How the Clinton White House bungled healthcare reform
For years after the effort failed, the generally accepted storyline was that they cooked up the health care plan in secret, didn’t work with Congress enough and that’s why it stalled.
Not true, according to the documents released Friday, which include transcripts of briefings Hillary Clinton gave to members of Congress and memos from White House advisers. They show that she was constantly being urged to hold more meetings with key members of Congress, including Democrats and Republicans, in early 1993 when the plan was being put together — and she was being advised on how to stroke the egos of individual lawmakers.
And yet, the Clinton White House didn’t put the pieces together to see the coming collapse, with Democrats unable to get on the same page and Republicans under pressure to say no to the whole thing.
Clinton herself took pains to convince congressional Democrats that the White House had listened to them.
“We labor under getting about 535 different [inaudible] views on how to do this,” and the White House tried to “do it the best way we can figure out,” Clinton told Senate and House Democratic leaders in a September 1993 briefing, according to one transcript.