Monday, March 14, 2016

Before there was Hillarycare, there was Medicare

And then after Hillarycare had miserably failed (because it was not pragmatic and had been a "pie in the sky" idea at the time), there was Romneycare — and only then was there Obamacare.

In 1993, both First Lady Hillary Clinton and Vermont Representative Bernie Sanders agreed on Universal healthcare. Today Bernie still does, Hillary doesn't. She supports expanding Romneycare. Bernie Sanders still supports Universal healthcare — but now he calls it Medicare for All.

Hillary Clinton on the 2016 presidential campaign trail: "It was called Hillarycare before it was called Obamacare. I don't want to start over again, I don't want to rip up this accomplishment and begin this contentious debate all over again."

Bloomberg: It's an oversimplification, as Obama's plan more closely resembles the Massachusetts overhaul signed into law in 2006 by the state's then-governor, Mitt Romney. Timothy Jost, an expert on health care law: "The Affordable Care Act was modeled after Romney's Massachusetts plan, not the 1993 ["Hillarycare"] plan. The 1993 plan and the ACA are very different proposals."

Obamacare is a federal version of Romney's: A regulated marketplace that prohibits insurers from refusing coverage for sick people, or charging them higher prices; requires most people to buy coverage; and provides subsidies to low-income people to help them afford coverage.

Hillary Clinton's 1993 plan would have been more disruptive for the vast majority of Americans who receive insurance coverage through an employer — or through Medicare or Medicaid. Her sprawling proposal sought to achieve universal health coverage by offering all Americans a standard minimum-benefits package and imposing limits on out-of-pocket expenses, along with a broad requirement that employers provide insurance.

Democratic Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan said "there is no health care crisis" by stating "there is an insurance crisis" — but also indicated "anyone who thinks [Hillarycare] can work in the real world as presently written isn't living in it". Instead of uniting behind Hillary Clinton's original proposal, other Democrats offered a number of competing plans of their own. Some criticized her plan from the left, preferring a single-payer healthcare system.

During the 1994 mid-term election Hillary Clinton had launched a massive health-care reform plan that wound up strangled by its own red tape. In that election, the Republican revolution, led by Newt Gingrich, gave the GOP control of both the House of Representatives and the Senate for the first time since the 83rd Congress of 1953–1954, ending prospects for a Clinton-sponsored health care overhaul. (Comprehensive health care reform in the United States was not seriously considered or enacted by Congress until Barack Obama's election in 2008.)

In 1997, the Clinton administration supported an experimental program in New York that paid medical schools to train fewer doctors, in order to reduce a "glut of physicians".

As a senator for New York, Hillary Clinton received hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from doctors, hospitals, drug companies, and insurance companies for her 2006 re-election in the Senate, including several insurance companies that were members of the Health Insurance Association of America that helped defeat the Clinton Health Plan in 1994.

Charles N. Kahn III, a Republican who was executive vice president of the Health Insurance Association in 1993 and 1994, refers to his previous battles with Clinton as "ancient history," and says "she is extremely knowledgeable about health care and has become a Congressional leader on the issue."

In her 2008 presidential campaign, Hillary Clinton proposed a health care plan that closely resembled Mitt Romney's. It included an individual mandate to buy insurance, which Obama ironically argued against in the Democratic primary, only to embrace it later as president.

Jonathan Gruber, a health care economist and MIT professor who advised both the Romney and Obama reform efforts, said: “The 2008 Hillary plan was basically Romneycare, and they were both much closer to the ACA than the early 1990s plan. That said, I think the success of the ACA would not have been possible without some of the key lessons learned during the Clinton era debates. So she gets important credit for setting the political groundwork.”

Hillary Clinton's political rival Bernie Sanders helped write Obamacare, but Hillary Clinton claims it was her idea first, and that Sanders wants to "rip it up and start over again." But Sanders stands by his single-payer plan, yet Clinton has dismissed his idea as politically impractical under the current Congress (as though there were anything she would offer that could pass through a friendly GOP congress.)

Clinton had criticized Sanders for failing to make traction on his single-payer proposal during more than 25 years in Congress: "He never got even a single vote in the House or a single Senate co-sponsor. Not one. You hear a promise to build a whole new system, but that’s not what you get ... You’ll get gridlock and an endless wait for advances that never come." (She criticized him for supporting her plan!)

Clinton’s criticism of a single-payer plan risks putting her out of step with the Democratic grassroots, something Sanders alluded to when he said the former secretary of State was “sounding like a Republican."

U.S. News and World Report (Oct. 14, 2015) Hillary Takes Millions in Campaign Cash From ‘Enemies’ -- Clinton named the drug and insurance industries among her “enemies,” but has accepted millions in donations from them. Hillary Clinton sold out to the lobbyists, the ones she now claims she took on. Now she's one of them. But Bernie is still fighting the good fight.


  1. In 2011, Vermont’s Democratic-controlled legislature approved a government-run, government-financed health-care system for all Vermonters. The state’s new Democratic governor, Peter Shumlin, signed the bill into law after campaigning on a pledge to enact single-payer himself. A cost estimate of the program, known as Green Mountain Care, was ordered, but long delayed.

    Elections came and went, including Shumlin’s own 2014 re-election, which was so close that Vermont law required the final decision to go to the legislature after Shumlin failed to win a majority of the vote in November.

    As the state waited for the legislature to take up the election results, Shumlin announced that he would not pursue single payer after all when the long-awaited financial projections showed “the promise and the peril” of a single-payer system.

    The promise, of course, was a chance to give nearly every Vermonter reliable access to quality health care.

  2. This is the final round of polling before five states vote tomorrow...Bernie is closing fast.

    Clinton 46%, Sanders 41%

    Clinton 48%, Sanders 45%

    Sanders 47%, Clinton 46%

    Donate to Bernie!!!