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November 10th, 2009
05:00 PM ET

Can Bill Clinton save health care reform?

ALT TEXT

Bill Clinton is accompanied by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) (L) as he heads into the Senate Democratic Caucus luncheon in Washington, DC. Clinton was on the Hill to talk to lawmakers about passing health care reform legislation through the Senate. (PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

The Democrats are sending in the big guns to try and make health care reform a reality.

Former President Bill Clinton told Senate Democrats earlier today that there's no perfect bill and that the worst thing to do is nothing, adding: "It's important to act, to move, to start the ball rolling."

After the closed-door meeting, Clinton said he told the senators that the U.S. economy won't be able to survive much longer without health care reform.

If one person knows what's at stake for President Obama and the Democrats, it's Bill Clinton. His administration's failure to pass health care reform back in the early 90s is seen as one of the big reasons for the Republican takeover of Congress in 1994.

And now that the House has passed its bill, there's no question the Senate Democrats will need to find some consensus when it comes to things like the public option and abortion funding.

Meanwhile a new poll suggests it's not just members of Congress who need some persuading here.

The Gallup poll shows 41 percent of Americans say a new health care bill would make the U.S. health care system better in the long run; but 40 percent say it would make things worse. The poll suggests people are even more negative about reform when it comes to their personal situation.

What we don't know yet is how much the public's opinion matters. The insurance companies, large pharmaceutical companies and other powerful forces have a vested interest in defeating this legislation. And if the vote was taken today, they would probably win.

Here’s my question to you: Can Bill Clinton save health care reform?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Linda writes:
Jack, I don't think health care reform needs saving; something will pass and most likely will be inadequate with a good amount of stupid. Even with the shortcomings, the Republicans know something is going to happen. What Bill can do is help to prevent the Senate from putting on a long and silly show and move it along more quickly.

Lisa writes:
I'm beginning to think the only thing that can save health care reform is campaign finance reform. Under lobbyist influence, this bill has line-by-line slowly been tweaked and morphed into an insurance industry profit-protection bill. The wrapper may say 'public option' but what's inside has been swapped for something else.

T. writes:
Before he can "save" heath care, the morally-bankrupt, impeached ex-president needs to save himself. He had his chance and now needs to stop chasing the spotlight. America has had enough of the biting and platitudes of this self-aggrandizing politico.

Paul from Westminster, Maryland writes:
When faced with a choice between public opinion and big corporate donors, the Democrats are really in a bind and split about 50/50. The Republicans have no such problem. They come down on the side of the corporations and then use circular arguments to persuade the sheep that their freedom is at stake. We should cut out the middle men and just vote for the CEOs of the credit card, bank, oil, and health care companies.

Jennifer writes:
How Jack? Bill Clinton couldn't do it before, I doubt he can do it now. We all know who has the last word: corporations. They will get what they want and will just keep putting the screws to the working poor!

Ezekiel writes:
Clinton can impact the decisions made for sure, but the senators need to get past their own ideals and do what is best for the country. That’s what a public servant should do. This is a time for our leaders to step up.


Filed under: Bill Clinton • Health care
soundoff (233 Responses)
  1. Tom, Avon, Me, The Heart of Democracy

    yes, he can!

    November 10, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  2. Kenneth Kohlmann

    Given the Clinton track record on healthcare reform, I doubt it. He'll twist arms and conjole the Democrats while ignoring the Republicans. Obama twisted arms in the House of Democrats but knows his ObamaCare is so flawed that he couldn't face the Republicans and Blue Dogs who question it in any way.

    November 10, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  3. Jerry Jacksonville, Fl.

    If he can get some help from up above, maybe.

    November 10, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  4. Jim; Spartanburg, South Carolina

    Listen, Clinton didn't get to be the Prez by acting like Reid and Company. Who but him can influence Lincoln and Nelson? Obama can possibly get Snowe but not the ConsevaDems. If Bubba fails this HCR Bill is toast, but he will not. I predict some Crab walking in early December on both sides of the aisle and the bill will be on the President's Desk by Christmas.

    November 10, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  5. Bud Rupert, Reston, VA

    Money talks and Bil Clinton walks. That's not exactly right but you get the picture Jack. At this point It's too late. Big business has spoken. Not even the "silver tongue devil" can make a big enough difference

    I think some kind of health care will pass though. It has to, or the Obama Administration is done

    My man Dennis Kucinichich has it right (and the only liberal democrat that did not vote for the bill) when he says – It's a give-away program to the insurance industry. And I agree with him. Until we get the insurance industry out of the health care and get rid of this stupid fee for service delivery system nothing much will change. And yes, it's possible when the new bill passes that it can get worse.

    November 10, 2009 at 4:33 pm |
  6. Michael and Diane Phoenix AZ

    Probably won't make much difference, considering how the Republicans killed Hillary's plan in the 90s....Anyway, the only real health care reform will come in the form of REAL AFFORDABLE health care for everyone, not just the rich or well to do who can afford the premiums. Anyway, Michael's insurance company provided Medicare Supplement more than doubled the premium for 2010, so the insurance people are in it for a lot....And look at who in Congress got the biggest payoff from the insurance lobbyists to vote against the plan!

    November 10, 2009 at 4:33 pm |
  7. Ron from South Carolina

    I don't know if he can or not but there are millions of Americans that need health care reform and someone up there needs to vote for the people not the insurance companies. The right has no suggestions that aren't pro insurance companies because that is who they work for so lets get this thing done or face the wrath of the American voter you wimps.

    November 10, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  8. Katiec Pekin, IL

    Well, let's hope so Jack.
    When you have all the health care entities spending billions of dollars, spreading vicious disinformation against the Health Care
    Reform, how can one not wonder about their motives? The
    American people have not been their top priority for years.
    Yet, they try to convince us that they are our answer to a broken
    health care system. Health Care Reform, with Public Option is
    crucial for our country and us.

    November 10, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  9. Antonio from Washington D.C.

    Ask him in person and you'll find out.

    November 10, 2009 at 4:37 pm |
  10. Thom Richer

    I've got my fingers crossed, Jack. However, it is unlikely. The only influence on this Congress is corporate lobbyists. Constituents don't even seem to enter into the picture, the president cannot be heard and any semblance of unity by the Democrats in Congress is the biggest joke yet ever pulled on the American public. However, there is one other thing holding reform up, Jack. That is that old conservative ace in the hole tactic...FEAR. Yup, according to them, our whole way of life will crumble if we pass health care for all and if we don't pass a reform bill, all will be well and they will set us right, by crackie.

    Thom Richer
    Neguanee, MI

    November 10, 2009 at 4:45 pm |
  11. Scott - San Diego, CA

    Hopefully not the bill on the table. The Democrats are on the wrong course and are hell bent on making this bad bill work. There is nothing in the current bill that would reduce the cost of health insurance, our premiums will go up if this nightmare passes.

    November 10, 2009 at 4:45 pm |
  12. Lynn, Columbia, Mo.

    He didn't save it last time. I doubt if he will save it this time. It will take the American people writing, calling and e-mailing their Senators to get it passed. It's up to us, folks.

    November 10, 2009 at 4:46 pm |
  13. Jack Carlson

    No Clinton cannot save Health Care....the bill is nothing but a tax bill and per CBO will drive UP costs. It's a farce as written up now.
    Five States Senators will not dare to vote for this bill as they are opposed to it in large numbers, or the majority are opposed.
    Jack C
    WA

    November 10, 2009 at 4:46 pm |
  14. Michael Alexandria, VA

    If he can get Blanche Lincoln and Joe Lieberman to vote with Harry Reid, then the answer is yes. As for the poll on health care, the percentages you cite should be broken into those who believe in a public option and who don't. Many who favor such an option believe they won't get it, so the country will be worse off. Many who don't favor it it believe it will happen, making the country worse off. They both look like they oppose health care as currently proposed, but for different reasons entirely.

    November 10, 2009 at 4:49 pm |
  15. Buck, the Appalacians

    What's old Billy Boy suppose to do Jack? Burst into the doors of the chambers, Wrestle Harry Reid to the ground while Nancy Pelosi threatens to pistol whip any blue dog Democrat that votes aginny?

    Buck

    November 10, 2009 at 4:54 pm |
  16. T. Thomas in Abilene Tx.

    I hope so, but fear the abortion issue will destroy it all." Happy sailing " for the no-account healthcare industry- again.

    November 10, 2009 at 4:55 pm |
  17. Cameron in SF, CA

    Why would anyone take Bill Clinton seriously anymore? He's a womanizer who cheated on his family - not just his wife and lied to the whole country about it! He is certainly no one to respect when it comes to believing in something!
    He will certainly help the Republican Senators win their bid to defeat the health care bill by brining the independent Dems to their side. They want nothing to do with Clinton.

    November 10, 2009 at 4:57 pm |
  18. jane

    He may not, but he'll certainly give it his best shot!!

    November 10, 2009 at 4:58 pm |
  19. Greg, Ontario

    Whats to save? Now that the Bill is passed President Obama can rightfully say that he and his administration have achieved more in one year than the previous 5 adminstration did in full terms. Health Care is something you will be tweaking and and adjusting for years, as a Canadian I know. Things change and it's an on going project that is more than worth it. The only poll that ever really counts is on election day. Why don't you list the administrations work Jack?

    1) Save entire American Economy from deppresion.
    2) Save the banking Industry and therefore the American dollar.
    3) Save the Auto industry and the millions of jobs that are tied to it.
    4) Fix the torn up relationships with the friends and Allies as well as trading partners.
    5) Start the long tough job of pulling out of Iraq and Gitmo.
    6) Rethink the actions in Afghanistan to make sure no Americans lives are lost in vien.

    My God Jack when was the last time you had a President like that.

    November 10, 2009 at 5:00 pm |
  20. Alex in Seattle

    The real question, Jack, should be, "Can Bill Clinton save the Democrats from themselves?" They have the 60 vote majority they have always dreamed about and can't seem to find the party unity to use it! If they can't hang together they will surely lose their majority in 2010.

    November 10, 2009 at 5:00 pm |
  21. Jackie in Dallas

    No single individual, no matter how powerful, can save (or doom) healthcare reform, Jack. Only the 535 members of Congress, and the President of the United States can make reform possible or impossible. Yes, former President Clinton can wheel and deal with members of his own party, but only the 435 members of the House, and the 100 members of the Senate can make or break this essential reform.

    And the odds aren't good that those 535 members of Congress are willing to turn down the bribes of the healthcare and pharmaceudical industries in order to serve their constituency properly. Although the House bill passed, it squeaked by where it should have blown by it's GOP opposers.

    November 10, 2009 at 5:01 pm |
  22. JWC in Atlanta

    Seems to me for ANYONE to "save" health care reform, dialogue should be about something besides insurance. Reforming healthcare by manipulating insurance is political witchcraft.

    November 10, 2009 at 5:01 pm |
  23. Vinnie Vino

    Jack,

    Unlike the mental maroon that followed him into office he could sell snake oil to a snake oil salesman...

    Vinnie
    Central Islip, N.Y.

    November 10, 2009 at 5:05 pm |
  24. Mike from Denver

    Can he save it? Not a chance. But, five will get you ten that he can sink it.

    November 10, 2009 at 5:06 pm |
  25. stephen blesofsky

    As Bill Clinton is well liked and generally well respected in this issue, he can and certainly will help. Ultimately the people must support it to save it. The people get the government and health care they deserve. Health care reform would have had a better chance if the DEMS were not such poor street fighters/so poor at PR.

    Republicans usually win the PR war and the public with its very short attention span can't handle the whip saw process and usually tunes out.
    I'd sell health care by pointing to the Republican idea of privatizing Social Security and ask where would a lot folks be now if the Republicans had prevailed.

    November 10, 2009 at 5:07 pm |
  26. Russ in Johnston

    No. Why would anyone think that he could?

    November 10, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  27. RJ from Lake,MI

    Bill is irrelavent at this point! If the Senate votes with the view of the majority then this bill will go down in flames! Big victory for the middle class tax payer! Once this has failed then congress needs to go in and get drug and insurance reform done and get jobs back in this country and this whole health care reform will be a distant memory!

    November 10, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  28. Wm, Penna

    Jack,
    Health care with a fully funded public option is the only right decision.

    Our greedy corporations have been spending millions of dollars every day to spread lies, rumors and mis-information in an attempt to keep the gravy train on their tracks.

    Our, corporate/CEO owned, legislators are a pitiful group of lap dogs for the wealthy few. Some may be so deluded as to believe some the lies they so freely spout. But they must keep the Murdoch el al cash rolling in and preventing campaign finance reform from being thought about. Now there would be an ad executive's dream.

    President Clinton is just bright ambitious guy but may not be able to help very much. We wish he does make the needed difference.

    The cost of health care is the most phony argument there is. It is the deficit wars that are creating the runaway deficits. When the coming inflation and necessary tax increases come along we will act surprised. We just do not like reality. We like living in la la land where we think we have it all.

    November 10, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  29. Dennis North Carolina

    Clinton and Obama working together can save health care or the democratic party will go in failure as they did when Clinton was in office and working on health care. the reason that the voters put the democrats in power was to get the work done. if they fail now 2012 may be a domed year for us.

    November 10, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  30. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    Jack,

    A Simple yes because President Obama shows that he is able to use the Best from each Democrat! Service never stops!!!

    Especially on this sad day, if great men and great women can serve their country with such determination and humility, I think every government officials has the moral obligation to always continue to serve in the best interests of the Nation!

    God Bless you all!

    November 10, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  31. Bill - Bristow, VA

    Nope – all he's good at is saving his own butt.

    November 10, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  32. John in Santa Barbara

    The worse thing is to do nothing. That's the message and Bill Clinton will deliver it.

    November 10, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  33. Michael Pressey from Essex County NJ

    NO ! he can't but what the the heck, why not send him in a give it some window dressing. When you get at the heart of the matter it is only the American People who can and sholud demand a change in Health Care , afterall what do they know about health care in Washington. Their bills are being PAID for by us any way! (rich guys welfare system) they get the best of and leave the scraps for the people who place them there....shame on us for buying into this farce we call goverment....

    November 10, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  34. GWTripp @ Mechs'burg, PA

    Bill Clinton just might be able to sway a few fiscally conservative democrats his way. If Clinton can convince the blue dogs that a public option is in the best interest of their constituencies and businesses back home, then we can get it done.

    November 10, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  35. Stephanie

    It's not a question of "saving" health care reform; it is a matter of one Democrat contributing his experience to help Democrats realize the significance and importance of their contribution. With Senator Kennedy's passing, what better Democratic leader than Bill Clinton to share his personal experiences and knowledge.

    The press is always trying to divide and pick a "winner" rather than seeing the positives of people working together.

    November 10, 2009 at 5:34 pm |
  36. Jerry

    For America's sake I hope not. Senior Fellow William Galston of the Brookings institution said this morning, that America cannot sustain itself on its current track and The health care reform doe's nothing to help our current situation, in fact it will make it worse and cost Americans more instead of less as it was supposed to do.It is a BAD BILL. Jerry / Iowa

    November 10, 2009 at 5:35 pm |
  37. Rob in NC

    Save it for whom? I suspect this "new" bill is loaded with perks for everyone but the general public – but who would know since no one wants to read a 2000 page document. I doubt he can force it through the senate – unless, of course, more Americans say they don't want it, then it is sure to pass. Rob in NC

    November 10, 2009 at 5:35 pm |
  38. John Ca

    Bill will save Health care this time and he is one of the best Dems in the United States and know how to work with the other party 's of the United States.

    John CA>

    November 10, 2009 at 5:36 pm |
  39. Myra Becnel

    Don't know if he can save it or not but certainly does not hurt to pull out all the stops and apply as much pressure as possible on the Dems to get this done. I disagree with your assessment of how many Americans want this. I feel the the majority do and I sincerely hope we get what we want.

    November 10, 2009 at 5:36 pm |
  40. Remo from beautiful downtown Pflugerville, Tx.

    Jack, I'd rather they fix Medicare, trim the budget, get our loans back, then take about 500 pages out of the bill.

    November 10, 2009 at 5:36 pm |
  41. DON IN WESTPORT, MASS.

    I say yes. Obama has not done anything spectacular since he has been elected so let Clinton go for it, besides, Clinton strikes me as a man who can get the job done.
    My confidence in Obama has diminished some. Obama has too much on his plate anyway. Let Clinton give it a whack.

    November 10, 2009 at 5:37 pm |
  42. Paige

    It IS time for changes to the healthcare system whether Republicans care to do so or not. In the last eight years of the Bush administration even though our surplus melted away to a trillion or so deficit not one penny went toward fixing the healthcare situation. I think what Republicans are "really" mad about is that the Democrats are actually doing the work we ask them to do even if it may not be a perfect bill to begin with. It's more than any one republican ever has offered for this problem. Let's face it, without the Democratic leadership we wouldn't even be addressing healthcare. I will vote Democratic because despite the imperfections it's better to see some action than see whiners on the sideline offering nothing at all.

    November 10, 2009 at 5:37 pm |
  43. Gigi Oregon

    In my book he has more creditability than any Republican, Insurance Co,, Pharmaceutical companies, and other powerful forces, which includes our own government Representatives. They are not interested in the well being of the people, the country, or the economy only their own pocket books. And as far as those polls go they are the biggest joke going for those scare propaganda's.

    November 10, 2009 at 5:39 pm |
  44. Rory Murray

    Jack,
    I hope not. If it's too compilcated to read, it's too complicated to vote on. Pelosi said in 2005 that the LEAST Congress and The Senate can do is read a bill before voting on it. It's frightening how 4 years and more authority can warp her memory! She's a hypocrite and far too dangerous to be a leader.
    Rory Murray
    San Bernadrino,CA

    November 10, 2009 at 5:40 pm |
  45. John Ca

    YES, Bill Clinton can save Health Care and Bill Clinton is keeping America GREAT! as, long with his WIFE is as well.
    Left-Wing (GERMANY)

    November 10, 2009 at 5:43 pm |
  46. Randy T

    In a "closed door" meeting? Dont think so. When politicians have meetings in secret, you can bet that it's not the peoples' work being done. A better question would be: Can bill clinton save health care inc.? After all, he didn't make 100 million dollars in eight years from giving lectures.

    November 10, 2009 at 5:46 pm |
  47. Jeff Crocket in New Britain, CT

    Who is President of The United States? Obama can't even get his healthcare plan right, and he didn't show up in Berlin either!!

    After 10 months a Lame Duck already!

    November 10, 2009 at 5:47 pm |
  48. SandH - Pekin, Il.

    Clinton can, if he can keep the Insurance Companies from padding the Senator's pockets/off shore accounts.
    Why are the wealthy Republicans so against voting in the health care for us?
    How would they like to see a bill passed to take away their health care or have us vote them out for what they are doing?

    November 10, 2009 at 5:48 pm |
  49. Pablo in Arlington Texas

    Jack,
    there are few policy wonks with as much heft as old BC. And he is dead right. The important thing is to get this Rock of Sisyphus moving. Teddy K and LBJ and all the greats of US politics back to the Founders themselves knew that in the long run it's always half-a-loaf is better than none.
    Pragmatism works, that's why they call it pragmatism.

    Pablo
    Arlington Texas

    November 10, 2009 at 5:49 pm |
  50. Mari Fernandez, Utah

    No, Jack, Clinton can not safe healthcare reform, our Senators can! And they BETTER! 45,000 Americans die every year because they lack healthcare.

    Do folks remember how you felt when the massacre happened at Ft. Hood? Or how you felt on September 11th 2001? When Americans died?

    Well, EVERYDAY, 122, Americans die because they do not have access to healthcare! 45,000 each year.

    WHY are the Pro-Life-people not up in arms about Americans losing their lives?

    November 10, 2009 at 5:49 pm |
  51. Rick

    Oh please, Jack. No one person can "save" it. And save what?? Bill can only help. Obama still has more clout as he has things he can offer in exchange for support - like campaign support next fall (or not) or legislation that a particular senator would like to see passed.

    In the end, Obama will get a bill. I hope that it is worth the wait and effort. Democrats know that they can't fail to pass a bill or they will be punished at the polls.

    November 10, 2009 at 5:50 pm |
  52. Victor in Saanich, B.C. Canada

    Jack, 'Dr.' Clinton's failure of personal leadership in the early 90s [and beyond !!] on the health issue [ and others – personal etc. ] does not allow him the right to give a prognosis on such an issue!!! The question should be asked, if he is listened to, does the 'doctor' not deserve to be brought before a disciplinary board ??

    November 10, 2009 at 5:51 pm |
  53. Mark P

    Andy Worhol said everyone gets 15 min of fame in their life. Our former president has somehow figured a way to collect all the 15 minutes of those who didn't use their's. No he can't save it!
    New Braunfels TX

    November 10, 2009 at 5:52 pm |
  54. Meg from Troy

    Jack–
    Why not?
    He saved his marriage and his presidency against strong odds against him. He and Bush senior have worked together successfully.

    He got the two journalists freed from prison in North Korea.

    He's got a better shot at success than a lot of others would.
    Bring in the big gun–not much else has worked so far.

    November 10, 2009 at 5:52 pm |
  55. Melissa

    If anyone can, its Clinton. He's a damned good diplomat.

    November 10, 2009 at 5:53 pm |
  56. Thom

    The answer in YES.......and he will.

    November 10, 2009 at 5:54 pm |
  57. Terri Strauser

    If anyone can save healthcare reform, it's President Clinton.

    November 10, 2009 at 5:54 pm |
  58. Mike S., New Orleans

    I just can't get the Mighty Mouse theme song out of my head. I hope Mighty Mouth Clinton bursts into congress singing "Here I am to save the day!"

    November 10, 2009 at 5:55 pm |
  59. Denis Duffy

    By all odds, whatever the Obamacrats manage to pass, it will have nothing to do with reform. Fat wallets for politicians? You can bank on that. I hear no rational proposal on containing costs. Is every congressman and senator related to Bernie Madoff? Just asking, Jack.

    November 10, 2009 at 5:56 pm |
  60. Marc

    Jack,

    I think it was a smart move to bring Bill Clinton into the picture. Hes right, no bill is perfect and its worse to do nothing. I think the Democrats should grow some cojones and get behind what the american people need!

    November 10, 2009 at 5:57 pm |
  61. perry jones

    Bill who ??????????

    perry jones
    council bluffs ia

    November 10, 2009 at 5:57 pm |
  62. Terri Strauser

    If anyone can save healthcare reform, it's President Clinton!

    Terri
    Solsberry, IN

    November 10, 2009 at 5:57 pm |
  63. Bill - Newport Beach, CA

    The best President Clinton can do is to persuade some of the Democrats who are reluctant to support the bill to do just that, and perhaps to offer some advice to President Obama as to some of the obstacles ahead and how to overcome them. I don't think Obama expected this much hostility from the Republicans, nor this much hesitation from his own party. Having gone through it, Clinton is in the perfect position to help health care reform finally go through this time around.

    November 10, 2009 at 5:58 pm |
  64. Edward C. Martin

    Bill Clinton may help save the health bill, and hopefully he wiill. Only God knows what our health costs will be if bill doesn'[t pass. One Advair Diskus I take monthly cost $200, now that I am in doughnut hole of our RX drugs insurance plan. As a retired educator there is liimit to what we can pay for health costs, especially with no COLA paymennt this year.

    November 10, 2009 at 5:58 pm |
  65. Gary Palmer

    Just the thing to do; send in the coach of the last losing team in this game. Are they kidding? But then the game is unwinnable as currently played. This bill INCREASES costs by insuring more people rather than DECREASING costs by changing defensive medicine, for example.

    November 10, 2009 at 5:58 pm |
  66. Mac from Louisiana

    With those big companies being in the pockets of our Senators, I think it's reasonable to say that we barely have a chance even if Bill is a skilled politician and has a way with words.

    November 10, 2009 at 5:59 pm |
  67. andy in tx

    Bill is right, doing nothing is what the Republican right is famous for. Democrats were elected to "do something". The american people need relief from insurance companies deciding who lives and dies. Who does or does not get treatment. Let the Repulicans "opt out" of their health care they get from the taxpayers if they do not vote in reform- show us how serious they really are. Its easy to be against something they already have.

    November 10, 2009 at 6:00 pm |
  68. Laura

    Bill Clinton has had plenty of time to consider the issues facing the nation with regard to health care. He has a vested interest in seeing this matter resolved. We all have heard many opinions, but no one seems ready to roll up their sleeves and get to work. If Bill is ready to work, then give him the job. I am a Democrat from Sacramento, California and want reform now before I become ill and lose my medical coverage.

    November 10, 2009 at 6:00 pm |
  69. Mary

    YES ! Bill Clinton is the chief negotiator in my book . Its unfortunate that so many people donot view health care as a right ! Yet so many of these same hypocrytes send their children to public school(govt) , use medicare, and our police just to name a few !! How petty and stupid we must look to other countries !

    November 10, 2009 at 6:01 pm |
  70. Tom, Granite City, Illinois

    These guys always huff and puff when they are initially faced with a new bill. Things will subside and Bill Clinton will save us from these pathetically greedy health and drug companies.

    November 10, 2009 at 6:01 pm |
  71. Brian - Trinidad

    Probably could.But the real question is why,after sucessfully branding The Clintons as racists and by extension unfit to receive Obama's support during the campaign,why is Obama counting on both of them to give his administration any credibility?Where I come from that's called being unprincipled.

    November 10, 2009 at 6:02 pm |
  72. Sue from Redwood City

    I don't think Bill can save it, but I hope he can help get it passed.

    November 10, 2009 at 6:02 pm |
  73. Barrie Hunter

    The people who are against saving health care reform are either incredibly naive and/or misguided or are in the pay of the insurance companies. All I hear is "keep government out of health care!" Why – the insurance companies have been able to write their own ticket for years and they've proven that they are only interested in profits.

    November 10, 2009 at 6:02 pm |
  74. Jack

    Jack, no he cannot. Americans over the last 20 or so years have gone from a 'community country', i.e. pride for made in the USA to a self interest what do I get out of it and how does it affect me money mentality. Congress has gone from doing what is right for ALL individuals to what will keep me in office. This is just the start of the great American influential decline in the world. We have got to move away from a me, me, me capitalist mentality to a what best suites all of us. Other wise the rest of the world will find us irrelevant if they already haven't.

    November 10, 2009 at 6:02 pm |
  75. AJ

    "What we don't know yet is how much the public's opinion matters."

    It always matters most. This is the very foundation of our democracy and when I read writing like this, I know that Thomas Jefferson is turning in his grave!

    November 10, 2009 at 6:03 pm |
  76. Cody (D.C.)

    It appears the Democrats are impotent without Bill Clinton.

    November 10, 2009 at 6:03 pm |
  77. John

    I can only hope the Senators that Bill Clinton tries to convince have half the brains and political savvy he has. None have his experience as president, but maybe they can understand the repercussions for their own political hides if they don't come up with consensus on a healthcare bill. Bubba is a master of compromise, understanding that's how to play the game; they need to know that if they don't get a bill through, they'll be on the outside looking in after next year's elections.

    November 10, 2009 at 6:03 pm |
  78. Ezekiel Obregon

    Clinton can impact the decisions made for sure, but the Senators need to get past their own ideals and do what is best for the country. Thats what a public servant should do. This is a time for our leaders to step up.

    November 10, 2009 at 6:04 pm |
  79. Josh

    Bill Clinton saved a total diplomatic disaster involving North Korea in recent memory, so why can't he save health care reform? I may be young and not remember much of the Clinton presidency well, but he seems to be doing more good in Obama's presidency than his own!

    November 10, 2009 at 6:05 pm |
  80. Linda

    Jack, I don't think Health Care reform needs saving – something will pass and most likely will be inadequate with a good amount of stupid. Even with the short-comings the repugs know something is going to happen. What Bill can do is help to prevent the Senate from putting on a long and silly show and move it along more quickly.

    November 10, 2009 at 6:05 pm |
  81. Michael

    How soon we forget the issues and problems that existed with the Clintons during their Presidency. Time has a way of taking the edge off all the BS, lies and manipulation by the Clintons. Now we have new Spin.

    If Bill Clinton has a better idea why didn't he exercise it in 1993?

    Yes we need health Care reform, but not what has been offered by Nancy and Harry. We need to move into this gradually and correct issues such as Pre-existing conditions, denials etc first before forcing a National Health care system dowm our throats. If there is saving to be had show me the money first.

    Also, Obama's 5 years in jail or $250K fine for not signing up to the plan does not sound like a compassionate government looking out for the people.

    November 10, 2009 at 6:05 pm |
  82. John

    Unfortunantley, NOPE.......

    November 10, 2009 at 6:06 pm |
  83. patricia snyder

    Yes, Bill Clinton could persuade the majority of dems and some republicans. He ranks high on my list of the best presidents. I believe Barack should use his help on this matter ASAP.

    November 10, 2009 at 6:07 pm |
  84. Randy from New Jersey

    Bill Clinton's a big dog? More like a poodle? His bill was a miserable failure in 1994. Am I in bizarro world?

    November 10, 2009 at 6:07 pm |
  85. Scott - from Atlanta

    Not if the Democrats think that a public option is "reform". It's the insurance companies that need to be reformed. Make them operate as Non-profits. You will never reform healthcare until you take Wall St. out of the equation.

    November 10, 2009 at 6:07 pm |
  86. Paul Ablon

    God can't save health care because the insurance lobby and moronic Americans who cannot, or will not, see that our health care system is more than broken, will not let it happen.

    November 10, 2009 at 6:07 pm |
  87. Stephen J. Cloobeck

    Superman to the rescue!

    November 10, 2009 at 6:07 pm |
  88. d tal

    Bill Clinton is right, and Senate Democrats should listen carefully to what he is saying. Its damm if you do or damm if you dont....so just do it and lets move on.

    November 10, 2009 at 6:08 pm |
  89. Buck, the Appalacians

    What's old Billy Boy suppose to do Jack? Burst into the doors of the chambers, Wrestle Harry Reid to the ground while Nancy Pelosi threatens to pistol whip any blue dog Democrat that votes aginny?

    Buck

    November 10, 2009 at 6:08 pm |
  90. Jennifer

    How Jack? Bill Clinton couldn't do it before, I doubt he can do it now. We all know who has the last word... Corporations. They will get what they want and will just keep putting the screws to the working poor!

    November 10, 2009 at 6:08 pm |
  91. Melissa V-winnipeg

    well he saved his marriage so who knows, good luck to him either way.

    November 10, 2009 at 6:09 pm |
  92. jreppoh

    Bill Clinton has common sense and I still support him all the way!

    November 10, 2009 at 6:09 pm |
  93. Annie, Atlanta

    What’s the difference? Women’s reproductive rights were needlessly thrown under the bus so the House could pass a handout to big insurance, giving Catholics, who hid their pedophiles away for years, a say in our government. So who cares? Now I know how the LGBT community feels – not quite worthy. Our politicians suck.

    November 10, 2009 at 6:09 pm |
  94. Karl from SF, CA

    Bill Clinton is a wise and thoughtful politician. If anyone can convince the unconvinced that passing a strong health care reform bill is in everyone’s best interest it is him. He is more than capable of knocking heads together until some common sense shakes loose. The Party of NO (and its Democratic and Independent Auxiliary) can’t win this one or we all lose.

    November 10, 2009 at 6:10 pm |
  95. Carlton Groff

    Bill Clinton had problems in 1994 because he over-reached. Obama seems headed for the same fate because his arms seem even longer. We remain a country that is just right of center.

    Carlton Groff
    Kirkwood, PA. 17536

    November 10, 2009 at 6:10 pm |
  96. Gary Cooper

    If anyone can make the Senators understand the importance of passing some type of massive healthcare reform, it is President Clinton. He clearly understands the policy and most important the politics of the issue. He would have had a Democratic Congress with which to work for his last six years in office had he reformed healthcare. As he does with most issues, "he gets it".

    November 10, 2009 at 6:10 pm |
  97. Stefan

    I don't know if any of them really want this reform...there is way too much money involved in this business, way too powerful entities are directly interested in keeping the status quo. I started to doubt Obama and his intentions, as President I believe he should be able to put more pressure on Congress to get things done. My question for you Jack, and maybe you could ask your readers to share their oppinion on this as well, how about President Obama asks the American people to vote on this issue, forget the Congress and the special interests, let's have a referendum on Health Care reform, with a Public Option and everything. It's democratic, it's very much American to see what people have to say. I know it would be expensive, but that way we'd finally sort it out once and for all. Plus it is a matter of national security, so funding such action is totally worth it. You answer me that.

    November 10, 2009 at 6:10 pm |
  98. Layne Alleman

    Jack, Let's take a look at your last paragragh. 1. public opinion means nothing to Congress or the President, never has, never will. 2. the only piece of "reform" insurance that will pass, and be signed, will be mandatory coverage (full & all-encompassing). My guess is that Anarchy will be the new political party in the next election. Since his "indiscretion" as President, Clinton has become nothing more than a buffoon and a lier, even with all the humanitarian work he has done. I don't need BUBBA to speak for me, thank you. Layne A. Antioch, Il.

    November 10, 2009 at 6:11 pm |
  99. Mark from MA

    I say bring on Billy. He is just what we need to make sure that this does not pass this time either.

    November 10, 2009 at 6:11 pm |
  100. Joe Unger, San Francisco

    Sure he can. Everyone knew Barack Obama would have to lean on the experienced when he got elected. BO needs help now. He hasn't shown much of a spine in standing up to his own party so yes, help him.
    Of course BO should apologize to Bill for having his minions call him racist in order to get elected.

    November 10, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  101. Gail, Plano,Texas

    God, Jack, I sure hope he can. I live in TX one of 4 states with the highest number of uninsured people. I am one of them. Have not had health insurance for 20 years. Cannot afford to pay rent and health insurance. My sister in KS lost her home as her premiums were $880 a month. Bill Clinton put food on my table when he extended unemployment benefits in 1992, and 1993. I have never forgotten that. My question to u is who is taking these polls? No one ever asks me. Or anyone I know. Both senators from this state are Republicans and will vote against health care reform. Cornyn and Hutchison. Birds of a feather. They care nothing for the citizens of TX. After all, they don't have to worry about their health care insurance.

    November 10, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  102. ja

    if patriotic the senate would pass the health care reform bill or renounce their own benefit package, all are weathy and don't need taxpayer funded health insurance

    November 10, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  103. Mares

    do you guys even know what the health care plan entails?
    I would venture to guess that most of you have not even read the first few pages of the current plan. Because if you had, you would not want this plan to pass. READ IT!!!! Then comment, please.

    November 10, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  104. eugene ,aurora,on

    hoe desperate can you be to think that bill clinton is your trump card

    November 10, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  105. Tom Parkersburg WV

    Bill Clinton can not help with healthcare. You state as fact the failure to pass helath care cost the Democrats control of congress. I do not remember it that way. Clinton ran as middle of the road but immediately raised taxes and tried to shove Gays into the military. Then he proposed a far left single payer health care reform. Coupled with many Democratic scandals this caused the 94 loses. Remind you of anyone?

    November 10, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  106. Bob, Arlington, VA.

    Perhaps too much is being made of President Clinton's testimony today, but his point about health care and the future of the U.S. economy ought to get some notice, i.e. just where do insurance companies and others with a vested interest in the status quo think they'll be if the lack of health care reform has the economic effect readily predicted?

    November 10, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  107. Mike1952

    The question should be can he save this bungled mess in Congress. Health care reform is one question. Government run socialist health care is a different matter.

    Bill Clinton is a convicted felon and impeached president. The only reason he could make any difference is he's really a leftist, socialist, statist with some kind of spell on some people. Especially women. I know, I have lived in Arkansas for 50 years and he was quite the ladies man for twenty years around here.

    November 10, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  108. Jeff

    Jack, why is Bill Clinton perceived as being "persuasive" on health care? He failed in his own bid for health care reform. All the persuasion in the world won't matter if you're peddling something that the people don't want and can't afford.

    November 10, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  109. dave

    The clintons had there chance and screwed it up. I can only hope they get him heavily involved so they will stop this insanity.everyone agrees we need to fix this but turning it over to the government is not the answer.

    November 10, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  110. Janet Mitchell

    He can certainly help. I don't trust your polls. No one has ever polled me. What I do trust is that if these Democrats don't get on board and pass health care they will find themselves applying for unemployment compensation. One thing that hasn't been polled is the anger Democrats all over this country feel towards these Judases. We are prepared to dig into our pockets to see that these people lose their seats to real Democrats who support the people and the President.
    Augusta, Kansas

    November 10, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  111. Jim in Alabama

    Jack, I think Bill can help, but the final arm twisting and bargaining is going to have to come from Obama. He's gonna have to man up on this one or suffer the consequences. He pussy footed around too long on too many issues and caved in to Republican pressure. Carpe Deim!

    November 10, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  112. mitsukke

    YES HE CAN!

    I ❤ Bill Clinton!!!!

    November 10, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  113. Chris

    health care reform will pass with or without him, but he may be able to speed up the process a bit.

    November 10, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  114. Chris

    Jack,

    I say that if health care reform doesn't pass it's time to throw out anyone who sides with the insurance companies, democrats and republicans alike.

    Chris
    Seattle, WA

    November 10, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  115. Dwayne

    Why not pull out all the big guns for the democrats? Not sure if bill clinton can make a difference, but it worth a shot. This health care bill will be the biggest over haul in the american health care system since medicare.

    November 10, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  116. Nancy, Tennessee

    The number of people who now believe Bill Clinton is wise now that he is out of office amazes me. He might just be the person who can deliver the speech that will make everyone stop and use some reason about health care reform. We all know health care is eating our lunch, but we're all afraid it will get worse. The insurance companies want us to think that! I say go for broke. Give us reform and see if the insurance companies want to continue to scalp us on premiums and scrimp on paying claims with the competition of a public option.

    November 10, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  117. William

    Let's hope not. If it is such a good idea to pass health care reform, why is it so difficult to get a concensus among the American People and our leaders in the Senate and House to agree on the best way to do it? These same leaders just passed the extension of unemployment benefits and the home buyer tax credit almost unanimously. That is what happens when Congress and the American people debate good ideas. Consensus emerges around the best plan and we all get behind it. When consensus cannot be found, that is a clue that the idea might not be such a good one.

    In Cuba, the Castro regime did not need consensus of the governed and their representatives to determine which direction to take the country. They just made those decisions at the top for the ignorant masses. Is that really how we want to make changes in America?

    November 10, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  118. Matt

    Mr. Clinton is a political pariah when it comes to health care reform. It was his administration's failure to pass it's own health reform bill in the 90's that resulted in the political shift and the poor policies that lead up to the mess we are in now. He may be good for a few swing votes from moderates but he may end up polarizing the issue even more. Smells like a little desperation to me but I hope that I am proven wrong as we need true healthcare reform in the worst way. -Matt from Maryland

    November 10, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  119. kathy

    bill clinton is nothing of me, because of him 9/11 happen. he was busy in his affairs. wasting govt money for his perjury . i have no respect for him, after what he did in white house. for him oral sex is not sex. not a good example for a president.. we are living in united states of amercia, with 50 states and our country is the head that leads other countries and this whole world. and former president bill clinton did not set a good example to kids, the people of this country .

    November 10, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  120. Glenn Marcel

    Bill Clinton could charm the skin off a snake. He certainly can charm the snakes in the Senate.

    November 10, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  121. Brian

    The health care industry doesn't want this legislation and I believe they've bought enough senators and congressman to stop it. Unless Clinton is able to offer the Republican and Conservative Democratic Senators more money under the table than the health insurance industry, they'll stop this. Unfortunately the system is broken and most of the the people in charge of fixing it don't really want to. I hope I'm wrong, but that's how I see things right now.

    November 10, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  122. Isiah Samuels PA 16

    maybe he can pass it and help the democrats and President obama pass it because america believes in him and our almighty GOD thinks he can

    November 10, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  123. Ed from Montana

    In a word no, because Clinton is talking to the wrong people. In this case a few thousand voters in a few conservative districts that have been scared badly enough by big insurance that they will threaten a few Senators who are more worried about getting elected than doing the right thing, and the result is that those few thousand people will deny the rest of America the health care reform it needs. Talk about the tail wagging the dog.

    November 10, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  124. anthony...nj

    Jack, the Health Care Bill can pass simply by its own inertia. Bill Clinton or not, this bill is juggernat now that can't be ignored. No matter how much the republicans try to water it down with hot-button issues like abortion, their radical attempts will fail. We stupid citizens somehow realize injustice when we see it and want to put it to the insurance companies that have realized billions of dollars in profits while we give up our disposable incomes to provide for their greed.
    If we're that stupid then let the status quo continue.

    November 10, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  125. Judy Amos

    The government can't get enough H1N1 vaccine out to the public with a year's notice ! ! How do we expect them to handle a LARGE health care program?

    November 10, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  126. JIM PERIGNY

    Jack,

    IF anyone can, Clinton can guide it through the Senate. IF this is so important to Obama, then why is he not doing this himself? OR is it that he is too busy doing everything else except creating jobs, jobs, jobs.

    November 10, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  127. Rajan N.

    Plainsboro, NJ

    Hi Jack,

    Mr. Clinton definitely has the wily craft and talent to convince Democrats and I hope he succeeds. This bill is about compassion for the millions who are struggling without health insurance including some who were regularly paying their premiums but now have rescinded policies. The Democratic party should bulldoze this bill through because the distraught mom or dad or their little ones are much more important than the opposing Republicans.

    November 10, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  128. Lisa

    Bill Who? Wasn't he president like 16 years ago? No. The american people don't want this garbage that they are trying to pass. For the love of god.......fix the small things first and let's see how that works than lets tackle some more issues. This whole notion that anyone could possible know what consequences this bill will have on the american people is beyond me. I think it's going to be a might cold November next year for the dems!!!!

    November 10, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  129. Johnny C (Los Angeles)

    Jack –

    Not only is former President Clinton articulate and amicable, he is now one of the few politicians that is respected for his opinion. Even with his savvy, it will not be enough to counteract the "behind the scenes" forces that have molded this bill ... no one person can control the outcome when so many influencing organizations have molded the documentation to suit their needs.

    November 10, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  130. Michael White

    The Senate and Congress has to step up to the plate on Health care legislation. They can not be democrats, republicans, conservatives, liberals, or moderates. They have to act as corageous. intelligent men and women who are acting on what is the best thing for this country. They have to remember what the Constitution insists they do....act on the common good of our nation. If they do, then we should have health care reform that will move this country into the future.

    November 10, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  131. kathy

    he did not save his marriage at all . because hillary got low self-esteem

    he did many many times all his dirty affairs

    November 10, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  132. Mike in SA

    BC is now Mr. Irrelevant.

    November 10, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  133. Tuna

    Before he can "save" heath care, the morally-bankrupt, impeached ex-president needs to save himself. He had his chance and now needs to stop chasing the spotlight. America has had enough of the biting and platitudes of this self-aggrandizing politico.

    November 10, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  134. Bob (Illinois)

    If 40 percent of the people included in the Gallup pool say it would make things worse that just emphasizes how uninformed the general public is about what is at stake.

    Can Former President Clinton "save" health care reform? I don't have any idea but I'm glad he had the meeting.

    November 10, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  135. Colt

    I highly doubt a former president will solve health care. President Obama needs to toughen up and solve the problem himself. I`m also sick of representatives with great health care, voting for regular citizens. Universal health care should take a vote just like an election, because apparently our representatives can`t figure it out.

    November 10, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  136. Seamus Robins

    May as well pull out all the stops. Bill Clinton being just one of those.

    Look at the facts America and wake up...

    – We spend more than anyone in the world on Healthcare
    – For this we rank below almost every developed country in overall health, life expectancy, and infant mortality.

    Tell me how the current system works. It doesn't and reform is mandatory in this case. Of course pharmaceutical companies and insurance companies don't want reform. They get filthy rich off of our subsidies and high premiums. They then gladly refuse to pay for your services when you do get sick.

    I would appreciate less pandering from the right and a little more substance. If they hate government run health care than I am sure they would be more than willing to give up the insurance they have and go out and get private insurance. Let them face the reality of having pre-existing conditions being thrown back in their faces or having to pay higher premiums for their ills.

    November 10, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  137. chaney, La.

    I dont think that some of these people care in the slightest if Bill Clinton urges them to get healthcare passed, he is nor giving out $million presents, like the insurance industry is... but I live in a red State,with a blue-dog Senator and this I will promise you if she does not get on board and pass healthcare reform, I and my family will not vote for her again.... President Obama campaigned and was elected by a mandate of the people to get things done, he deserves to have his party support him... otherwise these people need to run as Republicans....

    November 10, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  138. Justin

    Reforming the health insurance industry will do nothing to lower the cost of healthcare. We must first address the cost of doctor's bills before we even touch insurance premiums. Insurance companies charge high premiums because doctors charge insurance companies, and private individuals, big bucks for their services. Forcing insurers to cover people with chronic health problems will do nothing to lower premiums for everyone else. If anything, insurance companies will raise premiums so they can afford to cover people with chronic conditions. In order to lower the cost of healthcare, we will have to address the supply and demand of doctors and their services. To do this, we will have to train/import far more doctors than we currently are, and we will have to lower the demand of their services thru preventative care. Until we do that, a trillion dollar health insurance reform bill will do absolutely nothing to lower the amount of money doctors are charging the insurance companies for their services.

    November 10, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  139. Mel

    Bill Clinton's administration was tied down by Republicans who couldn't get their act together. The train was rolling, now you either get on the train or you get out of the way. It's good to see our former President being useful and committed to making America better, stronger and healthier. Consider how good the economy was under his direction! I think President Obama is wise to use him in this capacity and in other ways such as safely arranging passage for the two journalists who were wrongfully imprisoned. What is former President Bush (either one) doing??? That says ut all, nothing, just like their administrations.

    November 10, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  140. Robert Hays

    Jack
    Those Democrats who are feel they will not be re-elected if they vote for the Health Care Reform measure better be thinking that maybe if they don't vote for this measure that the Democratic voter will reject then faster than the Independants voters. Many of the voters are listing to the false claims paid for be the insurance companies. And the Republicans in Congress have received the bulk of those payments.

    November 10, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  141. Lenny Simmons

    If anyone can save the health care bill, it's former President Clinton. Regardless of his failure to pass reform during his administration, he still carries the political clout to move many democratic senators off the fence and towards his side.

    November 10, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  142. Mark... Voorhees, New Jersey

    When you consider that the rapacious "health insurance industry" (Can you think of another industry that produces NOTHING?) advertises every 5 minutes on TV, threatening we stupid Americans with "death panels" and taking our doctors away, it is not likely to succeed. We outspend the rest of the world but have 35th ranked infant mortality, and mothers mortality. Just imagine how good it would be if we didn't pay these companies for stealing from the doctors and their patients. Who is going to vote for a public option when there are two lobbyists for every legislator, and the "health insurance industry" owns OUR representatives outright

    November 10, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  143. Jackie in Dallas

    No single individual, no matter how powerful, can save (or doom) healthcare reform, Jack. Only the 535 members of Congress, and the President of the United States can make reform possible or impossible.

    Yes, former President Clinton can wheel and deal with members of his own party, but only the 435 members of the House, and the 100 members of the Senate can make or break this essential reform. And the odds aren't good that those 535 members of Congress are willing to turn down the bribes of the healthcare and pharmaceudical industries in order to serve their constituency properly. Although the House bill passed, it squeaked by where it should have blown by it's GOP opposers.

    November 10, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  144. Gary - Woodhaven, Michigan

    No matter what happens with health care, the single most person that has earned my respect in all this is Rep. Cao from Louisiana, even though I am an avid liberal.

    He is the sole politician who has defied the threats of his own party and did what his constituents want him to do.

    If more of our politicians were to stop their idiot ideologies, their greed, their thirst for power, and do as the majority of the America people, who they are supposed to represent, desire, then this would have been over years ago with little of the contempt and despair that is prevalent today.

    November 10, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  145. Vinay in Toronto

    Given Clinton’s enduring status as a polarizing figure, not to mention his fondness for cheeseburgers and onion rings, the Democrats would be wise to keep him out of the wellness trenches. So the answer is, “No, he can’t save health care” - not unless “health care” is a nubile intern who wears a beret.

    November 10, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  146. LLOY

    Having heard the former Pres giving a stemwinder of a campaign speech here in Montana for candidate Obama, there is no one more capable of articulating the problems with our current system. Clinton
    understands how to balance a macro budget. He knows first hand how uncontrolled health care costs and corrupt insurance companies will ultimately bankrupt this country. After he leaves the meeting with the senators, get him back out speaking to the populus!

    November 10, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  147. Lynn

    Excuse me but I thought that our senators and congressmen were the "voice of the people" elected to represent their constituency. This is obviously a total misconception as the majority of these elected officials are not very interested in what we have to say. They will listen to Bill Clinton and his powerful rhetoric though. We do not have the powers of persuasion that he does. But we do have votes and I think we will see some changes come election day 2010! Not that any one else will truly listen either....they try to tell us what we want and what is best for us. I am disgusted.

    Lynn
    Virginia Beach

    November 10, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  148. Doris Lauter

    The Republicans have a pact that they will not vote for anything that Obama proposes. Bill Clinton won't have much impact on them. For some reason, they think he was a lousy President.....Could it be that he is a democrat?
    Doris
    Ojai, California

    November 10, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  149. Michael

    I am amazed that President Clinton would make the statement "There is no perfect bill and that the worst thing to do is nothing." Why didn't he finish his thought with "...so just pass anything so we can say we did something." So much for quality healthcare and fiscal responsibility.

    November 10, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  150. Jim, Simi Valley, Cal

    Bill Clinton, despite his screw-ups, was and is a great communicator. This country can't handle a healthcare reform because it doesn't think for the good of the nation, it only acts for the good of whatever party it blindly supports. It's the old story of the blind leading the blind, our citizens don't think for themselves or what this country needs. They respond to fear, from politically (in their pocket) corporate hacks, who should be responsible to the citizens that elected them.

    November 10, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  151. Scott

    Jack.

    I am surprised that with the endorsement from both AARP and the AMA that there is still as much opposition as there is. Are people aware of these endorsements, or is all of the rhetoric drowning them out?

    November 10, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  152. JIM PERIGNY

    IF anyone can, Clinton can. IF this is so important to Obama, then why is Obama not in the Senate persuading passage?

    IF Obama wasn't busy doing everything in the world except creating jobs, jobs, jobs; then maybe it would pass and it would have been nice to have both of them twisting the Senate's collective arm.

    I did vote for Obama, but unless he creates jobs, then he will be a one term President.

    FT. Lauderdale, Florida

    November 10, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  153. shirley San Jose Ca

    I don't know if Mr. Clinton has any credibility left but I hope he can help move this along. I agree, whatever bill is passed won't be perfect and will have unintended consequences but it will be a start. Many who oppose health care reform, have good employer paid health care and are afraid they will lose the coverage or pay more. We need to address the rising cost of health care that causes the rising cost of insurance coverage. I am not sure the pending bill will address the real issue of out of control costs for health care.

    No one in this Country should be sick and unable to see a doctor. The medical profession seems care more about money than people but that seems to be the direction this Country is taking as a whole.

    November 10, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  154. janette tx

    Don't know Jack but hope he didn't make things worse.
    The best thing he could have do was give the Pres. a list
    of all the mistakes he made and a list of "should haves"
    that would have changed the outcome of his own bill.

    November 10, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  155. seth

    Bill Clinton has a real shot at convincing people like Ben Nelson, and even (gasp) Joe Lieberman, not to join the republican filibuster. If they can get all democrats (or all except Lieberman, plus Olympia Snowe) to vote for cloture, the bill will pass.

    November 10, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  156. yen

    What I want to see is those who oppose the reform is to come aboard and support it. We have to come together on this. What is at stake is very, very important.

    November 10, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  157. Brenda

    Has anyone in the Senate or Congress asked the American people if they want this health care reform? Or let me say the American people who acutally get up and go to work everyday and I do apolize to everyone who have been laid off because I don't think this bill will help you at all. I for one don't. I like my healthcare and don't want it to change but it will change drastically under this bill or any bill. I will have to pay a tax on the 3/4 my facility pay for my healthcare and any additional benefits I receive. This because they have to have some way to pay for this National Healthcare plan. This should not be passed by the politaticans but the American people should have a vote on it. I personally think Nancy Pelosi should resign after she submitted a bill that guts Medicare for all the senior citizens. National healhcare has not been a success in any other country. People have to wait extended periods of time to see a physician and for some it is too late for any help by the time they are diagnosed. I know many physicians who state that if this bill passes they will depart the medical profession and these are excellent doctors. What a shame our politicans are trying to drive this down the throats of the American people. I hope everyone rises up and votes every dang senator and congressman/women out who votes for this bill.

    I tell you what they can pass a National Healthcare plan if all the Senators and Congressmen and women will give up the plan they have now and take this plan instead. Let's see how many will do just that.

    November 10, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  158. Alan

    Jack, Once again you have it backwards! Of course Bill Clinton can make the difference. It is not that if the Democrats push this through they will not be re-elected. It is if they don't push this through they will not be re-elected. Since, the majority of people believe we need healthcare reform, most people are going to remember that they did not keep their word, regardless of what it looks like. I hope they pass real reform with a public option. It wasn't that long ago that you all said Hillary was going to win the 2008 election. Come on Jack, let's get real.

    November 10, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  159. lefty loosy

    imagine Bill Clinton the first self proclaimed black president and
    Barrack Obama a black president in step saving health care.
    God Bless America.
    God Save America.
    Presidential engineering at itsbest

    November 10, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  160. Darryl

    Hey, Jack,

    It's amazing to me that you and the Democrats feel that they lost the majority under Bill Clinton because the DIDN'T pass health care reform. Do you really believe that? The reason that the Dems lost the majority then, and the reason they will lose it in 2010, is because they attempted to pass legislation that the majority of Americans found objectionable. Also, it's not that Americans don't want health care reform - they just don't want the solution the Democrats are proposing. For this reason (Dems shoving unpalatable legislation down the throats of Americans), they will pay at the polls in 2010 whether they pass health care legislation or not.

    November 10, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  161. Jackie in Dallas

    Michael White,

    Sorry to break it to you, but the Senate is part of Congress. Congress has two branches: the House of Representatives and the Senate. The House has 435 members, the Senate, 100.

    And yes, they need to ignore party politics and be courageous, but the odds are, they won't.

    November 10, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  162. Steve

    Bill Clinton cannot save the much need health care reform. Only the millions who have no coverage can if they get off their butts and let the politicians who are owned by big money insurance company know they voted overwhelming for Mr. Obama because he campaigned and promise on reforming health care to make it affordable for all.

    The President was smart to let the House and Senate put the plan together because if it does not pass they are to blame. Furthermore! I am so tired of hearing from those fools who claim the Preside has not delivered on his promises. The man has only been in office less than a year and had to deal with major, major issues. The first being getting the economy ruined by the George Bush and the useless Republican back on track and at the same time with a gutless and spineless Congress.

    November 10, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  163. Mike from Springfield

    The questions is not whether he can, but whether he should. Why do we need to overhaul the entire system and change how th vast majority of Americans are insured in order to cover the 10% who are not? There is a better way, and they are not seeing it. Instead, they are focusing purely on theeir own personal agendas. This is evidenced by the notion that a public option is the only solution. It isn't. It is just the only one they can imagine with their limited intellects.

    November 10, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  164. Jim in the midwest

    Yes, Bill Clinton can help pass health care reform. The GOP has now made itself irrelevant on the economy they ruined and on real health care reform that they demagogued with fear mongering. Any attempt at bipartisanship is dead. The Democrats need to govern while they can–compromise within their caucus and move on. The vote in upstate NY showed me that people want action on solutions, not ideology.

    November 10, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  165. Dave

    Let's not forget that Bill is the one that has said repeatedly that we need to get health care costs as a percent of GDP ( currently 18%) more in line with countries where it is 12% or so. Could some one please explain to me how any of the proposed legislation is going to do anything but increase this percentage. We are the most obese nation in the world and the liberals idea of health care is to pass what really is tax legslation where we raise taxes and increase costs as there will be greater utilization and government waste just like we now have with Medicare. President Clinton, if you think health care reform should lower costsas a percent of GDP then please do what is right for our children and not the ideological lefties whose primary goal is making people more dependent on government.

    November 10, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  166. Jawahar Rajan

    I hope those wavering democrats who were there under Bill Clinton realize that there may not be another opportunity again for serious Health reform.

    I hope they can compromise and make a deal , tort reform must be on the table – I think

    November 10, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  167. Brian Wickremasinghe - Woodland Hills, CA.

    Why not. His ratings for job performance was very good. He seems to have a way of being able to convince people, without being over bearing.

    November 10, 2009 at 6:25 pm |
  168. Cliff in Cali

    Slick Willie needs to get Jimmy "Peanut" Carter and both walk quitely into the sunset. They HAD their moment. I am beginning to think Carter "forgot" his though!

    November 10, 2009 at 6:26 pm |
  169. Jules

    Regardless of Bill Clinton trying to help out, has anyone considered the fact that if health care reform passes? it will cause mass job loss in the health insurance industry...expecially in the underwriting departments.

    November 10, 2009 at 6:26 pm |
  170. jojo

    jack, Yes he can!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11

    November 10, 2009 at 6:27 pm |
  171. Annie, Atlanta

    Judy Amos @6:15 – ever hear of Medicare and Medicaid? What about the health care that covers most of the members of Congress? Guess what? All government run.

    November 10, 2009 at 6:28 pm |
  172. ken

    i dont know if he can ,but i sure hope that what he learned from his failed attempt at health care reform can help him persuade senators and the general public how important this time is ...that we cant fail again

    dayton ohio

    November 10, 2009 at 6:28 pm |
  173. Strycek

    Heathcare debate is like the Hatfield and McCoys. When will these politicians grow up and pass something useful instead of trying to earmark "Bridges to Nowhere"? Sometimes it makes you wonder why the kids can't play nice. Sometimes an adult has to step in and make a decision.

    November 10, 2009 at 6:28 pm |
  174. Russ

    Health Care, especially Federally Managed, is a bogeyman for conservatives. They ought to evolve from a 1950's mentality. This is a new century and we need new thinking to survive the challenges that are arising as we speak. EVERY American should have basic, sustainable health care in place. Now. You go Bill!

    November 10, 2009 at 6:28 pm |
  175. Alejandro Ramirez

    Of course he can. There isn 't much that Clinton can't get done. He's savy, tough, persuasive, hardworking, and most importantly: he actually cares

    Have we forgotten the achievements of his administration?18 million new jobs created, unemployment was down to 4.3 percent, highest homeownership rate in history, fastest real-wage growth in more than two decades, cut crime rates by passing the Brady bill and creating 100,000 new police officer jobs, left office with a surplus, and the greatest peace-time economic expansion in the history of this country, lowest inlfation in 30 years, reduced welfare rolls...etc...etc...

    Greatest president since JFK. Clinton can do anything

    November 10, 2009 at 6:29 pm |
  176. Dale, MN

    Stay out of it Mr Clinton; it is President Obamas mess now.

    November 10, 2009 at 6:29 pm |
  177. Mark, Worcester MA

    The depends on what you mean by save. Contrary to the paraphrase you use of Mr. Clinton, there are definitely things we could do that are worse than nothing. Do you mean, can save it from the direction it's been headed? Or do you mean, can he save the current mess from meeting the DOA prognosis it deserves?

    November 10, 2009 at 6:30 pm |
  178. Jim - Michigan

    Jack, I think the question should be – why should he try? Experts in all areas, government and public, including the healthcare industry agree that over 800 billion dollars a year is wasted under the current healthcare system, so why in the world would anybody want to add millions of more people on top of it?

    Why dont we go after the waste FIRST? If we recovered that waste, we could pay for healthcare for everybody and cut cost for the millions who already have it while drastically reducing our national debt. Only government would acknowledge massive waste and then ignore it and decide to add millions of citizens on top of a bloated, inefficient system. The reasoning behind this urgent move has nothing to do with healthcare or consideration for our citizens or country, it is about politics and votes, plain and simple.

    I hope the bill fails and then see Obama come back, tackle the waste in the system, which will pay for the plan, benefit all Americans, including the TAXPAYER, which there are fewer and fewer of daily. Perhaps we should look at removing business from the healthcare system so that they can be more competitive and actually create more jobs, which in turn will create more taxpayers.

    Just my thoughts – a TAXPAYER

    November 10, 2009 at 6:30 pm |
  179. Bob Zarobinski

    I wish those who did not support heath care reform had the mandatory requirement to visit the ill of our nation.

    This way, they can stare each of them in the eyes and say, I am not going to pay your bills!

    Isn't this the real death squads everyone squaked about?

    I cannot believe people in this nation contemplate such thoughts!

    Sickened!

    November 10, 2009 at 6:30 pm |
  180. CBR

    I do believe that President Obama has visited Congress on many occasions to speak about health care reform. As a past president, Bill Clinton has the right to speak as would any other person who wished to do so. Free speech is alive and well and those who use comment pages should know that very well.

    President Obama did not go to Germany. Exactly why is that first in your mind? If he had left the country, many would have accused him of grandstanding when he should be at Ft. Hood.

    November 10, 2009 at 6:30 pm |
  181. MrVic

    Jack, if he can get the senators to compromise and understand that they will go down in history by voting for a reform that will really lower cost while providing quality health care to all americans he might get it done, it,s that simple. It is time for a moral dicision to pass real health care reform and show the world we care about our people.
    Victor
    Oldsmar Fl

    November 10, 2009 at 6:31 pm |
  182. Daniel Tennessee

    I sure hope he can Jack. Here' s what Clinton and other Democratic presidents tried or have done for us in the past:

    1990's – Bill Clinton and Congress passes legislation allowing seniors to collect Social Security (S.S.) and still work part-time without penalties. It affected directly my Mom and Dad

    1965 – Lyndon Johnson and Congress passes Medicare / Medicaid legislation

    1933 – F.D.R. and Congress pass (S.S.) legislation helping millions of senior citizens

    And to be fair, what have the Republicans given us?

    1865 – Lincoln frees the slaves
    1923 – Harding gets involved in the Teapot Dome Scandal
    1956 – Eisenhower helps build some highways
    1980's – Reagan gives us Star Wars missle defense

    Let's face it Jack, the Republicans haven't helped the American people in over 50 years and almost a hundred before that!

    We need health care now! Clinton, help us pass something please!

    November 10, 2009 at 6:32 pm |
  183. Matt-Los Angeles

    When you have to bring in Bill Clinton off the bench...lets face it, health care is going down in a blaze of glory. For those of you who have posted that Health Care reform is only about compassion, you are truly deceived. Health Care reform is also about power and politicians can't resist its magnetic lure. Can anyone on this blog who supports this health care bill tell me where entitlement programs are allowable under the Constitution?

    November 10, 2009 at 6:32 pm |
  184. Jackie in Dallas

    Jeff Crockett.

    President Obama, like it or not, is President of this country. He has hundreds, if not thousands, of invitations to important events. His planned trip to Asia was on his calendar before the celebration of the tumbling of the Berlin Wall was announced. And as it was, it meant that he was in the States, here in Texas today, to honor the fallen at Ft. Hood because he didn't go. He sent official representation to the celebration in Berlin, so we were well represented.

    As someone who lived in Europe when the wall went up, I remember it all too well, as well as the thousands who died trying to cross from East to West Berlin. And I was thrilled to see it come down in 1989 - just sorry my Dad didn't live long enough to see it too. However important it was to commemorate it's fall on November 9th, however, preparation for a trip that can have enormous benefits to the economy of this country, and to our national credibility in the Far East is probably more important.

    November 10, 2009 at 6:32 pm |
  185. Ed in SC

    I certainly hope someone can convience the public that health reform is necessary now. I am sick and tired of the ones with vested interests; insurance companies, drug companies spreading half truths through a massive p/r campaign.

    I'm equally sick of the general public who would rather believe the latest rumor at the barber shop, water cooler, or favorite watering hole rather than studying and making their own independend decision.

    It's sad, but generally the group who has the most money to spend wins the battle.

    Footnote: Democracy – Government by the people for the people

    Meritocracy: Government by those who are at the top of the heap by talents, money, or social position.

    I think we are sliding into a meritocracy. How sad!

    November 10, 2009 at 6:33 pm |
  186. Rick McDaniel / Lewisville, TX

    Not unless they do away with the anti-abortion provisions.

    Of course, it would be nice if they did away with other inappropriate sections, as well, and kept their focus on health care, and health care only.

    November 10, 2009 at 6:33 pm |
  187. Val in Ohio

    I believe Clinton can exert a powerful impact on healthcare reform if the senate is wise enough to act on his good council. Clinton's frightening assertion that our economy cannot survive much longer without such reform should persuade senators to act responsibly and do what is in the best interest of its citizens.

    November 10, 2009 at 6:33 pm |
  188. Leah A

    Yes, I think President Clinton is exactly the diplomat to hopefully get this bill moving towards consensus... He is the last heavy weight we have left, since Teddy passed away, and his negotiation skills are legendary. I hope he's able to remind the Senators about what is likely to happen to them in the next election if they fail to act on the people's mandate. I'm glad he's gotten involved and look forward to getting a bill on President Obama's desk by the end of the year!

    November 10, 2009 at 6:33 pm |
  189. Steve from Missouri

    Is this the same Bill Clinton that could not tell the truth under oath?

    November 10, 2009 at 6:34 pm |
  190. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Bill Clinton is one of the many faces who have tried to pass healthcare reform and revisiting the same over and over again should be embarrassing for those opposing.

    November 10, 2009 at 6:34 pm |
  191. Matt

    It good to see Clinton back in Washington giving National Health Care another run. Reminds me of the good old innocent days when the important issues were interns and welfare reform.

    I miss old Slick Willy Bubba.

    Now there was a president you could hang your hat on!

    November 10, 2009 at 6:35 pm |
  192. Ronald Holst

    Jack It will take 60 senate votes to save health care , Can Clinton Help yes but He can not do it by himself . I think He can remind then what happened the last time Demoacrts Failed To get It through ,
    Funny How Democrats Are made up of individuals and not a Mass group think . Hum I wounder witch will bring this country to its knees . The democratic people Of the united states or the Dictatorship mind set Of the Other Side .
    Ron Texas

    November 10, 2009 at 6:36 pm |
  193. David G.

    He will find a way to help because Bill Clinton is the man !!! Enough Said.

    November 10, 2009 at 6:37 pm |
  194. Philip Barksdale, Stafford, Va

    The problem is all the proposals available for review on the internet do not clearly explain what's actually being proposed to make health care more available and affordable. I've read through all the proposal several times and simply don't understand what elements of health care are being reformed.

    November 10, 2009 at 6:37 pm |
  195. Pete - Augusta Ga

    Jack –

    No way – the Clintons represent the failure to enact health care reform in the 90's and will only further polarize the process. Too much money is at risk, too many Members of Congress posturing for the next election & too many special interest groups & lobbyists are involved.

    November 10, 2009 at 6:38 pm |
  196. Christine, California

    Any Democratic senator who does not push for a public option in the healthcare reform does not deserve their seat in government. I hope Bill Clinton can help pass this necessary legislation. Why don't Americans want their fellow citizens to have the benefit of affordable healthcare. Get on with it Harry Reid.

    November 10, 2009 at 6:38 pm |
  197. RC44

    If a "superstar" like Clinton can't get the blockheads to see the light, nobody can!

    November 10, 2009 at 6:38 pm |
  198. Dee from Deptford

    It doesn't hurt having Clinton show up for a little pep talk. Already the talk shows (Hannity) are talking about it. I feel so bad for this President. He is trying so hard and you have these so called CONSERVATIVES ripping at him all the time.They are even now trying to blame him for the shooting at Ft. Hood. Maybe they should check the dates and find out it was under BUSH AND CHENEY that he gave his PPT report. Shame on anyone who puts the blame on this man.

    November 10, 2009 at 6:38 pm |
  199. George Cook

    SORRY BILL....song and dance and rhetoric is NOT WHAT WE NEED right now!!! We know you are very , very, very good at it....BUT....we need a real concerted interest on the part of ALL Congressional personnel, both parties, both Houses.....to think ONLY of the voters whom they REPRESENT, supposedly, and what this MONSTROSITY of a BILL is going to do FOR the tax payers who will have to Financially support it...and by the way..>WHY do we need 1,990 + pages to define the content, is it so legalistic that it takes 1,990 pages to spell it out, IF that is the case then it is NOT very transparent to the average American Tax Paying Citizen is it? ( And As I recall, President promised Transparency in his Administration, did he not? ) and WHO is Kidding WHO that it won't increase the Deficit "one penny"...SURE !!!!!!!!!! Dream On!! Washington – "Let's Quit Playing PURE Politics" and think about WHO the heck ELECTED you in the first place and WHAT they REALLY WANT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    george

    November 10, 2009 at 6:39 pm |
  200. bawana

    way to go bill,,,,get the dems to get it thru with a one payer public option please,,,,oh yeah,,,no pre-existing conditions that the corporate run ins agnecies coviently use to deny people coverage over and over and over,,,tired of,,and something needs to be done other than the staus quo as the repugs would have it so there constintuients would be happy

    November 10, 2009 at 6:39 pm |
  201. Wayne Grajeda

    I don't know if Clinton can convince the Senate or not but he better. I am American but have also lived several years of my life in other countries. Americans who feel there insurance is good are either rich or haven't got a clue. To paraphrase Einstein, "Two things are limitless. The universe and human stupidity." People who don't want health care reform are already sick.

    November 10, 2009 at 6:40 pm |
  202. Jim - Michigan

    For all the left wing nuts that would prefer to align themselves with a party rather than national interest, it is time to stop blaming the republicans for the difficulty in passing healthcare – there are more than enough democrats in both houses of congress and they have the presidency. You do not need the republicans, not a single vote – the problem is with the politicians, the democratic party. Stop crying and vote better representatives.

    November 10, 2009 at 6:40 pm |
  203. Melanie, Ireland

    He is a smooth-talker, it might work this time around.

    November 10, 2009 at 6:40 pm |
  204. Matthew

    If the Dems don't rally now, and get something done, then it just proves what I always thought that the two-party system is broken, and incapable of getting anything useful done. If Bill can't put us on the right track, nobody can.

    November 10, 2009 at 6:40 pm |
  205. Rick

    Clinton couldn't get it done because it was a bad idea when he was President - just as it is a bad idea right now.

    November 10, 2009 at 6:41 pm |
  206. Bubba likes it right

    Yeh, save healthcare and kill America, Thanks slick willie

    November 10, 2009 at 6:42 pm |
  207. Jon

    Bill Clinton may be motivated by the desire to capture some of the credit for health care reform which eluded him as President. Motivations notwithstanding, however, I think its a shrewd move, in that it appeals to the moderate element of the party he represented, an element which probably has the power to tip the balance one way or the other. Just wish Obama had provided more moral and political leadership on this issue.

    November 10, 2009 at 6:43 pm |
  208. sca

    I applaud that this bill will provide coverage for more people. My question is: what does it do to reduce health care cost or reduce the rate of increase of health care cost significantly?

    November 10, 2009 at 6:43 pm |
  209. Blake

    Something this drastic with so huge an impact to our economy should not be won by the narrowest of margins. This is something that affects everybody, not just 1/2 the nation. The whole thing needs to be scrapped and everybody needs to sit down and hammer out a system that lowers costs and covers more people while still giving (and maintaining) options for everybody. Sadly, this bill does little other than increases coverage.

    November 10, 2009 at 6:45 pm |
  210. George in Big D, Texas

    I don't understand why anyone would think he could. He was way overrated in my point of view. Never cared much for the skirt chaser to begin with so why would he sway me? He wouldn't. Reform is badly needed BUT – do it where necessary. Instead of cutting Medicare benefits by $500B, cut out the fraud! There is so much fraud going on that the people who do qualify can't get the proper treatment. That's one place to begin. It is a little known "public" fact that insurance company profits are only about 6%. How many corporations do you know of that can sustain itself with that small profit margin? Not many. Everyone want to blame the big, bad insurance companies. Put the blame where its due and stop waste and fraud! This TAX PLAN of Pelosi's is greatly injurous to this country and to the middle class taxpayers, AGAIN.

    November 10, 2009 at 6:45 pm |
  211. Phil

    Bill says there is nothing worse than not passing health care reform. Respectfully, he is wrong. Socializing health care 'is' worse than passing the bill. True health care reform is necessary, which involves tort reform, amongst other items (not socializing the health industry). A public health care option is not reform, it is disaster! Socialize one industry and the systematic socialization of all industries will ensue. Passage of this bill will mark the beginning of the end of the free market system as we know it in this great country. This is a control and party dominance issue more than anything else because it certainly is not in the best interest of the majority of American people.

    November 10, 2009 at 6:45 pm |
  212. Lucy, Austin, Texas

    I think that the Health care industry has been throwing obscene amounts of money at our senators through this whole debate. When you throw in a few lobbyists caught sleeping with politicians both figuratively and physically, then graft and corruptions are running rappant in Washington.

    I though we voted for change. The only change the Americans got was the change we find in our sofa when we are trying to get together enough lunch money for our kids. Did the corporations we bailed out make any changes so the disaster they made of our economy would never happen again? No, they gave million dollar bonuses their executives and then spent the rest of the bailout to flood our Congress with over a million dollars per every senator vote.

    When will Americans learn that there is a reason that "we, the people" of America vote and not corporations. Corporations in Washington lobbying for votes of our congressmen can not possible be a good thing for Americans and our health.

    November 10, 2009 at 6:48 pm |
  213. Surfing granny Florida Keys

    Jack, if handsome Bill could save the two journalists from the wrath
    of North Korea, He sure as hell can save the health care bill.

    (He'll just use the same charm on Olympia snow that he used on Kim
    Jong Il).

    November 10, 2009 at 6:48 pm |
  214. clare

    those who do not want change because they are happy with their health care are in a word -selfish-having no concern for others. the senate had better pass a meaningful bill....
    clare marlyand

    November 10, 2009 at 6:48 pm |
  215. Doug - Dallas, TX

    Well if he can we should put him back in the White House.

    If our senators cannot figure out that the country wants and needs health care reform, then they should seek another line of business and we would be glad to help them find one. I find this entire debate insane, we don't have the best health care system in the world, we rank 30th, after Tanzania. However, we do rank #1 in cost. If our representatives cannot understand what is wrong with that picture, then they should not be in Washington.

    November 10, 2009 at 6:49 pm |
  216. James, NYC

    No single person can save health reform. We're all in this together. But the Democratic caucus in the Senate is of huge importance, and every team needs the occasional pep talk. The House caucus got one from the sitting President, and now the Senate has gotten one from a former President. Both men have powers of persuasion and inspiration that are not to be despised. Both are brilliant politicians. It cannot hurt for Clinton to take an oar. Put it this way: I'd much rather have him on our team than the other one. The question now is: who's going to give a pep talk to the Republicans? What names come to mind are less than inspiring.

    November 10, 2009 at 6:49 pm |
  217. Jackie Franks - Sandusky, OH

    Jack –

    Jim-Michigan and Denis Duffy. (previous blog writers)
    The two of them are my heroes. This health care bill is an atrocity and utterly outrageous.

    These people who are singing the praises of this bill (and its presenters) have a screw loose for certain. They do not have any idea how this will inflict even more injustices than we already presently have. What happened to FREEDOM? I do NOT want someone to dictate me. I loved this country because it used to allow me to make my OWN choices. Aren't others annoyed that our freedoms are routinely being taken away from us?

    November 10, 2009 at 6:50 pm |
  218. John

    The republicans must know that even the rich want cheap and efficient health care. Welcome health care reform! Welcome permanent republican minority.

    November 10, 2009 at 6:51 pm |
  219. JENNA

    Can Bill Clinton save health care reform?

    "Bubba" has proven, time and time again, that he can do anything!

    I have full confidence that he can sweet talk (threaten) those Blue Dog Democrats into submission with ease. And I bet he can do the same to some of those Republicans as well.

    Jenna
    Roseville CA

    November 10, 2009 at 6:51 pm |
  220. Norm

    I sure hope not. This bill if passed will ignore Tort Reform which was to save money on Malpractice lawsuits. As with everything Congress does,it will cost 5 t0 10 times what they are telling us. As to it being essential to the recovery of our economy, that is pure B.S. It will only prolong the Recession because the money needed to start up and build up Small Business which we need to creat jobs to pull us out will have a huge drain on it. Everything the Democratic Party wants to do is aimed at attacking the Bank Accounts of Small Business. Sadly, they will be reluctant to hire knowing the Democrats want to tax their businesses to death.

    November 10, 2009 at 6:51 pm |
  221. Homeless D

    I certainly hope so!

    If nothing is done ALL the Congress needs to just go home and lets get people in office who will DO something and not just fill a seat!

    November 10, 2009 at 6:52 pm |
  222. William Schilleci

    I am 72 years old and my wife is 71.
    My wife and I are hoping and praying that a real health care bill passes.
    The bill just passed by the left wing radical House is the worse piece of legislation to come along in the history of Congress.
    Yes, it is being championed by George Souris, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, the main stream media and the Radical left but what about the American people?
    What about liberty and freedom?

    November 10, 2009 at 6:52 pm |
  223. Mario

    Anyone who thinks that Bill Clinton or Mandrake the Magician can stop the transfer of public funds to private interests does not understand that for decades we've been living under facist rule (in the purest sense of its definition). The House Healthcare Reform Bill was dead before it arrived at the Senate. The Senate will not pass anything this year, that has already been declared by the leadership. By the time something is passed, it will have been bastardized to ensure it benefits the insurance companies, not the people. And so, the party continues...

    November 10, 2009 at 6:53 pm |
  224. Robert Best

    Clinton, have you not done this country enough harm already! Please retire to your smoking room. Your services are no longer needed.

    November 10, 2009 at 6:53 pm |
  225. AZ SENIOR

    Maybe he can tell those whimpy Democrats in the senate to get off their "sitz" and do something for the country.

    November 10, 2009 at 6:54 pm |
  226. Dan in Oregon

    If the the government option is so great why is Congress exempt from the program? If it is good enough for the masses then it should be good enough for all. Replace their programs with the government option and save big!

    November 10, 2009 at 6:54 pm |
  227. Lori -Lincoln NE

    Jack, I can not understand why these female senators are in favor of the Health Care Reform Bill requesting money to pay for an abortion. No private insurance has every paid or provided coverage for an abortion. These female senators are missing the point. Health Care Reform is about providing basic health care to all not including the extras. The individuals who are in favor of such as money being allowed to pay for abortion are just wrong on this issue. Why do we get a basic keep it simple Health Care Reform Pass this year and they can always make some Addendums. Why use this issue and kill the chance of any bill being passed this year. Again, we the people need to consider cleaning house and re-electing some new people who can get something done in Washington without all the drama. These so call smart people in both the house and senate can not draft a simple bill without all the including issues that should have never been written into the draft in the first place. What happen to KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) Can they do anything right and keep it simple. There is no way that this bill be over a thousand of pages unless someone it trying to hide something that they know is wrong. Again, President Obama should never allow these people to work on any future drafts of anything without giving them specific guidelines, directions and tell them exactly what he wants the draft to have in it. Because the house and senate are like little kids and need a parent to guide and direct them. Sham on all of you for doing should a poor job on drafting a simple Health Care Reform Bill. Thanks for nothing but stalling, excuses and lies.

    November 10, 2009 at 6:54 pm |
  228. Eddoc

    The selfishness and lack of compassion surrounding this debate are just stunning to me. Sure, the current system is fine IF you have health insurance and IF you never need to access it. The whole point of insurance is to collect your premiums and, to the best of their ability, line the stockholders pockets with them. The fewer claims to pay, the greater the profit margin and the CEO gets to take home millions. Medicare has it's problems but only about $.03 of every dollar goes to administrative costs and NONE to the insurance profiteer. Stop thinking only of yourselves and give a little thought to caring for your neighbor.

    November 10, 2009 at 6:54 pm |
  229. Ron Hall

    Clinton can't hurt, he is a very pursuasive personality. However, I don't know that he can dissuade Senators from protecting their Insurance, Pharma and Health Industry campaign dollars by voting reform down. I wish we could see a listing on contributions from these group to each Senator. If a government plan isn't the answer to forcing competition and honesty, lets hear their ideas.

    November 10, 2009 at 6:54 pm |
  230. Susan in Sunnyvale

    I didn't vote for Bill Clinton either time, but over the years I have come to respect him.

    I hope the dems will listen to him.

    November 10, 2009 at 6:54 pm |
  231. Fred Brostoff, Chicago

    With the US presently at 17% effective unemployment, how can the full Congress and Executive divisions of the US government divert their attention to health care reform...particularly when the majority of American abhore the process that is being used by the government in pushing this along:
    * No transparency
    * 2,000 pages of unintelligible legalese that nobody understands
    * Whitehouse armtwisting, arguing that passage of the bill is essential to the survival of the country, when the truth is that passage of the bill is essential only to the survival of the Democrat Party.

    Yes, reform is needed, but don't throw out the baby with the bathwater. Start with tort reform and move on from there...but, of course, that won't happen because Congress is indebted to the ABA.

    November 10, 2009 at 6:55 pm |
  232. Ron Temecula

    Jack:

    He might have some influence. I doubt it will be enough to put the bill over the top in the senate.

    Ron Temecula, Ca

    November 10, 2009 at 6:55 pm |
  233. TODD GLEASON

    I'm a republic, but voted for Bill Clinton his second go around. I feel he's one of the best politicians in the last 100 years. This said, I don't think he will be able to get this through by the end of the year. Too many Americans don't want it...not because they really don't want it, but because they don't understand it. Very expensive and probably the wrong time with so many out of work to be talking about a hugh fiscal bill on the government. President Obama is guilty of not paying attention to his surroundings...should have kept focused on helping the unemployed and pulled Health Care out after the 2010 election...would have guaranteed his reelection and made me think he was a good politician too!

    November 10, 2009 at 6:55 pm |