KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Clinton Papers Offer Window Into Failed Health Reform Effort

Some of the 4,000 pages of previously confidential Clinton administration documents, released Friday by the National Archives, chronicle Hillary Clinton's efforts to overhaul the health system.

Politico: How The Clinton White House Bungled Health Care Reform
Bill and Hillary Clinton understood individual members of Congress just fine. They just didn't get Congress. That's the picture that emerges from the documents released by the Clinton presidential library Friday on their efforts to pass health care reform in the 1990s. 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 (Nather, 2/28).

Los Angeles Times: Papers Offer Peek Into Hillary Clinton's Failed Healthcare Initiative 
As Hillary Rodham Clinton sought to reshape the nation's healthcare system in her husband's first term as president, she got all the right advice from senior aides: Consult closely with members of Congress, build bridges with business leaders, communicate clearly to nervous voters, move swiftly. The first lady and her husband ultimately failed in nearly all those efforts, nearly sinking Bill Clinton's presidency. Thousands of documents released Friday, which detail that failure as well as other policy disputes of the Clinton White House, provide new details on what remains one of the defining chapters in Hillary Clinton's career. The papers also foreshadow the challenges the Obama administration would encounter as the current president worked to pass the Affordable Care Act 16 years later (Levey, Lauter and Reston, 2/28).

The Associated Press: '90s Documents Show Clintons' Health Care Concerns
Bill Clinton's aides revealed concern early in his presidency about the health care overhaul effort led by his wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton, and later about what they saw as a need to soften her image, according to documents released Friday. Mrs. Clinton now is a potential 2016 presidential contender. The National Archives released about 4,000 pages of previously confidential documents involving the former president's administration, providing a glimpse into the ultimately unsuccessful struggles of his health care task force, led by the first lady, and other Clinton priorities such as the U.S. economy and a major trade agreement (Thomas and Elliott, 2/28).

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