More Hillary Clinton …

by on August 22, 2007

Hello, Randy,

I found your article interesting and insightful, however, I submit that progressive must be very careful in giving Hillary Clinton credit for “seriously” promoting universal health care. The truth is just the opposite. While Bill Clinton and his ‘National Townhall on Healthcare’ properly identified the cost of health care as the albatross on the economy, then as a way to build Hillary’s image in the public eye, he turned over to her the job — viewed as a slam dunk — of advocating universal health care.

After the first months of advocacy, Hillary was mercilessly attacked by the big insurers, HMOs, and industry attorneys. Health Lobby funds to Clinton dropped precipitously. Subsequently, Hillary was invited to a meeting with industry leaders in either NYC or DC. At that barely reported meeting, Hillary pledged that “the health care industry can be assured that the Clinton administration would never enact a program that would harm their businesses.” That meeting and that pledge ended the advocacy for universal healthcare in the Clinton administration.

The Clinton retreat made Hillary the darling of the HMO industry, such that currently Hillary receives more money from the HMO industry than all other candidates combined.

James E. Vann
Oakland, California

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