During the first Clinton White House, First Lady Hillary Clinton became the public face of the administration's push for health care reform. She testified at public hearings, headed a task force, and the policies coalesced under the moniker "Hillarycare." When those proposals died in 1993, it arguably set comprehensive health care reform back for more than a decade.
Then in 2008, the political environment was ripe for reform for the first time since. Then-Sen. Hillary Clinton, now running for president, laid out her plan, which per the Washington Post, would have sought "to build on the existing health-care system, but ... make it easier for adults without health insurance to buy it through tax credits." But she lost the Democratic primary to a senator from Illinois and, six years later, those policies have a different name ascribed to them: Obamacare.
More than 10 million have gained health coverage because of that law, the Affordable Care Act, with the second enrollment period set to start later this week. So if, as is almost universally expected, Clinton decides to seek for the White House again, what will there be left for her to do?
A lot actually, according to one of her closest former advisers: Center for American Progress president Neera Tanden, who was policy director for the 2008 Clinton campaign, worked in the Clinton White House and worked for the Obama administration on health care reform.
Like most people close to the former secretary of state and first lady, Tanden refused to entertain any direct questions about Clinton's 2016 plans. But in an interview with TPM, she did talk about the role that health care might play in the coming presidential campaign and how potential Democratic candidates, and Clinton in particular, might approach it.
Read More →