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President Hillary Clinton? Not So Fast.

If you want to know what kind of president Hillary Clinton would be, than look no further than her healthcare policy.  If and when she releases one, that is. 

Paul Krugman mentioned in a column last week that he wants to hear health care specifics from Mrs. Clinton since she has received significant contributions from the insurance industry.  As usual, Krugman has it exactly right.  The healthcare policy gauntlet has already been thrown down, first by John Edwards and now by Barack Obama.  Hillary has been notably silent other than to vaguely pledge that she supports universal health coverage.  Sorry, but this type of cautious front-running reminds me of Al Gore in 2000, and we all know what happened after that.  Progressive voters should insist on seeing policy specifics, because that may tell us much about whether Hillary is owned by the special interest groups which are supporting her candidacy.

Here are the facts regarding Hillary Clinton’s contributors.  Go here to see her career profile of contributors.  Interestingly, the insurance industry is only 14th.  However, as evidence that she is gaining clout, in the 2006 election cycle she was number 4 in receiving money from the insurance industry.

Here’s why it matters.  Any serious proposal to achieve universal health coverage must significantly reduce, if not eliminate, private health insurance.  Both Edwards and Obama’s plans have options whereby patients may choose a type of government health insurance.  It is likely that as more and more patients select the government insurance option, private health insurance will be phased out.  Good riddance, I say.

So…will Hillary Clinton’s healthcare policy match those of Obama and Edwards and allow the government to compete fairly against the private insurance plans?  Only HRC knows the answer to that.  But if she doesn’t allow for this most basic step towards achieving universal health coverage, than progressives should be very wary of her candidacy.  That will signal that she, much like her husband, is seeking a “third way” in which to govern.  That third way turned out to be very good for Bill and Hillary Clinton, not so good for the Democratic party in general and progressive policies in particular.

Let’s face it.   The current stalemate in Congress is a disappointment to progressives.  Other than the minimum wage, whatever mandate was evident in the November 2006 elections has not translated into progressive policies.  It is not enough to merely elect Democrats.  We must elect progressive candidates if we want to see progressive policies enacted.  It is not yet clear whether Hillary Clinton is a progressive candidate.  The details of her healthcare policy may be the first signal as to whether progressives should support or oppose her candidacy.  Hillary, we’re waiting.

5 Comments

  1. […] Originally posted here: sturner […]

  2. Adam Searing

    June 13, 2007 at 3:42 pm

    I’d like to see Clinton’s detailed plan too – issues are what matter in this election. It’s too bad the Rs are absent in any realistic way from this debate since I try my best to see health care bipartisan issue.

  3. Cristina

    July 7, 2007 at 9:12 pm

    Turner are you a Republican?

  4. Mason

    July 23, 2007 at 6:22 pm

    Of course he is. This article is getting spun in many areas, under the same title. The original writer was a woman. Now that the men of America are behind Clinton, Steve is trying to convince voters on that side.
    Hillary Clinton is the best bet for America, and the safest. We will probably have the safest eight years in our history.
    The only reason people hate her is because they hate anything liberal. They don’t even need to know the issues to hate them, just as long as they are ‘liberal’. I’ve seen people like Steve base all of their political beliefs on simply opposing left leaning ones.
    Hillary will be our president and there is nothing that conservatives can do about it except commit mass suicide. Hopefully their message will reach far and wide.

  5. roseglow1945

    May 5, 2008 at 11:52 am

    Hillary is an out and out liar. She has no health care plan. Her repositioning on social issues has been overrated. Clinton is apparently incapable of taking a clear stand on the war in Iraq, so this should disqualify her. She’s talking about obliterate Iraq, how inhuman is that…killing off all human life sounds like a mentally deranged person to me. Hillary isn’t a particularly warm or eloquent speaker, look at her eyes when she talks, she has the coldest look, I’d hate to meet her in a dark alley.

    I don’t particularly want someone in the white house that will do any and everything to achieve her goals. She would throw her mother to the wolves if she had to inorder to be president. She only stuck with Bill because she had a plan of her own. The white house isn’t owned by the Bush’s or Clinton’s. We need fresh blood with a new vision. McCain is another clone of George Bush, he’ll never bring our soldiers home…they’re talking about send 70,000 more to go die. When does it end.