A Lost Cause

Bill Clinton's Campaign for National Health Insurance

by Nicholas Laham


An analysis of the failure of Bill and Hillary Clinton's health care reform initiative.

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September 1996


Pages 272
Volumes 1
Size 6 1/8x9 1/4
Topics Politics, Law, and Government/General
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Bill Clinton's 1993-94 health care reform initiative was one of the most active and sustained presidential campaigns ever undertaken in support of a single social issue, and certainly the boldest attempt to establish national health insurance in the United States. An analysis of the Clinton campaign, therefore, reveals much about the politics of divided government in the late 20th century, the apparent end of the New Deal-Great Society approach to governance and the enduring democratic coalition which supported it, and, of course, the high stakes politics of health care reform. This study attempts to advance our understanding of why national health insurance has proven to be such a potent idea while seemingly impossible to accomplish. The work focuses on the political factors which derailed the Clintons' health care reform initiative, providing a case study of a most significant modern-day political and policy battle.

Table of Contents

PrefaceThe Political Obstacles to Health Care ReformClinton's National Health Insurance Plan: Addressing the Health Care CrisisThe Financial Relationship Between Congress and the Health Care IndustryThe Health Care Industry Opposes Clinton's National Health Insurance PlanThe Republican Party Launches Its Campaign to Defeat Clinton's National Health Insurance PlanBusiness Opposes Clinton's National Health Insurance PlanThe Division Within the Democratic Party Over National Health InsuranceThe Collapse of Clinton's Health Care Reform InitiativeWhy Did Clinton's Health Care Initiative Fall?NotesSelected BibliographyIndex



"This timely work equips the reader with a clear understanding of the failure of Clinton's initiative. The autopsy of events and forces yields many lessons regarding future endeavors to launch a wake-up call for health care reform. Recommended for all academic audiences, undergraduate through faculty."— Choice

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