Hillary on Health Care: ‘I Think We’re Going to be Successful… We Just Have to Calm Down Here’

Sep 18, 2009 3:13pm

ABC News' Kirit Radia reports: Hillary Clinton has some advice for vocal critics of the Obama administration’s efforts to reform health care. “Some of the political opposition is so overheated. So we just have to calm down here, take two aspirin, go to bed — think about it in the morning,” she told an audience at the Brookings Institution this morning. Referencing her “own acquaintance with this issue” — which generated lots of laugher – Clinton said she believes Americans have learned more about health care since the failed attempts in 1993-1994. “More people know what's at stake, more people have seen us try other things.  I mean, I remember one of the arguments that was made 15 years ago, 'You know, let the HMOs handle it; we'll do something called managed competition; that will control costs; that will eventually cover everybody.'  And of course, you know, that was not to be,” she said. “So I think that there's just much more real-world experience that people from all walks of life have that, in the absence of what is being proposed, costs will continue to go up for those of us who are insured, coverage will continue to shrink for those of us who are insured, the numbers of people who have access to any form of insurance will continue to diminish; and therefore, I think we will be successful,” Clinton added. Asked about whether President Obama’s health care reform push could spend political capital that might prevent progress getting contentious foreign policy initiatives through Congress, she said of President Clinton’s failed bid at reform: “I don't think that in any way undercut President Clinton's ability to deal with the rest of the world.” Comparing the U.S. proposal on the table to those in other countries, Clinton noted that the American plan is still much more conservative. “Will it be everything any one person would want?  No, of course not.  That's not the nature of the compromise required in a legislative setting.  But I am — I'm quite optimistic.  You know, we really have an opportunity now to produce an outcome that will significantly improve the important aspects of health-care reform: controlling costs, increasing quality, expanding coverage,” she said. — Kirit Radia

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