By Shailagh Murray -- The Washington Post
November 11, 2009
Former president Bill Clinton urged Senate Democrats on Tuesday to resolve their differences with a health-care bill and pass an overhaul as soon as possible. Summoning the lessons of his own history with health-care reform, Clinton warned, "The worst thing to do is nothing."
Clinton noted the grim consequences of the failed reform effort 15 years ago, when he was in office: Democrats lost control of Congress in that year's midterm elections, health-care costs skyrocketed, and the rate of Americans without insurance continued to rise. This time, the former president admonished, senators should compromise for the sake of a deal.
"It's not important to be perfect here. It's important to act, to move, to start the ball rolling," Clinton told reporters after the meeting. "There will be amendments to this effort, whatever they pass, next year and the year after and the year after, and there should be. It's a big, complicated, organic thing. But the worst thing to do is nothing."