Clinton Health Care Defeat Molds Dem Strategy

Democrat's all-encompassing issue is 'too big to drop,' warn Bill's aides
By Mat Probasco,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 6, 2009 8:07 AM CDT
Protesters for and against President Barack Obama's health care reform proposals demonstrate before the start of a town hall-style meeting in Reston, Va., last month.   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
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(Newser) – Top aides to Senate Democrats met with former Clinton administration advisers before the congressional summer break in another bid to determine where the last health care reform push went wrong, and how to avoid a repeat of the mistakes, reports the New York Times. Here are a few of the lessons learned:

  • Failure is not an option. However politically risky health care reform may be, doing nothing is far worse.
  • Get support from key players such as doctors and insurance companies, the interest groups which killed the Clinton Administration's push.

  • Know your audience. Avoid stressing "universal coverage" because it doesn't sell well to insured taxpayers picking up the tab.
  • Move quickly, before the White House honeymoon ends. Many critics, however,  believe Obama moved too quickly, rushing a very complicated program. Others point out that the honeymoon is already over.
  • Leave the dirty details for Congress to iron out.
  • Take what you can get. Dems believe that the president will, eventually, accept a fraction of what he wanted and declare victory.