HILLARY CLINTON NOT GRANTED HER REQUEST TO CHAIR A SUBCOMMITTEE ON HEALTH COVERAGE.
By JAMES FANELLI
Last updated: 7:25 pm
November 8, 2008
Posted: 7:19 pm
November 8, 2008
Hillary Rodham Clinton's dream of overhauling the country's health-care system as the steward of a new Senate subcommittee has reportedly flatlined.
The New York senator had made health-care reform the centerpiece of her presidential campaign. After bowing out of the race, Clinton pushed fellow Democratic Sen. Ted Kennedy, the chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, to create a special health subcommittee for her to head.
But the Massachusetts senator, who's battling brain cancer, has shot down that idea - all but dashing any hope Clinton had of pinning her legacy to universal coverage.
Michael Myers, Kennedy's staff director on the committee, ended any speculation by telling the trade publication Inside Health Policy that Clinton would not chair a subcommittee. Kennedy will instead hold health-care proceedings at the full committee level, Myers said.
"In the end, it's President Obama who's going to lead the effort for us," Myers told Inside Health Policy.
According to The Washington Post, Clinton had sought the subcommittee to grab the health-care policy reins away from Kennedy, a champion of reform.
Clinton senior adviser Philippe Reines told The Post the senator would assist however she could.
Clinton told Kennedy and Majority Leader Harry Reid "that she stands ready to help President-elect Obama in any and every way she can to enact comprehensive health-care reform, which she has sought for nearly two decades," Reines said.
Clinton discussed her future endeavors in a Time magazine interview this week, quashing speculation she wanted a Cabinet-level job in the Obama administration or a seat on the Supreme Court.
"I'm interested in standing on the South Lawn of the White House and seeing President Obama signing into law quality, affordable health care for everybody, and voting in a big majority for clean, renewable energy and smarter economic policies," Clinton told Time.