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September 26th, 2009
11:35 AM ET

Can Obama succeed where Clinton failed?

Fifteen years ago Saturday, congress abandoned the Clinton health-care overhaul effort-
Yet, the fight for reform goes on:
President Obama still faces many of the same obstacles that plagued then-President Bill Clinton.
Can he succeed where Clinton failed?
Who better to ask - than the people who were in the White House in 1994?
CNN's Betty Nguyen poses that question to Donna Shalala, who served as Health and Human Services Secretary under President Clinton , former President Clinton's Deputy Chief of Staff, Harold Ickes and Kenneth Thorpe – who worked on the health care reform bill for the Clinton Administration.
Take a look at what they had to say:

Join Betty Nguyen and TJ Holmes this morning in the CNN Newsroom, 6am ET/ 3am PT.

soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. Don

    Yes he can, But he needs to remove the Federal Ban on Cannabis cultivation and let the States Regulate,Control and Tax the crops, Hemp can do so much for our economy and has NO Drug value but a high nutritional and Oil value and as far as the high THC variety is concerned it can be taxed and regulated just like Alcohol and Tobacco as it is much safer than those LEGAL substances although the Pharmaceutical Companies stand to lose millions or more in revenue, The media outlets are paid enormous amounts of money to run their drug ad`s, You know, the 30 second ad`s, The ones that spend 5 seconds telling you what it is for and 25 more telling you how it can maim you or even cause DEATH,I guess that is the main reason why CBS,ABC and FOX refused to run television ads with medical patients confirming the positive benefits of medical Marijuana, Seems like BIASED reporting to me,There are also a multitude of Medical studies on file confirming it`s benefits and uses, Just not reported in the Major Media, The most concerning downside of these studies though are the dangers of smoking which can be solved by orally consuming the herb as it is non-toxic, WARNING- Do not attempt to smoke Industrial hemp as it WILL make you sick and will NOT get anybody HIGH.

    September 26, 2009 at 12:47 pm |
  2. Mike Armstrong TX.

    Obama has an advantage over Clinton such as a democratic majority rule when Clinton was president it was a republican rule and if he dont win then the bill must really stink.

    September 26, 2009 at 12:59 pm |
  3. chainpuller

    universal health care my but!

    how dare anyone think it's okay for those who prefer to lounge around, do drugs, drain our city resources, burden society, and refuse to work, be entitled to anything? health care in the form of a bullet to the forehead is as close to health care as i recommend.

    these leaches who think entitlement are half of the problem.

    greedy insurance companies is part of the problem, and the other part of the problem is the liberal media and news organizations, like cnn/hln, abc, cbs, nbc, and fox, who promote entitlements.

    this country was founded on conservative principles, that required honest hard-work from its people, and an accurate honest press to keep the powers in check. instead you promote greed, liberal entitlements, immoralality, and top it off with a holier-than-thou attitude.

    September 26, 2009 at 1:05 pm |
  4. Dodie ~ California

    That question is outrageous! Former President Clinton did not fail! President Obama had to abandon government involvement “single payer option”.

    Until we make Lobbyists illegal there can “”Never”” be any change! The problem with Capitalism is at the end, they have a strong hold on this country’s economy. That is why China will rebound before us. These very powerful entities spend billions of dollars to manipulate the average American and so far, they are very successful. They use very specific techniques that works well with this country.

    Until we remove the corruption in Congress (taking perks from lobbyists) , we will never obtain Health care reform! No President can fight all of Congress! We the People have to support our President.

    As long as the very powerful entities keep this country divided, We the people will Lose!!!

    September 26, 2009 at 1:52 pm |
  5. SlowIdle

    As long as the administration continues to want to take a huge amount of money, $1/2TRILLION, from senior citizens who have earned entitlement to medicare and give it, to quote Chainpuller, to those "who prefer to lounge around, do drugs, drain our city resources, burden society, and refuse to work" Obama will fail. Illegal aliens, if they are employed as the left always says, doing that hard work American citizens don't want to do, can buy their own healthcare insurance. The original HR3200 was such a huge attempted takeover of 1/6 of our economy that I will vote against anyone who votes for any health care bill during this administration except for very narrowly directed bills. I was born in a country with representative democracy and intend to keep it one.

    September 30, 2009 at 3:34 pm |
  6. MR.AL

    Mr. Obama can't do mutch as things stand now. The lawmakers the conservatives will never vote for a health care bill for the poor. Special Intrest groups don't want to loose profits although rates are sky high and riseing. As it is now the racial card has reared it's ugly head! The poor people in America don't stand a chance unless they speak out against the conservative lawmakers and their ME,MYSELF,AND I POLITICS. If you hadn't noticed the richer are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. Lawmakers don't want any atvantages for anybody but themselves the wealthy and corperate America.

    October 1, 2009 at 3:24 pm |
  7. Kariem

    I really think and pray that he will get health care reform passed. but i believe that when talking about this. Its so hard to say that race isnt a factor weither its a big one or a small one its there. Alot of people just don't want to see obama the first black president do somthing that many former white presidents tried to do and failed. Im one that really don't like to dewell on race but can't ingnore it likes its not there.

    And for the republicans i believe stongly thats a reason why they oppose the reform,besides the fact that it would cut down on the cash received from drug and insurance agencies. I mean its obvious they had control of the house, the senate for eight years, and a republican president but still no health care reform. So it shouldn't be hard for the country to see that it's not the polices, its that they don't want reform period, if so we would have it by know. But they who are always complaining about the deficet were so busy creating the deficet with there wall street bailouts.
    That health care reform was not even thought about so i say to the republicans set back and shut-up just as you did for the last eight years when it comes to Health Care Reform you were quit then about reform so be quite now!!!

    October 1, 2009 at 11:47 pm |
  8. William

    T.J. Holmes: I realize this is long, but it’s the only way to get an accurate understanding of Canada’s Health Care Program. There has been so much distortion and misrepresentation, it takes a full answer to correct all that is wrong.

    The Health Care debate is deteriorating into mob-like mentality, and if it continues a national tragedy will ultimately ensue. One of the most maligned and misrepresented Health Care Systems is that of Canada. There is no similarity between the actual Canadian system and what is portrayed by various news reporters and politicians. World Health Organization (WHO) rates Canada’s Health Care system in 3rd place, while it lists the USA Health Care system in 37th place, just one above Slovenia. As a 76 year-old Canadian who has had many surgeries and other treatments I can testify along with millions of other Canadians that we have the best of care. Below is a point description of Canada’s Health Care System.

    1. In force since 1966 – over 40 years – all Canadians covered
    2. No age restrictions, pre-condition exemptions, deductibles, claims forms
    3. Funded from Tax revenue, which is the most economical funding method
    4. No Government involvement – all decisions between patient and doctor
    5. Government funded – Not Government “run”
    6. No delays for non-elective surgery. Elective surgery patients don’t mind waiting a few weeks if it means fellow Canadians can get immediate care for critical illness.
    7. Expanded to cover prescription drugs after age 65
    8. No rationing of health care – No-one will pull the plug on Grandma
    9. Private Insurance companies do not participate in providing Health Care Insurance.
    They provide disability coverage, Dental care, Chiropractic, Physio Therapy etc.
    Private Insurance is very expensive, with large deductibles, and high “Denial” rates.
    10. After 40 years experience, Canada is not now nor ever will be a
    Socialist or Communist country, and funding for the program is secure

    Volunteer medial centers needed to help the millions of uninsured Americans:

    Nearly 2,000 people turned out Saturday at the Houston Reliant Center for the free checkups, medical tests and minor procedures performed by 700 volunteers at the event hosted by television physician Dr. Mehmet Oz and the National Association of Free Clinics. Dr. Oz is a noted heart surgeon with the New York Presbyterian Hospital. Oz called the more than 40 million uninsured Americans “a national catastrophe. Texas has the nation's highest uninsured rate. One in every three Harris County adults lacks health insurance. More than 4 million Americans receive care from the nation's free clinics. The 1,200 member clinics are federal nonprofits where volunteers provide care. Patients aren't turned away for their inability to pay.
    Government Funded Health Care such as in Canada, Britain and France, make voluteer associations unnecessary.

    Canada’s Health Care System is really quite straight-forward. What follows is not a political statement. I have taken a position of strict political neutrality. I just want to set the record straight. Canada has had Government funded health care since 1966. For over 40 years all Canadians have had access to complete, high quality health care at no direct cost to themselves. The program is funded from tax revenue which, in the long run, is less expensive than premiums paid to a private insurer. In a recent town hall meeting with President Obama, one lady from Nebraska said she and her husband pay $800.00 per month for a policy with an $8000.00 deductible. Annually therefore, they would have to pay $17,600,00 before private insurance would pay anything. In Canada, private carriers do not participate in conventional medicine. They provide disability coverage, dental, prescription drug, and alternative medical care: chiropractic, acupuncture, physio therapy etc. Unfortunately, private carriers deny most claims and it is often difficult to get approval. Injured survivors of flight 1549 that landed in the Hudson were told by the airline’s insurer that no claims would be paid, “it was the bird’s fault.” That would never happen in Canada. Canada’s Health Care Program would take over where the private carrier failed.

    In Canada’s system there are no deductibles, no pre condition exemptions, no age limits, and no claims forms – everyone is included. Canada’s Health Care system is expanded after age 65 to include prescription drugs. I just picked up a month’s supply of Fentanyl pain patches: cost $1,019.00 – I paid zero dollars. The Government has no involvement in the doctor/patient relationship. All decisions are made between doctor(s) and patient. The Government is a silent partner. It is government funded, not government run. During the current US health care debate, when “government run health care” is mentioned, paranoia sets in. A lady in a town hall meeting with Senator Arlen Specter charged: “You are systematically disassembling this country, turning it into another Russia.” After over 40 years of Government funded Health care, Canada is not now nor ever will be a Socialist or Communist country.
    To suggest otherwise is ridiculous.

    The quality of Canada’s medical plan has been criticized by opposers who pick out an isolated incident of failure, the details of which are unknown, but ignore the fact that every day millions of Canadians receive quality health care by the doctor(s) of their choice. Recently a 98 year old friend was diagnosed with a cancerous colon tumor. A surgeon operated and she is now fully recovered. Surgeons at Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Kids successfully performed heart surgery on an unborn baby. I am 76 years old, and have had numerous surgeries and other medical procedures during my life-time. All procedures were covered by Canada’s Health Care plan. If I had lived in the U.S., I would have lost my home years ago because of medical costs.

    On the other hand, noted American heart surgeon, Dr. Mehmet Oz said recently on an Oprah show that over 200,000 Americans die each year as a result of medical mistakes. A lady on the same show reported undergoing a mastectomy only to find out three days later she did not have breast cancer. Test results had been mistakenly switched with those of a patient who did have breast cancer, resulting in a double tragedy. It has also been reported that 99,000 Americans die annually as the result of hospital sourced infections. VA hospitals have been severely criticized for not properly administering colonoscopies. An Air force pilot was admitted to hospital for a routine gall bladder operation. The surgeon made an error that resulted in the necessity of a leg amputation.

    As a neutral observer it appears there are two major problems. (1) There is more concern over money than over health care for all Americans. (2) When Canada introduced Government funded Health care 40 years ago, there were no objections from anyone. If the U.S. had acted 40 years ago there would have been no serious objections then, because since then people have become more acrimonious in attitude and behavior.

    I really hope that in the end, all Americans will have appropriate Health Care.

    William – Ontario, Canada

    US Health Care Official Says Canada’s System “Best In The World”

    Area hospitals saluted

    Fri, September 11, 2009

    A top corporate executive hailed London-area hospitals as world leaders in sharing medical images and patient information. Don Woodlock, the Chicago-based vice-president of GE Healthcare, was speaking at university campus of London Health Sciences Centre yesterday. Industry giant GE Healthcare has worked with a regional network of 39 hospitals in Southwestern Ontario which shares health records and medical images. Woodlock says he uses Southwestern Ontario as a model when he speaks about improving the efficiency of health-care systems. "This technology is the best in the world. We are looking at projects in Ireland, France and the U.S., trying to do same thing, but they are behind you guys," he said. London also is part of an Ontario-wide network enabling neurosurgeons to access scanned images of patients in critical situations. "Patients have access to the best neurosurgeons wherever they are," said Woodlock. Woodlock said GE Medical is working on web-based software systems that would speed up the sharing of medical scans and other patient information between radiologists and doctors. He said all records on a specific patient could be stored in a central archive accessible to family doctors, specialists and medical technologists. "Speed counts in diagnosis. Technologies like ours create better decision-making tools for all the physicians involved," he said. The company also is working on digital scanning of tissue samples, eliminating the slow, labour intensive examination of samples using microscopes. Woodlock said the co- operative nature of public health care systems in Canada and other countries allows for the efficient sharing of patient information. He said that's in stark contrast to the U.S., where the debate over cutting health care costs is raging. He said American hospitals often compete for patients, making it difficult to set up a system to share medical images or other patient information. "In the U.S., the environment is so fragmented. There are a million crazy issues preventing the adoption of sensible technologies," said Woodlock.

    October 14, 2009 at 12:35 pm |