(Bloomberg) — Hillary Clinton, once President Barack Obama’s political foe, emerged as his top ally on what would become his signature policy achievement: revamping the U.S. health-care system.
In 2009, she quietly helped administration officials and Democratic lawmakers overcome their concerns about attacks by members of the Tea Party movement, according to the book “HRC: State Secrets and the Rebirth of Hillary Clinton.” (Crown, 440 pages, $26.)
Jonathan Allen, a Bloomberg News reporter, and Amie Parnes, a reporter at The Hill, wrote the book.
Allen and Parnes tell a story about Clinton sitting to the right of Obama at a Sept. 10, 2009, cabinet meeting.
Clinton listened with alarm as other secretaries asked whether passing the legislation that became the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) was worth sacrificing much of the rest of the president’s agenda, Allen and Parnes write.
“This is the time to do it,” Clinton told the others, Allen and Parnes write. “We’re all in it. Everyone in this room knows how important this is.”
Clinton lost her own fight to change the U.S. health insurance system in 1994, during President Bill Clinton’s first term.
“I thought, ‘Look, the president had more support in Congress than my husband did back in ’93, ’94, so he could put together a majority,’” Clinton says in the book. “If the Republicans stonewalled, which they were beginning to show they would, despite his best efforts, he could still put a package on the floor and get it passed in both houses, which doesn’t come along every first term of a president.”
Obama signed the bill that became PPACA into law March 23, 2010.