CNN's Gloria Borger claimed that Sen. Hillary Clinton "has a bit of a credibility problem when it comes to health care because ... she had the debacle in 1993." But polling shows that, if Clinton were to be elected president, most voters believe her past experience during the Clinton administration would help her in reforming health care.
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On the September 18 edition of CNN's The Situation Room, senior political analyst Gloria Borger asserted that Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) "has a bit of a credibility problem when it comes to health care because, of course, she had the debacle in 1993." In fact, according to a September 14-16 CBS News poll (released September 17), most voters "think Hillary Clinton's past experience with health care would help her ... in reforming health care if she becomes President" and that "the lack of health care reform during the Clinton Administration" was "mostly something beyond her control."
The CBS News poll found that, if Clinton were to be elected president, 66 percent of respondents believe her experience would help her in reforming health care, while 25 percent think the experience would hurt her. Specifically, 82 percent of Democrats, 62 percent of Independents, and 45 percent of Republicans said the experience would help her. Additionally, the poll found that only 5 percent of respondents think Clinton was "mostly responsible for the lack of health care reform during the Clinton Administration," while 52 percent answered that it was "mostly beyond her control," and 39 percent didn't know enough to say how responsible she was.
As Media Matters for America noted, on the previous day's Situation Room, host Wolf Blitzer referred to "that weird chart" that then-Senate Minority Leader Bob Dole (R-KS) used on January 25, 1994, in a response to President Clinton's State of the Union address that purported to diagram the Clinton administration health care plan. Blitzer did not note that Republican Sen. Arlen Specter (PA) created the chart, or that experts and Clinton administration officials said it distorted the Clinton plan and ignored the greater complexity of Republican proposals and the existing system.
From the September 18 edition of CNN's The Situation Room:
BLITZER: Now this comes just a day after Senator Clinton --
BLITZER: -- unveiled her new health proposal, universal health care, and she said she's going to tax the richest by eliminating some of the tax breaks that they got by the Bush tax cuts. Here is also a pre-emptive strike in defense of her plan. This is what she said.
CLINTON [video clip]: This is not government-run health care. We're not creating any new bureaucracy. We're trying to build on what works and fix what's broken in our system.
BLITZER: That's what she told our [CNN anchor] John Roberts on American Morning earlier today. What do you think?
BORGER: Well, I think Hillary Clinton has a bit of a credibility problem when it comes to health care because, of course, she had the debacle in 1993. She knows that, however, Wolf, more than anybody else, so she's coming out, and in every appearance, you'll notice she's very careful to say, "I made some mistakes. I know what I did wrong." And so that's what she's going to do.
However, this time her plan is kind of risky because she requires families to buy insurance. Lots of liberals are going to say, "Gee, the government ought to do that for us," and conservatives are going to say, "We don't want to require any kind of mandates on people." She's taking a very centrist middle ground, but it's risky.