Source:Clinton Library– President William J. Clinton (Democrat, Congress) addressing a joint session of Congress, about health care reform in 1993.
“This is video footage of President William Jefferson Clinton delivering an address to a joint session of the Congress on health care. This footage is official public record produced by the White House Television (WHTV) crew, provided by the Clinton Presidential Library.
Date: September 23, 1993
Location: US Capitol, Washington, DC”
From the Clinton Library
I think President Bill Clinton had the right approach to health care reform in 1993-94, but communicated it horribly and had a divided Democratic Party that was split from the Far-Left (or left-wing, if you prefer) that simply wanted to nationalize the health insurance (if not the entire health care system) in America and a Center-Left that wanted to expand choice and health insurance, but through the private sector.
President Clinton got caught in-between the Far-Left and Center-Left of his party. Plus, Congressional Republicans, especially in the House, lead by Minority Whip Newt Gingrich (who wanted to be the next Speaker of the House) who had no political interest in working with President Clinton on health care and simply wanted to blame him and the Democratic Congress for getting nothing done.
President Clinton also passing up on a real opportunity to do something real here and not accepting the compromise that was reached in the Senate between Republicans, including Senate Minority Bob Dole, to expand health insurance to Americans through the private sector and pass what would be called later the Patients Bill of Rights.
You would think with a Progressive Democratic President, to go along with a Democratic Congress with almost 260 Democrats in the House and 57 in the Senate, that passing a real health care reform bill in that Congress, shouldn’t be that difficult. Especially with reconciliation that allows Congress to pass bills in the House and Senate with just simple majorities.
But you had a Democratic President who wasn’t very popular yet and a divided Democratic Congress, at least on health care. As well as a Republican Party that was starving for real power in Congress and saw health care reform and President Clinton as their ticket back to power in Washington.