Clintons’ Health Care Overhaul Efforts Raised Early Concerns

Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton in 2007
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Documents released Friday reveal that aides to the former president were concerned about the health care reform proposal in 1993 and 1994.

Aides to former President Bill Clinton reportedly expressed concern early in his tenure about the health care reform effort led by Hillary Rodham Clinton, and later about a need to soften her image, according to documents released Friday, the Associated Press reports.


About 4,000 pages were released Friday by the National Archives, giving a rare glimpse into the battle faced by the health care task force led by his wife and other Clinton priorities such as the U.S. economy and a major trade agreement, the news site reports.

Hillary Clinton, a potential 2016 presidential contender, has increased interest in Clinton Presidential Library documents from her husband's administration during the 1990s and her own decades in public service. The former secretary of state and New York senator, however, has not said whether she will run. As first lady, Clinton chaired her husband's health care task force, largely meeting in secret to develop a plan to provide universal health insurance coverage.

Aides were initially upbeat about Hillary Clinton’s ability to overhaul the health care system.

"The first lady's months of meetings with the Congress has produced a significant amount of trust and confidence by the members in her ability to help produce a viable health reform legislative product with the president," said an undated and unsigned document, which was cataloged with others from April 1993. The document urged quick action, warning that enthusiasm for health reform "will fade over time."

But the AP says that the papers also showed rising concerns in the Democratic Party, describing lawmakers who would be "going to their home districts for the August break are petrified about having difficult health care reform issues/questions thrown at them."


Read more at the Associated Press.

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