A few days after Senator Hillary Clinton released her plan to achieve universal health coverage, I interviewed her by telephone for this article. Following is a transcript of that conversation: When did you sit down and seriously start to think about a new health care plan? I've been committed to universal health care for fifteen years.
Will she flinch? For months now, that's been the big question about Senator Hillary Clinton and health care. Nobody questioned her command of the issue or her interest in the subject. She'd proven all of that in 1993 and 1994, when she headed up her husband's health care task force and then became chief spokesperson for his ill-fated plan. But precisely because she "has the scars" from that experience, as she likes to say, many people wondered whether she'd be up for trying all over again.
The gathering took place in late May, at a conference center some 80 miles north of Salt Lake City. To the casual observer, it would have seemed like a rather ordinary businessmen's meeting. Inside a windowless room with handsome wood paneling, about 300 people sat at round tables, sipping juice and finishing off eggs from the hot breakfast buffet. Up on the stage, a tall, gangly figure worked his way through a rudimentary PowerPoint presentation. He spoke crisply but in a relative monotone; with the lights dimmed, a few audience members nodded off.
Of all the reasons President Bush and his conservative allies have given for opposing an expansion of government-financed health insurance for children, the one that sounds most persuasive is that a lot of these kids--or, more precisely, their families--don't need the help. The argument goes like this: It's fine to have the government help really poor children, who couldn't get health insurance without taxpayer assistance.
The chances that quarterback Michael Vick will be calling signals for the Atlanta Falcons this year seem pretty remote at this point. Several of his associates have now pled guilty to running a dog-fighting ring out of Vick's Virginia home. And as part of their plea agreements, they've said Vick both financed the operation and helped to run it, executing several dogs himself. Vick has maintained his innocence and could still stand trial.
In New Hampshire on Tuesday, Republican presidential hopeful Rudy Giuliani released a new health care plan--except that it is not really new and it's not much of a plan. Instead, it's just a two-page summary of Giuliani's general approach to reform--which, from the looks of it, is closely modeled on an idea President Bush proposed in January of this year. While there may be some differences between the two--it's impossible to know, since the campaign isn't getting into such details--it's fair to judge Giuliani's proposal based on the verdict experts rendered when Bush trotted out his idea.
You hear it over and over again, in casual conversation and in serious debates among experts: If we create universal health insurance here in the U.S., then we'll end up with less responsive, less advanced medical care. Few arguments have done as much political damage to the cause of universal health care.
DETROIT, Michigan Unless you are Abraham Lincoln and you're dedicating a Civil War memorial, it is virtually impossible to say something meaningful in three minutes. You can get through five or maybe six hundred words, which is the equivalent of two or three paragraphs, at best. And if you're appearing at a public event, you'll have to spend some of your time profusely thanking your hosts and flattering the audience. That leaves even less time to make an impression.
It's hard not to mistake the parallels between the career of Mitt Romney and the career of his father, former Michigan Governor George Romney. Both men became famous, and wealthy, in the world of business. Both then heard the call of public service, becoming the governor of relatively liberal states. From there, both sought the Republican presidential nomination. George Romney lost his bid for the nomination. Will Mitt succeed? What is he willing to do to avoid his father's fate? I tackle these questions in my profile of Mitt in the current issue.