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Boston Globe: Kennedy and Waxman say Clinton exaggerating role in SCHIP

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Perky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 11:34 AM
Original message
Boston Globe: Kennedy and Waxman say Clinton exaggerating role in SCHIP
Edited on Sat Mar-15-08 11:39 AM by Perky
WASHINGTON - Hillary Clinton, who has frequently described herself on the campaign trail as playing a pivotal role in forging a children's health insurance plan, had little to do with crafting the landmark legislation or ushering it through Congress, according to several lawmakers, staffers, and healthcare advocates involved in the issue.

In campaign speeches, Clinton describes the State Children's Health Insurance Program, or SCHIP, as an initiative "I helped to start." Addressing Iowa voters in November, Clinton said, "in 1997, I joined forces with members of Congress and we passed the State Children's Health Insurance Program." Clinton regularly cites the number of children in each state who are covered by the program, and mothers of sick children have appeared at Clinton campaign rallies to thank her.

But the Clinton White House, while supportive of the idea of expanding children's health, fought the first SCHIP effort, spearheaded by Senators Edward M. Kennedy, Democrat of Massachusetts, and Orrin G. Hatch, Republican of Utah, because of fears that it would derail a bigger budget bill. And several current and former lawmakers and staff said Hillary Clinton had no role in helping to write the congressional legislation, which grew out of a similar program approved in Massachusetts in 1996.

"The White House wasn't for it. We really roughed them up" in trying to get it approved over the Clinton administration's objections, Hatch said in an interview. "She may have done some advocacy over at the White House, but I'm not aware of it."

"I do like her," Hatch said of Hillary Clinton. "We all care about children. But does she deserve credit for SCHIP? No - Teddy does, but she doesn't."

Neera Tanden, policy director for the Clinton campaign, said that the senator had "always been pushing for SCHIP" and that the White House had opposed the 1997 Hatch-Kennedy amendment to create the program because President Clinton had made a deal with the then-GOP leadership not to back any amendments to a contentious budget bill. The SCHIP plan - which provides federal matching grants to help states' uninsured children - was to be paid for with a hefty tobacco tax, an idea many Republican and tobacco-state lawmakers opposed.

Chris Jennings, who was a Clinton healthcare adviser during her years as the wife of a president, said Clinton had been a longtime and tireless advocate for expanding children's healthcare, and Jennings was baffled by suggestions that she had not been instrumental in getting the plan approved. Jennings noted that SCHIP was indeed adopted, in a second attempt, that same year.

"She was very proactive. At every step of the way, she was always pushing" for the concept of expanding healthcare for children, Jennings said.
Tanden, the campaign official, suggested that politics were at play in the criticism of Clinton. She noted that Kennedy and others had earlier been complimentary of Clinton's role in SCHIP, but have been more critical since lawmakers started taking sides in the Democratic presidential primary.

more stories like this"Obviously, some things have changed between last fall and now. Some people have endorsed other candidates," Tanden said.

Kennedy has endorsed Obama, a move that deeply upset the Clinton campaign. Hatch initially endorsed Mitt Romney for the GOP nomination, then switched to Senator John McCain of Arizona after Romney left the race. Hatch, a longtime Kennedy friend, said he didn't want to criticize Clinton, but felt that the record should be set straight about how the SCHIP program was developed.

Asked whether Clinton was exaggerating her role in creating SCHIP, Kennedy, stopped in the hallway as he was entering the chamber to vote, half-shrugged.

"Facts are stubborn things," he said, declining to criticize Clinton directly. "I think we ought to stay with the facts."

Many members of Congress said they believe Hillary Clinton has a deep and sincere commitment to children's health issues. She has sponsored numerous bills and amendments dealing with a plethora of healthcare matters.

But privately, some lawmakers and staff members are fuming over what they see as Clinton's exaggeration of her role in developing SCHIP, including her campaign ads claiming she "helped create" the program.
The irritation has grown since Nov. 1, when Clinton - along with fellow senators and presidential candidates Barack Obama, Chris Dodd, and John McCain - missed a Senate vote to extend the SCHIP program, which was approved without the votes of those lawmakers.

Kennedy said he patterned the SCHIP plan on a similar program Massachusetts had approved in 1996. Kennedy's account was backed up by two Bay State healthcare advocates who met with Kennedy in Boston to discuss the possibility of taking the idea nationwide: Dr. Barry Zuckerman, director of pediatrics at Boston Medical Center, and John McDonough, then a Democratic state legislator and now the executive director of Health Care for All, a healthcare advocacy group.

Kennedy, Zuckerman said in an interview, was intrigued by the idea of using a cigarette tax to pay for children's health, but worried he would not be able to get it through Congress. "I said, 'Times have changed,' and he ran with it," Zuckerman said.

McDonough, a Democrat who has not endorsed a presidential candidate, also said it was Kennedy who developed the SCHIP idea after that meeting. "I don't recall any signs of Mrs. Clinton's engagement," McDonough said. "I'm sure she was behind the scenes, engaged in lobbying, but it is demonstrably not the case" that she was driving the effort, he said.

After meeting Zuckerman and McDonough, Kennedy sought out Hatch, and the two worked on the bill together, offering it as an amendment to a budget resolution. But President Clinton - much to the surprise and anger of Kennedy - lobbied Democratic lawmakers to oppose the Hatch-Kennedy amendment, the lawmakers and staff members said.

Gene Sperling, a former chief economic adviser in the Clinton White House, said the budget resolution never would have passed the House with the Hatch-Kennedy amendment in it. He said that both the president and his wife wanted the SCHIP program and that Hillary Clinton lobbied hard to get it included in subsequent legislation.

In fact, the SCHIP program was approved later in the year, a feat Sperling said would not have been possible without the White House negotiating with GOP leaders. And lawmakers in both parties acknowledge that administration support was needed and appreciated. But they said the effort was largely driven by Hatch, Kennedy, and others in Congress.

"It was a bipartisan bill. I don't remember the role of the White House," said Representative Henry Waxman, a California Democrat who has not endorsed a candidate in the presidential race and who was the chief Democrat on the Energy and Commerce Committee, which deals with health matters. "It did not originate at the White House."

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Perky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 11:40 AM
Response to Original message
1. Liar liar pants on fire?
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Perky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 01:51 PM
Response to Original message
2. kicking
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K Gardner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 01:58 PM
Response to Original message
3. Evidently many lawmakers on Capitol Hill have been talking about this and
upset about it for some time. One wonders why they haven't made their voices heard and concerns known?

Another case of Clinton Fear/Intimidation again? What kind of power and hold do the Clintons REALLY have over these people?

Obama would have long ago been thrown under the bus if he were this far behind and were running the scorched earth/destructive type of campaign the Clintons are running. It boggles the mind.
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karynnj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 02:19 PM
Response to Reply #3
9. I suspect that it was because they did not want to make it an issue because
it could hurt her if she were the nominee. Having prominent Democrats saying that she exaggerated her role could hurt if she were the nominee - not just because it reduces her accomplishments, but because it calls her integrity into question. Here, it also impacts the narrative that she learned from her mistakes - as she has used S-Chip as the successful balance to the earlier healthcare failure.

In addition to these comments, there is also Bill Bradley and others speaking of the Clintons not backing plans they had that could have passed. Put together, these stories indicate a massive sea change - with top Democrats - not just endorsing Obama, but actively rejecting the Clinton view on some issues. This looks like the beginning of the end.
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K Gardner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 02:42 PM
Response to Reply #9
13. Good point. Its about time their hold on the party was broken.
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blm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 02:50 PM
Response to Reply #3
14. Just in case she was the nominee they'd hold their tongues, now she is HURTING the party and
they are sick of the selfishness.

Hatch isn't being honest, either aboy SCHP....Kerry worked with Kennedy to craft the bill, but when Hatch decided to add his name to sponsorship, Kerry's name was replaced with Hatch's as he was the senior Senator and they wanted more GOP votes.

THAT is how a statesman acts when the legislation is more important than ego and bragging rights.

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Nedsdag Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 02:01 PM
Response to Original message
4. No shit, Sherlock!
I'm waiting for her boast that she cured cancer.
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hfojvt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 02:03 PM
Response to Original message
5. I don't see Clinton as dishonest
She says "I helped to start" and that she "worked with Congress" and some have said that her lobbying WAS essential (or important) to it's passage. BILL Clinton, as President, did torpedo it, to support his balanced budget priority, and Hillary defended his decision to do so, but that was his choice and I don't expect her not to support her husband's administration.

Here's what I posted a while back:

Also, I was not especially aware of her involvement in it. So I did some googling and found this

http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2007/10/06/c ... /

Kudos to her then, except for a couple troubling details.

"The effort nearly went off the rails when Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, a Republican, said it violated the balanced budget agreement. President Clinton, eager to preserve the agreement, actually phoned lawmakers to kill the legislation when it came to the Senate floor.

Hillary Clinton defended her husband's action at the time. "He had to safeguard the overall budget proposal," she told one audience. But she insisted he would find other ways to provide health coverage for kids."

So Bill Clinton, anyway, put a balanced budget ahead of the needs of sick kids, and Hillary defended him.

Then I remembered something even more ironic. At the same time Bill Clinton was saying that we could not afford SCHIP at a cost of $24 billion over ten years, he was proposing a tax cut which favored the wealthy and would cost over $100 billion over ten years.

http://www.cbpp.org/clinttax.htm

"Analyses by the Treasury Department indicate that when fully in effect, the Clinton plan would give the 20 percent of Americans with the highest incomes about the same amount in tax cuts as the bottom 60 percent combined. This is an unusual characteristic for a tax plan proposed by a Democratic President."

So, according to Bill Clinton, we could not afford health care for children, but we could afford a much larger tax cut favoring the wealthy. Amazing what gets sacrificed when fiscal responsibility is made a priority.

Granted, this episode makes Bill look much worse than Hillary, but she also enabled and defended his bad decision. It's hardly an episode that proves that she puts the needs of ordinary people first and further illustrates that I do not want a President who has Bill Clinton as one of her closest advisors.
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TheDoorbellRang Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 02:07 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. Well now, THAT'S very interesting
Thanks for the added perspective.
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karynnj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 02:22 PM
Response to Reply #5
10. Her website itself at earlier points and press releases used words like
initiated and created.

I was one of the people calling it an overstatement here - after going back to 1997 news stories.
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hfojvt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 03:23 PM
Response to Reply #10
18. Well that's over-stated, but now has been corrected
CBS kinda did the same thing in their profile, like she worked on the health care initiative and after that was defeated tried to find some other partial plans until she came up with SCHIP, when it was really others who had the idea and then enlisted her support. That's why I found that puff piece to be so offensive. It was like an inflated resume, exxagerating positives and glossing over negatives. I feel it probably helped her in Texas and Ohio too.
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karynnj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 06:27 PM
Response to Reply #18
41. The problem is that the Clintons started laying that claim years ago
The reason I found the 1997 article was that I looked when I saw an early 2007 website statement using "initiated". As I had heard a Kennedy 2004 speech speak of his and Kerry's work that eventually led to it, I was confused as HRC wasn't mentioned. Kerry's website's had claimed he was the co-sponsor to the precursor bill. Because I didn't want to be a source of distortion - I looked in the Senate record and saw that the original bill was introduced by Kerry for himself and Kennedy (as Kennedy said in 2004), then I read the speeches indroducing S-CHIP by Hatch and Kennedy. Hatch goes out of his way to say this was not a Clinton bill and he spelled out the differences between it and Kerry/Kennedy (as Hatch called it.)

It is most important because HRC uses it both as an accomplishment and to show that she learned by her mistakes.
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Carolina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 02:09 PM
Response to Original message
7. when will the media give HER the serial exaggerator
moniker they wrongly attached to Gore?!
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karynnj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 06:28 PM
Response to Reply #7
42. When and if she is running against McCain
That is when they will fairly give her a label, Gore never deserved.
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 02:11 PM
Response to Original message
8. Thank you, Henry.
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usregimechange Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 02:22 PM
Response to Original message
11. Damn!
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TwilightGardener Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 02:26 PM
Response to Original message
12. She exaggerated her role in the North Ireland peace process too--a disturbing
pattern of behavior, claiming credit for things she did not actually have much to do with.
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Cha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 03:10 PM
Response to Original message
15. And now hilary wants to take credit for it? Part of her
"life time experience" that is better than Obama's experience and judgement..NO.

hilary lies like she thinks some people will believe..oh wait! She's got a bunch a suckers on the line now.
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Major Hogwash Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 03:13 PM
Response to Original message
16. Bullshit! Hillary invented the microchip and the teevee too! This is just sour grapes!
Because the whine is getting older and more sour over time.

LoL
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catgirl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 03:23 PM
Response to Original message
17. I love Waxman

He tells it like it is.
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AGirl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 03:24 PM
Response to Original message
19. ok but fuck what Kennedy says
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bunnies Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 03:27 PM
Response to Reply #19
20. Another logical and reasoned response from a Clinton supporter.
:thumbsup:
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AGirl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 03:29 PM
Response to Reply #20
21. really? I am not a Clinton supporter, but I hardly think Kennedy has anything objective to say
about this primary anymore when it concerns Obama and Clinton.
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bunnies Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 03:31 PM
Response to Reply #21
22. Youre not a Clinton supporter....
you just shill for her on this board constantly. OK. Objective, you are not. Come on.
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AGirl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 03:35 PM
Response to Reply #22
23. I speak out for her because obama supporters on here tend to piss me off more.
Edited on Sat Mar-15-08 03:35 PM by AGirl
Most of you are just not likeable.
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roguevalley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 03:45 PM
Response to Reply #23
26. sniffle. Not likeable? That really hurts. I think I will go lay down now
after that reasoned and helpful response. :)
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AGirl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 03:49 PM
Response to Reply #26
29. I am glad i am of help..
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bunnies Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 03:49 PM
Response to Reply #23
28. Be specific.
Are you talking to me?
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anigbrowl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 03:36 PM
Response to Reply #22
24. No, that's unfair. Agirl backed off her support for Clinton publicly
a week or so ago. On the other hand, i don't think Kennedy's input should be dismissed just because he's endorsing Obama.
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bunnies Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 03:54 PM
Response to Reply #24
30. All Ive seen "Agirl" do is bash Obama...
whether she "backed off her support for Clinton" doesnt change the fact that shes am Obama basher. A pro-Obama post by Agirl - I have never seen. Grain of salt. Grain of salt in an open wound.
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AGirl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 04:18 PM
Response to Reply #30
31. I didn't really post anything about Hillary either, I just bash Obama more than Hillary.
Edited on Sat Mar-15-08 04:19 PM by AGirl
if you are not happy with that, too bad, eh?
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bunnies Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 05:48 PM
Response to Reply #31
37. Im neither happy nor unhappy.
Just calling em as I see em.
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Perky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 05:50 PM
Response to Reply #21
38. And yet you curse anyone who attacks her or what she says.
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karynnj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 06:34 PM
Response to Reply #21
45. This concerns a bill that he is rightfully proud of
Kennedy managed to get the biggest expansion of government paid health insurance since the 1960s through a Senate with 55 Republicans. It also does not seem that he was going to call her on it until she persisted in making stronger and stronger claims on this. Even then compare Hatch's comments to Kennedy's - Kennedy is not enjoying calling her on this. I suspect that before the public statement there were calls to cool it. (In contrast, he praised Kerry very highly for his role in writing the precursor bill with him - that however matched what he and Hatch were saying in 1996 and 1997)
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roguevalley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 03:44 PM
Response to Reply #19
25. thank god for kennedy or this would be a more fucked up country than it is.
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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 05:30 PM
Response to Reply #19
33. No, but Kennedy clearly said Hillary had no role:
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DerekJ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 03:48 PM
Response to Original message
27. K & R
:kick:
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goodgd_yall Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 05:16 PM
Response to Original message
32. So Kennedy lied?
Edited on Sat Mar-15-08 05:26 PM by goodgd_yall
"The children's health program wouldn't be in existence today if we didn't have Hillary pushing for it from the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue," Kennedy told The Associated Press.
From an October 2007 AP article:


And from the same article:

While Kennedy is widely viewed as the driving force behind the program, by all accounts the former first lady's pressure was crucial.

"She wasn't a legislator, she didn't write the law, and she wasn't the president, so she didn't make the decisions," says Nick Littlefield, then a senior health adviser to Kennedy. "But we relied on her, worked with her and she was pivotal in encouraging the White House to do it."

From an August 11, 2000, New York Times article:

Among her other accomplishments, Mrs. Clinton said she helped to initiate and promote the Children's Health Insurance Program, created by Congress in 1997 to provide $24 billion over five years to states to insure children.

"She was a one-woman army inside the White House to get this done," Mr. Littlefield of the Health, Education and Labor Committee said. He said that he and Senator Kennedy, the Massachusetts Democrat who was the major force behind the bill, enlisted Mrs. Clinton's help in the spring of 1997 when the president became "skittish" about the program. Mr. Littlefield said the Senate majority leader, Trent Lott, was threatening that it was a "deal buster" on the balanced budget agreement that he and Mr. Clinton had reached.

"At that point we went to Mrs. Clinton and said, 'You've got to get the president to come around on this thing,' " Mr. Littlefield said. "And she said, 'Absolutely.' And we very quickly noticed a change. The president was very much on board."
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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 05:34 PM
Response to Reply #32
36. "She wasn't a legislator...didn't write the law...wasn't the president...didn't make the decisions"
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saltpoint Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 05:31 PM
Response to Original message
34. Go, Ted. Go, Henry.
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jillan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 05:33 PM
Response to Original message
35. Teddy - time to sober up - you already praised Hillary for helping you get this done.
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ORDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 06:24 PM
Response to Reply #35
40. Yeah, apparently she just blabbed a lot about it, but didn't actually DO anything other
than that. From your link:
""She wasn't a legislator, she didn't write the law, and she wasn't the president, so she didn't make the decisions," says Nick Littlefield, then a senior health adviser to Kennedy."

Big woop!

:dem:
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jillan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 06:31 PM
Response to Reply #40
43. To refresh your memory - first ladies do not write legislation BUT
she was the one meeting with people to get it done.

You do remember that, don't you?
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karynnj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 06:40 PM
Response to Reply #43
46. No she wasn't - she had nothing to do with the legislation
What people are you talking about. She was not thanked by either Kerry or Kennedy in the 2006 speeches on the first bill and she was not thanked by Kennedy or Hatch on the second.

This was not part of the 1993 effort that failed.
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ORDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 06:20 PM
Response to Original message
39. Hillary's that job-seeker we all know too well. Puts a lot of "expansion" in her resume'
hoping to bluff their way through the interview process.

:dem:
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suston96 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 06:31 PM
Response to Original message
44. Ted Kennedy said what?
http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2007/10/06/c... /

"The children's health program wouldn't be in existence today if we didn't have Hillary pushing for it from the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue," Kennedy told The Associated Press."

Whadda ya know about that......!
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