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Bill Clinton Explains Why Hillarycare "Never Had a Chance"

5:57 PM, Apr 20, 2010 • By JOHN MCCORMACK
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In his interview on ABC's This Week, Bill Clinton blames--well, I would say credits--the boss for killing Clintoncare in '93-'94. See the 1:30 mark of this amusing video:

TAPPER:  When you were watching healthcare reform finally pass after having tried it yourself, did you -- did you see it as something like, "I'm glad we stormed the castle in ‘93-‘94, because that paved the way for this?"

BILL CLINTON:  Absolutely.  You know, before I did it President Nixon had tried, President Truman had tried.  President Johnson who had the biggest congressional majority didn't even try for universal healthcare. He did two important things -- Medicare and Medicaid.  But he thought even with that Congress he couldn't get it.

We were the first administration that ever got a bill out of committee. We got two or three bills out of committee.  And once I saw William Kristol's memo to Bob Dole, I realized we never had a chance.  Because we couldn't pass it without five or six Republicans.  They -- they -- I had an obstacle President Obama didn't have.  They had an absolute, clear filibuster number.  That is, they had 45 Republican senators. They could have lost four and still defeated me.

I felt like the -- Teddy Roosevelt would have felt if he'd still been alive in the 1930s seeing his cousin Franklin being able to sign legislation in areas that he had advocated.  And you know that took two decades.  And this took less time.  So I actually -- I was thrilled by it.  And worked hard.  Hillary and I lobbied people all over the weekend before the vote.  And she and I were ecstatic.

It's -- it's -- sometimes takes a long time to change a country.  And you -- and I think frankly now they will keep changing this bill. They'll have to keep working on it and putting more cost drivers in it to take the cost down.  But it's a big, big step.  And it's a wonderful thing for the country.

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