Just Because You Screwed Up Health Care Reform Once Doesn’t Make You An Expert

Obama’s advisers find it frustrating that Hillary Clinton benefits politically from her failed experience in health care, as described in The New Yorker:

The issue of health care has been particularly vexing. It has not proved to be the liability for Clinton that her opponents assumed it would. “At the S.E.I.U. health-care forum in Las Vegas, it doesn’t go that well for Barack,” the Obama adviser explained, referring to one of the numerous candidate cattle calls this season. “He tried to leave it at the highest level of principle, and then he’s roundly panned. S.E.I.U. says, ‘You’re a joker.’ They asked, ‘What is your plan?’ He did what all the experts said to do: just get up and say what your general view is, because if you release details you get hammered. The public reaction and the S.E.I.U. reaction was extremely negative.”

In describing this dynamic, Obama’s adviser became more and more agitated. “Then Hillary Clinton doesn’t come out with any plan! Because she just says, ‘I know a lot about health care,’ they have let her go for months without a plan! And then her advisers, on background, criticize Obama’s plan, even though they don’t have one.” He continued, “Coming up with a plan to solve America’s health-care crisis is not an easy thing. We pulled a lot of all-nighters. And I’m, like, Why doesn’t she have to come out with a plan?” (Clinton is scheduled to unveil a plan soon.) The adviser was baffled about why many experts in the health-care field believe that Hillary’s experience in 1993 and 1994 is an asset. “I’m sure George Bush learned how not to invade Iraq,” he said. “Should we then trust him to invade Iran?” 

Clinton’s experience should not be considered an asset. She developed a terrible plan, and as a consequence something which hadn’t happened in such a long time nobody considered it a possibility occurred–the Democrats lost control of Congress. If Obama’s advisers find this vexing, perhaps they should consider bringing up the faults in Hillary Care. If all the other candidates pretend that Hillary is an expert on health care, or at least don’t challenge that assumption, that becomes the conventional wisdom, just like the conventional wisdom that Saddam had WMD.

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  1. 1
    Amare says:

    Amen! This is one of the most frustrating misconceptions to me in this campaign, the fact that nobody has questioned Hillary’s “experience,” which largely consists of her failed healthcare efforts and a few measly years in the Senate.

  2. 2
    anon.said.i says:

    She has a very impressive resume. Simply ignoring this fact is not an argument against her. Effective critiques start with the facts. Informed criticism, is a better read than bald projections (e.g. if you believe it it must be true).

    I’ve posted many links to her CV etc. on my blog. Since I can’t remember the addresses to those links off-hand just look them up on


    the best are on bartblog and also tigercourses diaries.

    Here’s one.


  3. 3
    Ron Chusid says:

    The question isn’t Clinton’s resume. On paper she comes out ahead of Obama and Edwards. The problem is the specifics of what she has done, such as the health care plan she proposed as well as her initial support for the war in the Senate.

  4. 4
    Liberal Journal says:

    Bush was a failure as governor of Texas, and what do you know he was one as President, too.

    Hillary’s experiential supremacy is a myth like Bush’s reform credentials in 2000.

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