Sen. Hillary Clinton plans to unveil her latest healthcare plan next week, probably on Monday, her advisers tell U.S. News.
Democratic and Republican strategists say it will be a risky venture because she carries so much baggage on the issue. Clinton ran into trouble in 1993 and 1994 when her husband, President Bill Clinton, placed her in charge of a massive overhaul of the healthcare system, and she came up with a far-reaching proposal known as "Hillarycare." It died in the Democratic-controlled Congress and was considered a colossal political failure after the plan's critics blasted it as a vast overreach.
This time, aides say, the senator hopes to avoid fueling her critics' assertions that she favors socialized medicine or a federal takeover of the healthcare system. Her goal, however, remains the same as it was in the early 1990s: "to provide quality, affordable healthcare to everyone," which she considers a moral imperative, a senior adviser says. Clinton, the front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination, believes the time will be right for the next president to confront the issue again because so many Americans are worried about the future of the system and whether they will have adequate, affordable care in the future.
She is also under pressure from her main rivals for the nomination, especially Barack Obama and John Edwards, to come up with a comprehensive healthcare plan that will appeal to primary voters.
—Kenneth T. Walsh