21 February 2007

Hillary: burned once

Jeff Cohen asks, Will Healthcare Timidity Trip Up Hillary Clinton?

Cohen begins by quoting the Washington Post on Hillary in Iowa:
In keeping with her expressed desire to hold a “conversation with Iowans,” Clinton asked at one point for a show of hands from the audience, asking them to declare whether they preferred an employer-based system of insurance, a system that mandates all individuals to purchase insurance, with help from the government if necessary, or one modeled on the Medicare system. Overwhelmingly the audience favored moving toward a Medicare-like system for all Americans.
Cohen then goes on to write about how the people are way out ahead of Hillary, that healthcare may become a dividing line between Democratic candidates, how Hillary never championed single-payer, but stood resolutely against it in the 1993 debacle.

It was Sen. Paul Wellstone, Conyers and Rep. Jim McDermott who were behind single-payer. Hillarycare would have created a convoluted system to keep insurance companies at the heart of the U.S. medical system while appearing to reform it. Cohen warns us not to expect the mainstream media to get anything right this time either.

He ends on this upbeat note, however:
Last November’s election has already changed the terms of the national debate on Iraq. If progressives mobilize, we can also use this moment (and the upcoming presidential primaries) to transform the healthcare debate.

And one day soon we may get what other advanced countries already have: a healthcare system that works, with nonprofit insurance for all.

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