Bill Clinton: Obama Will Win Health Battle

Up to 6 GOP senators may back Baucus bill, says former president
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 18, 2009 7:19 AM CDT
Barack Obama talks with Bill Clinton after having lunch at Il Mulino, a Greenwich Village restaurant, Monday, Sept. 14, 2009, following Obama's speech on Wall Street.   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
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(Newser) – Barack Obama will prevail in his fight to pass a health reform bill, his predecessor Bill Clinton insists in an interview with Bloomberg. The former president predicts that Olympia Snowe and probably Susan Collins, Maine's two moderate Republican senators, will be persuaded to vote for the Baucus bill, which he says is the broadest the Senate will accept. And if GOP senators see the bill headed for passage, "he might get three or four others."

Clinton also endorses Obama's proposed "pay-as-you-go" budget rules, requiring spending increases or tax cuts to be offset by revenue rises. But he says that to expand the economy and bring down the deficit, Obama should focus on expanding infrastructure and creating new green programs that "could put millions of people to work." Since the rancorous primary campaign, Obama and Clinton have been chummier: They had lunch in New York a few days ago, and the president will deliver the keynote address at this year's Clinton Global Initiative.