When former President Clinton this week critiqued President Obama's broken promise that Americans would be able to keep their health insurance plans under the Affordable Care Act, Clinton was also knocking a similar plan once proposed by another politician: his wife.
"I personally believe, even if it takes a change in the law, the president should honor the commitment that the federal government made to those people and let them keep what they got," Clinton said in an interview with OZY.
The remark came across as a stern rebuke of current White House policy — but it could also prove tricky for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who is moving toward a bid for president in 2016.
When she was last a candidate for president in 2007, Hillary Clinton unveiled her own health care proposal, which, like Obamacare, included beefed-up benefits and a catchy pitch: "If you have a plan you like, you keep it." Obama went on to defeat Clinton, but he adopted her tag line to help win support for his own health care plan -- making the same promise, for which he recently apologized.
"You can keep the doctors you know and trust. You keep the insurance you have," Clinton said on Sept. 17, 2007, at the Broadlawns Medical Center in Des Moines, Iowa. "If you have private insurance you like, nothing changes — you can keep that insurance."
Clinton's campaign website echoed that claim. "If you have a plan you like, you keep it," it read.
Hillary Clinton is an old hand at health care reform. In 1993, when her husband was president, she led a health care reform effort that ultimately crashed and burned.
The plan she rolled out in 2007 promised Americans the same sort of coverage available to members of Congress with average benefits similar to those available under a standard Blue Cross Blue Shield plan, as her team explained it at the time. Her proposed reforms would have provided the same sort of quality assurances enacted by Obamacare, which raised basic minimum insurance requirements — and resulted in policy cancellations for hundreds of thousands of people nationwide.
Hillary Clinton has not yet commented publicly on the Obama administration's health care imbroglio.
Meanwhile, the White House has said it is considering administrative fixes to Obamacare that would ensure that those who had policies canceled would not have to pay more for their insurance under new plans, though details of the changes have not been publicly divulged.