THE SPINE MARCH 16, 2008
I knew that Hillary's spiel about her experience in this and her experience in that was fake. Take, for example, her evidence for being an old foreign policy hand: she had been to 80 different foreign countries while her poor hubby was (alone) in the White House. This seemed to me to be a hyped-up version of Jules Verne's Around the World in Eighty Days. How gullible does she think the American public is?But there was one area in public policy about which I was prepared to take her at her word, and that was health policy. Yes, we know she did screw up in her first dip into those tempestuous waters. But, my God, she was intense about medical care, and she was intense about it every opportunity she had. And especially about coverage of children. Well, it turns out, she was hyping this, too. But she was -- how do I say this? -- lying.The front page of Friday's Boston Globe has a measured headline: "Clinton role in health program disputed." But the article by Susan Milligan is devastating. The piece begins, "Hillary Clinton, who has frequently described herself on the campaign trail as playing a pivotal role in forging a children's health insurance, had little to do with crafting the landmark legislation or ushering it through Congress, according to several lawmakers, staffers, and healthcare advocates involved in the issue." Wow. This is a big lie."In 1997," she said in Iowa in one of her typical "me, me, me" claims," I joined forces with members of Congress and we passed the State Children's Health Insurance Program." The opposite was true. The Clinton White House was against the legislation, which was proposed by Orrin G. Hatch and Ted Kennedy. And what about Hillary? When asked, Ted half-shrugged and then said, "Facts are stubborn things." John McDonough, a Democratic health care specialist then and now, said, "I don't recall Mrs. Clinton's engagement."