So is Clinton advising Obama on healthcare? White House won’t say

March 5, 2009

President Barack Obama turned his chief rival in the 2008 Democratic primaries, Hillary Clinton, into his secretary of state, but is he tapping her for advice on healthcare reform too?
 
Not clear. Clinton, who spearheaded a failed attempt to overhaul the U.S. healthcare system in the 1990s while her husband, Bill Clinton, was president, will be in Europe on Thursday, when Obama holds a “summit” on healthcare reform.
 
So has the White House consulted with the former first lady about the issue? OBAMA/
 
“You know, I don’t know if they have had wide-ranging conversations specifically with Secretary Clinton,” spokesman Robert Gibbs told a White House briefing.
 
“There are still a number of people around that were part of that effort that can be consulted,” he said.
 
Clinton’s failed efforts in the 90s were widely blamed for hurting her husband’s adminstration, with critics citing the secrecy of the process as one of its downfalls.
 
Thursday’s summit is meant to set a process in motion to reduce healthcare costs and extend insurance benefits to millions of Americans who are not covered.
 
Gibbs hinted that the White House would not repeat the former first lady’s mistakes.
 
“I think even those involved in previous efforts would acknowledge misgivings that they had about the way the process worked,” he said. “Tomorrow’s effort is intended to bring about a process that people can be assured is open.”

For more Reuters political news, click here.

Photo Credit: Reuters/Kevin Lemarque (Obama and Clinton at the State Deptarment on January 22)

14 comments

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as a conservative it saddens me hear well informed people on my side of the political spectrum trying to argue that all is well with the health care system,here in america.to try to promote what is going here is either ignorance or political dogma of the kind that i normally expect from the left. i have personally experienced both types of medical health care in the USA and in the united kingdom. FACTS as an example, here i had to wait 3 weeks for a doctors appointment never more than 3 days in england. the doctors and staff in england are lower paid than their american counterparts but are more dedicated to their profession ,while here there is more emphasis on employment,and there is not in general the same dedication or respect for the profession.also it is worrying to me that my health care and treatment is controlled by insurance companies,in my experience fine weather friends.if in any area that it should be bipartisan it should here,because the quality of the over all system here is a disgrace,and more exspensive

Posted by brian lee | Report as abusive

Well said Brian, this is one of your posts that I couldn’t agree more with. We have have great insurance coverage through my wife’s job, I’m self employed, but it is un-Godly expensive. I recently had a nasty snowboard accident and I’m waiting to see how much of the ER bill is covered. It shouldn’t be to bad but the hit in my wife’s paycheck every two weeks is huge.
There are a lot of reasons that health care here is so expensive, drug cost, insurance companies, mal- practice insurance and education costs/student loan debt to name a few. If you are self employed like me forget paying for insurance on your own without being in a group plan from an employer, it’s way to expensive. Suddenly a LITTLE socialism doesn’t sound so bad huh?

Posted by Eric H | Report as abusive

no eric h there are two things in england that supercede politics, one the health system,there is so much appreciation, both sides are respectful of the people who work in it. there is provision for someone to go private if they want to but most people use it.an opposite to compare here are the socialist leaders advocating public schools but sending their children to private schools because the standards are so bad.the other topic, the judges are totally unbiased, here in ca 9 th circuit is an extension of the democratic party.democratically voted against gay marridge twice ,but these hacks will again go against the peoples wishes and over rule it.don,t know if you will get this posting the last pro dem one got past the censers in record time.

Posted by brian lee | Report as abusive

Eric. Hey, you have health care. What are you complaining about? If it is so important to you, then quit living beyond your means and stick to the “necessities” of life, like food and shelter.

Since your wife works, the money she spends on health care is money well spent. Isn’t the health of your family more important than the lift tickets you buy at the mountain?

Stop complaining, you aren’t even one of the so called 46 million people who don’t have health care (a tenuous assertion because for a great percentage of them, it is a choice). Stop trying to ruin the good coverage most of us have. I am beginning to realize you will never be happy. You want a free handout, even if we can’t pay for it. Obama can’t even pay for this health care. So that means our coverage will be bad…very bad.

Socialism is not a road the majority of people want to go down in this country. They are beginning to figure out the mistake 52 percent of the voters made when they elected this bunch of progressive liberal into the presidency and congress.

Posted by TC | Report as abusive

tc i am totally for private enterprise but we are getting ripped off,by the insurance companies. my premium is 400 dollars per month,a got something in my eye,my nearest walk in clinic is 20miles from were i live,after seeing 3 different doctors to get the piece removed ,the total cost me 460 dollars.

Posted by brian lee | Report as abusive

Brian and TC first of all the “little socialism” comment was just a little dig at Brian, I don’t believe we should have a government run health care system. They can’t even run themselves let alone a huge health care system. However and this is the point you missed TC, if health care cost were not so high we would have more money to use elsewhere. Not so much for lift tickets TC but for our battered 401 Ks or to help grow my carpentry business or for the landscaping project that we want to do. It would be money we could put back into the economy. TC, I never said I wanted my health care for free or that it should socialized, but we do have one of the most expensive, wasteful and cumbersome systems. A lot could be done with drug and insurance companies to bring the cost down and streamline things.
One more thing TC we don’t live beyond our means, we have a nice safe fixed rate on the house and don’t carry a lot debt other than student loans. I drive a ten year old Subaru (big surprise huh?) that’s paid for.
You’re making assumptions and generalizations again about things that you don’t know anything about.

Posted by Eric H | Report as abusive

If Obama wants to improve healthcare in the United States, he should listen very carefully to Miz Hillary and do the opposite.

Posted by Hamm Sailhardy | Report as abusive

Nothing surprises me with you Eric.

You always seem to be unhappy with your lot in life. Instead of being thankful for what you have, you always grasp for that golden ring on the merry go round but it is always just out of reach.

Even if health care costs were down, people would still complain about the quality of their care. I don’t mind paying a little more for quality health care because it is a top priority for me and my family. With that in mind, I have worked hard to receive that quality health care and I don’t want it to be watered down. I don’t want to wait in line or to be denied treatment or anything else taken away from me. I have worked extremely hard to earn this and I resent work toward a universal system where this likely will happen. I don’t expect it to be free and I don’t want the government telling me what treatment I can or cannot have.

Don’t be fooled by those socialized medicine programs in Canada and Europe. Half my family is Canadian and they do not like it. When you get really sick, you still wait in line and suffer waiting to get treatment. Any wait we have is minor in comparison. I really could go on about this, but you probably don’t believe me anyway. The negatives regarding socialized medicine are not covered in the media. It should be.

Be thankful for what you have rather than for what you have not. The grass isn’t always greener on the other side of the fence.

Posted by TC | Report as abusive

TC did you even read my post? Cost cutting not socialized medicine. We have one of the most expensive and wasteful systems in the world, that’s all I’m saying. You should mind paying a little more for something that doesn’t have to cost so much.
FYI – I’m quite happy thanks, have a lot to be thankful for and I am. I don’t where you get this unhappy/brass ring/grass is greener thing from.

Posted by Eric H | Report as abusive

I get it from you Eric. You should read my posts more often rather than cherry pick what I write.

It is very clear you are not a happy person. You complain about your lot in life all the time. Nothing is good enough for you and you have everything you need in life. You won’t be any happier with a landscaped yard, a little more in your 401K, etc. Once you get those things on the backs of the taxpayers, you will want more. It is very easy to see you are not happy with what you have.

It’s a no win situation with you. You complain what what you don’t have, then try to act like you are happy. Can’t have it both ways.

If you don’t think Obama and the other progressives in congress don’t want nationalized health care, then you have not been reading the news. He wants 640 billion of our dollars as a “downpayment” toward a nationalized system of health care. First of all, we don’t have 640 billion dollars to give for health care and it doesn’t even pay for itself anyway.

You are very naive if you think it is only about cutting costs. Incremental change until we are all dependent on the government. Not only that, when you are old, you won’t get the kind of health care you think you pay too much for now. You will live with a lot of pain and actually may die waiting. I have a personal family example of this in Canada, but I will not discuss personal matters with you. Just take my word for it, nationalized health care will be the death of us in more ways than one.

Posted by TC | Report as abusive

Who cares if “Hill” is or not? Obviously the country (who voted for him) and President Obama want change and if Clinton can offer some advice who really cares? I mean COME ON! Oh wait I know who, the same people who have always wanted the “capitalist” system working in their favor from an ideological and financial point of view who are now trying to sniff out “socialists” the same way McCarthy sniffed out “communists”. The issue and the danger of continuing on the path we have chosen with health care is larger than one woman who tried to do something positive for the country and failed because of the way she approached it and the people who shut her down. meanwhile the hole gets bigger to throw dollars in…

Posted by cosby | Report as abusive

We have a double standard in this country. Why is public education supported by almost everyone but public health care considered a step towards socialism?

Posted by MB | Report as abusive

Not true MB. Public education is not supported by everyone. The growing home school families certainly don’t support public schools, the private school families don’t support public schools. Also, there are many people who only send their kids to public schools because they can’t afford private schools or don’t have the resources to home school.

So to say public education is supported by “almost everyone” is not true in any sense.

But in education, and as they want to do in health care, throwing money at the problem will not fix the problem. It will likely make matters worse. It always does. For all the money thrown at education, the education of our kids has not increased for the better. And the solution to that problem? Throw more money into education. It’s insane.

Posted by TC | Report as abusive

I am not for universal healthcare, I believe we should be spending less, unleash the oil, quit sending our jobs out of country. We need more housing incentives, job creation, restructuring the currency, but not sending in a combined currency like north american euro.
Students need more grants less loans they have to pay back. We need to pray to god that he will save our land,
We need to remember what George Washinton Stood for, this nation was founded on a belief in god,Washington prayed daily.