Hillary Clinton in Ankeny (finally)

If you don’t understand the word finally in the headline, read the previous post.

After apologizing for being late, Clinton tells the crowd why her campaign has chosen the Des Moines Area Community College as the venue for this event.  "I was here in 1993 talking about health care and I’m back because we’re going to get it done this time," she began.  "…14 years later I’m a little older, I hope I’m a little bit wiser, but I’m still committed to universal health care…This has to be an important priority for our country."

"…We had a problem back in ’93, but the problem has gotten worse because we haven’t addressed it," she said.  "…This is a moral crisis and this is an economic crisis," she said.

Clinton lays out the problems of the current system, namely those who are uninsured and those who have coverage, but are denied services by their insurer.  She soon winds up talking about her 1993 experience again.  "What’s great about Americans is we learn from what doesn’t work…and that’s what we’re going to do about health care," she continues.

Clinton then launches into her attack on Obama.

"I think it’s important that we understand the differences among us…Among the Democrats, all of us except Senator Obama have universal health care that have put forward a plan. Governor Richardson, Senator Edwards, Senator Dodd — we’ve put forward universal health care plans because we know if we don’t cover everybody, we’re going to leave millions and millions of people out.  It’s a substantive and important difference because if you don’t start with the goal of covering every American you will never get there."

"…I don’t understand why we have this difference on the Democratic side because if anything Democrats should stand for universal health care.  That distinguishes us from the Republicans.  The Republicans don’t believe in it.  Democrats do and we should fight for it," she says, as the crowd applauds.  "And we’ll need a president with the experience and the strength to make that happen otherwise we’ll be right back here in another 10 or 12 or 14 years and we will still have tens of millions of people uninsured."

"…It’s impossible to get to universal health care if you don’t have a mandate.  That is a key difference between my plan and Senator Obama’s plan.  Now, when Senator Obama was a state senator in Illinois, he helped to create a task force that looked into how best to cover everyone in Illinois with health insurance.  They released their report earlier this year and they made it very clear, if you want to cover everyone, you need to require everyone to get health insurance otherwise you will fail 60 to 90 percent of the uninsured."

"…What’s strange is that Senator Obama’s plan actually does have a mandate, but only for children — no requirement for adults.  Now, I’ve worked on the issue a very long time. If you believe you can enforce a mandate on children that means you enforce the mandate on the parents of the children to enroll the children, so why would you leave out the parents of the children?"  The crowd applauded.  "Because what happens when you leave out the parents is that they’re less likely to get health care for their children.  See, this is all connected and I’m proud that Senator Edwards agrees with me; Senator Dodd agrees with me; Governor Richardson agrees with me. Congressman Kucinich has a different approach but he gets everyone covered and they have universal health care.  If we don’t have universal health care then we will be betraying the Democratic Party’s principles and it’s important that those who will caucus on January 3rd understand this difference.  Senator Obama’s plan does not and cannot cover all Americans.  He’s called his plan universal, then he called it virtually universal but it is not either and when it comes to truth in labeling, it simply flunks the test.  He’s been saying there’s no difference between our plans, but his plan would leave at least 15 million Americans uninsured, including more than 100,000 people right here in Iowa."

"…Who’s going to choose who doesn’t get covered?….When I am president there will be no invisible Americans and there will be no Americans without health care.  That is one of my highest priorities," Clinton said.  The crowd applauded.  "Look, I have been fighting the Republicvans and the special interests for 15 years.  I have to admit I get somewhat amused when any of my opponents try to claim they have fought more fights than I have fought," Clinton said.  A few in the crowd laughed.  "Well, I don’t remember tham being with me in 1993 and 1994 to tell you the truth."

UPDATE:  here is the Radio Iowa story, with Obama rebuttal from a telephone conference call Obama had with reporters this morning.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
About O.Kay Henderson

O. Kay Henderson is the news director of Radio Iowa.


  1. Jessica Levine says

    Let’s be very clear with the facts: We do not have universal health care in this country right now because of Hillary Clinton’s personal failure in 1993-4. She was in charge of the effort. She had the backing of a Democratic president and an overwhelming Democratic majority in Congress. But her secrecy and ultra-partisanship prevented it from even being brought to a vote. The public backlash to the health care debacle led to the Democrats losing control of Congress and scared off anyone from even trying to look at comprehensive health care reform for the next 14 years. She may want to re-write history, but Hillary is more to blame than anyone for the lack of health care reform in this country. As for the finger wagging that Obama does not really offer universal health care coverage, it’s more of a policy debate as to what really is more practical way to achieve it. While I don’t personally know if Edwards or Obama is correct on this policy point (and do have some questions about Obama’s approach), the last person to trust on given the clear public record is Hillary Clinton. At least, Obama is being honest about the history of this. At least, he’s willing to have a open process and listen to folks if he’s wrong. Given Hillary’s track-record on this very subject, how can we say the same about her. Read the history, not her spin.

  2. You make an odd assertion Jessica: “But her secrecy and ultra-partisanship prevented it from even being brought to a vote.” If I remember correctly, the special interests, specifically the health insurance industry, attacked Hillary’s plan vehemently, called it “Hillary Care” and ran negative ads featuring that famous couple sitting around the kitchen table wondering if they’d have to switch doctors.
    Let’s be clear. We all know who the real enemy of universal health care in the 90s was: the insurance companies. It’s also worth acknowledging that universal health coverage did not have the kind of political support then that it does now. As Americans grow older and HMOs increasingly aim to cut costs, the problem grows more acute and support for some kind of universal health coverage grows stronger.
    So let’s not blame Hillary who at least tried to do the right thing back in 1993 and seems determined, hell or high water, to make it work this time.
    And can it really be her fault that with complete Republican control for the first 6 years of Bush’s administration nothing was done on this issue? I think it’s pretty clear who presents the biggest obstacle to universal coverage.

  3. Yes, yes, but since the 90s, I don’t know of any leading Democrat who has sold her/his soul to corporate interests while expending citizen interests like Hillary and Bill Clinton. The quarterly FEC reports is as far as you need to go..Aetna, Blue Cross, every major health and pharmaceutical corporation has given to her campaign. In addition as you probably know the defense industry..
    I take real issue with her singling out Obama and accusing him of betraying Democratic principles..he’s not the one coercing Fujian immigrants who can barely utter a word of English, who are dishwashers to donate to her campaign. She’s the one who sends trashy news to the outlets against her opponents(Obama/Edwards)..she’s the one who strong armed 88 Black ministers in South Carolina to endorse her and appear on the same stage with her..
    And today we have this: http://iowaindependent.com/showDiary.do?diaryId=1550
    She really needs a reality check regarding who is betraying Democratic Party principles..

  4. well of course it wasn’t going to get passed back then hardly even had computers,and the insurances co. was the real reason they didnt think of our future,she tried so she work at it more and more,now when we get all signed up and go to different doctors the info will be right on the medical records computer.so you dont have to fill out all that info.paperwork is all elimnated, can see what mistake a doctor did or didnt follow up on or what ever tthe reason,and what you have been treated for in the past…of what we know today Universal Health Care will pass now.ya just walk in,say your name ,and your taken care of.
    she is one Tough cookie and smart.
    Thank you Hillary for an amazing plan.

  5. Blue Cross/Blue Shield, the AMA and the AHA (American Hospital Association) are all in the bag for universal health care. They are contributing to many lobbyists and groups that promote universal health care. They have staked out their positions and made it clear the direction they want us to go. People must not read. This is dangerous. Hillary has all of these businesses and money behind her. Blue Cross/Blue Shield wants to be the government’s insurance provider (along with a few others). All of these groups have their own self-interests at stake. They know if Hillary is elected they will make out BIG. Follow the money.