Clinton Touts Universal Health Care Plan

The Associated Press
Monday, March 26, 2007; 12:28 PM

Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Rodham Clinton vowed Monday to create a universal health care system if elected, saying she "learned a lot" during the failed health care effort of her husband's presidency.

"We're going to have universal health care when I'm president _ there's no doubt about that. We're going to get it done," the New York senator and front-runner for the 2008 nomination said.

Clinton focused on health care issues during an appearance on ABC's "Good Morning America" broadcast from the state where precinct caucuses will launch the presidential nominating season.

Asked how she could improve on her failed effort to reform health care during her husband's presidency, Clinton said pressure for change has built in the last decade and that would make tackling the issue easier.

"I believe the American people are going to make this an issue," said Clinton. "I believe we're in a better position today to do that than we were in '93 and '94. ... It's one of the reasons I'm running for president."

After the televised meeting, Clinton headed to a Des Moines elementary school to receive the endorsement of former Gov. Tom Vilsack and his wife, Christie.

"Hillary Clinton has been tried and tested like no other candidate for president," Tom Vilsack said.

His wife added, "To me, this is not just an endorsement but a commitment."

Clinton said her relationship with the Vilsacks dates to her work in the 1970s with Christie Vilsack's late brother, lawyer Tom Bell.

"We will be crisscrossing Iowa and crisscrossing America," Clinton said.

In her earlier appearance, Clinton argued that health coverage has deteriorated over the last decade, and that's increased public pressure to act.

"The number of uninsured has grown," said Clinton. "It's hard to ignore the fact that nearly 47 million people don't have health insurance, but also because so many people with insurance have found it's difficult to get health care because the insurance companies deny you what you need."

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