A recent article in Politico includes a fantastic anecdote about Hillary Clinton’s worldview as of 1993. It describes how she believed that universal Medicare-for-all health coverage like Canada’s made rational sense, but that insurance company money would stop it from ever happening — and that it was hilariously naive to think a U.S. president could do anything about that.
From the article by Ben Schreckinger:
One of Bill Clinton’s first acts in office in January of 1993 was to appoint his wife to chair the administration’s Task Force on National Health Care Reform. [then-Rep. Bernie] Sanders had convened his own, much-smaller task force pushing single-payer health care for Vermont, and he began trying to pull Hillary Clinton in that direction.
In February, Sanders requested a meeting with Hillary, “to bring in two Harvard Medical School physicians who have written on the Canadian system,” according to the records of the administration’s task force. Those physicians were Stephanie Woolhandler and David Himmelstein, leading advocates for single-payer health care.
They got their meeting at the White House that month, and the two doctors laid out the case for single-payer to the first lady. “She said, ‘You make a convincing case, but is there any force on the face of the earth that could counter the hundreds of millions of the dollars the insurance industry would spend fighting that?’” recalled Himmelstein. “And I said, “How about the president of the United States actually leading the American people?’ and she said, ‘Tell me something real.’”
This is important information for people to know about Clinton, especially now that she’s running for president claiming to want to engage in “Four Fights.” It suggests what she really has planned is Four Thrown Fights. (Himmelstein and Stephanie Woolhandler don’t remember anything more about this part of their meeting, and Sanders hasn’t responded to my questions about it.)
(This post is from our blog: Unofficial Sources.)
Photo: Jon Chase/AP