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Bill Clinton Esquire Magazine

Esquire interview

8 Sep, 2009

Clinton gives his thoughts on why his proposed health care bill in 1994 didn’t get passed:

Basically, everybody who writes about this stuff today repeats the health-insurance lobby’s line from 1994. Like: The bill was long and complicated. The bill took out four hundred more pages of federal law than it put in. They say we forced a bill on Congress — untrue. I asked Congress to write the bill, and Chairman [Dan] Rostenkowski [of the House Ways and Means Committee] demanded that Hillary send him a bill — a complete bill. He said, “I won’t take it up if you don’t. We don’t know enough about it, the interest groups will eat us alive, we’ll modify your bill, but you’ve gotta send us a whole bill.” It was the demand of the most important committee in the House of Representatives.