginning in 2006. Seniors would be allowed to remain within the traditional fee-for-service program or seniors would have the option to switch to a Medicare Advantage program that includes prescription drug coverage. Private insurers would provide prescription drug coverage. Private Insurers would engage in competitive bidding to be awarded two-year regional contracts by the Center for Medicare Choices under the Department of Health and Human Services.Enrolled seniors would pay a $275 deductible and an average monthly premium of $35. Annual drug costs beyond the deductible and up to $4,500 would be divided equally between the beneficiary and the insurer. Beneficiaries with incomes below 160 percent of the poverty level would be eligible for added assistance.
Reference: Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit bill; Bill S.1/H.R.1 ; vote number 2003-262 on Jun 26, 2003

Voted YES on allowing reimportation of Rx drugs from Canada.

S. 812, as amended; Greater Access to Affordable Pharmaceuticals Act of 2002. Vote to pass a bill that would permit a single 30-month stay against Food and Drug Administration approval of a generic drug patent when a brand-name company's patent is challenged. The secretary of Health and Human Services would be authorized to announce regulations allowing pharmacists and wholesalers to import prescription drugs from Canada into the United States. Canadian pharmacies and wholesalers that provide drugs for importation would be required to register with Health and Human Services. Individuals would be allowed to import prescription drugs from Canada. The medication would have to be for an individual use and a supply of less than 90-days.
Reference: Bill S.812 ; vote number 2002-201 on Jul 31, 2002

Voted YES on allowing patients to sue HMOs & collect punitive damages.

Vote to provide federal protections, such as access to specialty and emergency room care, and allow patients to sue health insurers in state and federal courts. Economic damages would not be capped, and punitive damages would be capped at $5 million.
Reference: Bill S1052 ; vote number 2001-220 on Jun 29, 2001

Voted NO on funding GOP version of Medicare prescription drug benefit.

Vote to pass an amendment that would make up to $300 billion available for a Medicare prescription drug benefit for 2002 through 2011. The money would come from the budget's contingency fund. The amendment would also require a Medicare overhaul.
Reference: Bill H Con Res 83 ; vote number 2001-65 on Apr 3, 2001

Establish "report cards" on HMO quality of care.

Clinton adopted the manifesto, "A New Agenda for the New Decade":

Promote Universal Access and Quality in Health Care
That more than 40 million Americans lack health insurance is one of our society’s most glaring inequities. Lack of insurance jeopardizes the health of disadvantaged Americans and also imposes high costs on everyone else when the uninsured lack preventive care and get treatment from emergency rooms. Washington provides a tax subsidy for insurance for Americans who get coverage from their employers but offers nothing to workers who don’t have job-based coverage.

Markets alone cannot assure universal access to health coverage. Government should enable all low-income families to buy health insurance. Individuals must take responsibility for insuring themselves and their families whether or not they qualify for public assistance.

Finally, to help promote higher quality in health care for all Americans, we need reliable information on the quality of health care delivered by health plans and providers; a “patient’s bill of rights” that ensures access to medically necessary care; and a system in which private health plans compete on the basis of quality as well as cost.

Source: The Hyde Park Declaration 00-DLC5 on Aug 1, 2000

Invest funds to alleviate the nursing shortage.

Clinton co-sponsored the Nurse Reinvestment Act

Source: Bill sponsored by 39 Senators 01-S706 on Apr 5, 2001

Let states make bulk Rx purchases, and other innovations.

Clinton signed a letter from 30 Senators to the Secretary of HHS

To: The Honorable Tommy G. Thompson, Secretary, Department of Health & Human Services

Dear Secretary Thompson:

As you know, prescription drug costs have been surging at double-digit rates for the last six years. The average annual increase 1999 through 2003 was a massive 16%, seven times the rate of general inflation.

These increases fall hardest on senior citizens and the uninsured. Their health needs are often great, and their low incomes often make these products unaffordable. They have no ability to use their combined purchasing power to negotiate reasonable prices. Taxpayers pay tens of billions of dollars for the purchase of drugs by Medicaid—an expense that could be reduced significantly if states are permitted to negotiate for the best prices from drug manufacturers.

As you know, the Supreme Court has just ruled that Maine's innovative program to reduce prescription drug costs for the uninsured and senior citizens is not a violation of the Medicaid law. As a result of this decision, Maine can use the combined buying power of Medicaid and individuals purchasing drugs on their own to negotiate lower prices with drug manufacturers. Twenty-nine other states supported the position taken by Maine, and there is broad interest in many states in initiating similar programs.

The Supreme Court's ruling, however, left open the possibility that if the Department of Health and Human Services makes a finding that the Maine program violates the Medicaid statute, the Department's action would be upheld by the Court. We urge you not to intervene to block Maine's program or similar statutes in other states that achieve savings for taxpayers, the elderly, and the uninsured. Such programs must be carefully implemented to assure that the poor are not denied access to needed drugs, but there is no justification for the federal government to deny states the ability to negotiate lower drug prices on behalf of their neediest citizens.

Source: Letter from 30 Senators to the Secretary of HHS 03-SEN6 on May 20, 2003

Rated 100% by APHA, indicating a pro-public health record.

Clinton scores 100% by APHA on health issues

The American Public Health Association (APHA) is the oldest and largest organization of public health professionals in the world, representing more than 50,000 members from over 50 occupations of public health. APHA is concerned with a broad set of issues affecting personal and environmental health, including federal and state funding for health programs, pollution control, programs and policies related to chronic and infectious diseases, a smoke-free society, and professional education in public health.

The following ratings are based on the votes the organization considered most important; the numbers reflect the percentage of time the representative voted the organization's preferred position.

Source: APHA website 03n-APHA on Dec 31, 2003

End government propaganda on Medicare bill.

Clinton signed a letter from 6 Senators to Directors of Television Networks

Recently, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through a public relations firm, distributed Video News Releases (VNRs) to numerous local television news stations across the country. These VNRs contain pre-scripted news story packages and B-Roll designed to influence local news station to run stories complimentary of the new Medicare law recently signed by President Bush. However, these VNRs may mislead many news stations because they do not identify that they are produced by the government. In addition, these materials are currently being evaluated to determine whether they are illegal "covert propaganda."

We urge you to immediately warn stations not to use these materials and pull any stories that use them.

These tapes can be identified as follows: Two English-language versions begin with B-Roll of video slides promoting the new Medicare law, followed by interview soundbites from Tommy Thompson, Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services and Leslie Norwalk, Acting Deputy Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS). Following these soundbites, a complete television news package is run, with a voice-over by a fictional reporter named "Karen Ryan." Following the news package, more B-Roll is provided, including scenes of President Bush's rally at the signing of the bill, scenes from a pharmacy and scenes of seniors playing table games.

It is critical to the credibility of an independent news media that covert government propaganda be rejected for use by news organizations. We also believe that honest government should not resort to such deceptive tactics, and it is our belief that these materials violate the above-mentioned Federal law. Thank you for your cooperation with this request.

Source: Letter from 6 Senators to Directors of Television Networks 04-SEN3 on Mar 15, 2004

Sponsored bill for mental health service for older Americans.

Clinton sponsored providing mental health services for older Americans

OFFICIAL CONGRESSIONAL SUMMARY: A bill to provide for mental health screening and treatment services, and to provide for integration of mental health services and mental health treatment outreach teams.

SPONSOR'S INTRODUCTORY REMARKS: Sen. CLINTON: This bill is an effort to improve the accessibility and quality of mental health services for our rapidly growing population of older Americans. As we look forward to increased longevity, we must also acknowledge the challenges that we face related to the quality of life as we age. Chief among these are mental and behavioral health concerns.

It is estimated that nearly 20% of Americans age 55 or older experience a mental disorder. It is anticipated that the number of seniors with mental health problems will increase from 4 million in 1970 to 15 million in 2030. Mental disorders do not have to be a part of the aging process because we have effective treatments for these conditions. But in far too many instances our seniors go undiagnosed and untreated because of the current divide in our country between health care and mental health care.

That is why I am reintroducing the Positive Aging Act. This legislation would strengthen the delivery of mental health services to older Americans. Specifically, the Positive Aging Act would fund grants to states to provide screening and treatment for mental health disorders in seniors. It would also fund demonstration projects to provide these screening and treatment services to older adults residing in rural areas and in naturally occurring retirement communities, NORC's.

I believe that we owe it to older adults in this country to do all that we can to ensure that high quality mental health care is both available and accessible. This legislation takes an important step in that direction.

LEGISLATIVE OUTCOME:Referred to Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions; never came to a vote.

Source: Positive Aging Act (S.1116/H.R.2629) 05-S1116 on May 25, 2005

Improve services for people with autism & their families.

Clinton sponsored improving services for people with autism & their families

Amends the Public Health Service Act to require the Secretary of Health and Human Services to:

  1. convene, on behalf of the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee, a Treatments, Interventions, and Services Evaluation Task Force to evaluate evidence-based biomedical and behavioral treatments and services for individuals with autism;
  2. establish a multi-year demonstration grant program for states to provide evidence-based autism treatments, interventions, and services.
  3. establish planning and demonstration grant programs for adults with autism;
  4. award grants to states for access to autism services following diagnosis;
  5. award grants to University Centers of Excellence for Developmental Disabilities to provide services and address the unmet needs of individuals with autism and their families;
  6. make grants to protection and advocacy systems to address the needs of individuals with autism and other emerging populations of individuals with disabilities; and
  7. award a grant to a national nonprofit organization for the establishment and maintenance of a national technical assistance center for autism services and information dissemination.
  8. Directs the Comptroller General to issue a report on the financing of autism services and treatments.
Source: Promise for Individuals With Autism Act (S.937 & HR.1881) 07-HR1881 on Apr 17, 2007

Establish a national childhood cancer database.

Clinton co-sponsored establishing a national childhood cancer database

Conquer Childhood Cancer Act of 2007 - A bill to advance medical research and treatments into pediatric cancers, ensure patients and families have access to the current treatments and information regarding pediatric cancers, establish a population-based national childhood cancer database, and promote public awareness of pediatric cancers.

    Authorizes the Secretary to award grants to childhood cancer professional and direct service organizations for the expansion and widespread implementation of:
  1. activities that provide information on treatment protocols to ensure early access to the best available therapies and clinical trials for pediatric cancers;
  2. activities that provide available information on the late effects of pediatric cancer treatment to ensure access to necessary long-term medical and psychological care; and
  3. direct resource services such as educational outreach for parents, information on school reentry and postsecondary education, and resource directories or referral services for financial assistance, psychological counseling, and other support services.
Legislative Outcome: House version H.R.1553; became Public Law 110-285 on 7/29/2008.
Source: Conquer Childhood Cancer Act (S911/HR1553) 07-S911 on Mar 19, 2007

Preserve access to Medicaid & SCHIP during economic downturn.

Clinton co-sponsored preserving access to Medicaid & SCHIP in economic downturn

A bill to preserve access to Medicaid and the State Children's Health Insurance Program during an economic downturn.

Source: Economic Recovery in Health Care Act (S.2819) 2008-S2819 on Apr 7, 2008

Other candidates on Health Care: Hillary Clinton on other issues:
GOP: Sen.John McCain
GOP V.P.: Gov.Sarah Palin
Democrat: Sen.Barack Obama
Dem.V.P.: Sen.Joe Biden

Third Parties:
Constitution: Chuck Baldwin
Libertarian: Rep.Bob Barr
Constitution: Amb.Alan Keyes
Liberation: Gloria La Riva
Green: Rep.Cynthia McKinney
Socialist: Brian Moore
Independent: Ralph Nader
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