Clinton Health Reform Veterans Helping With Obama Overhaul EffortThe Associated Press reports that aides who helped with President Bill Clinton's health care reform effort are pushing to help President Barack Obama pass his health system overhaul this year.
The aides "are adamant that the Democrats can't afford another health care disaster. But they're divided on whether scaling down Obama's plan would be an acceptable solution. 'If Bill Clinton couldn't get it done, and Barack Obama can't do it, no Democrat will ever try again,' said economist Len Nichols, health policy director at the New America Foundation. A Clinton White House health budget aide, Nichols has been operating as an unofficial adviser to lawmakers and administration officials wrestling with details of the current legislation. ... The mere mention of settling for less is causing consternation among former Clinton aides. Obama's health care plan - denounced as a government power grab by critics - is already scaled back from the ambition of the Clinton years." Some of the plans scaled back this time by Democrats include the amount any employer even small ones are required to contribute to their employees' health insurance. The Clinton plan would have required even small business employers to provide insurance coverage, Obama's plan does not (Alonso-Zaldivar, 2/8). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.