Hillary Clinton, Gingrich Odd Fellows on Health System Reform

May 12, 2005 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - US Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-New York) showed off an odd political alliance Wednesday as she unveiled a new measure to reform the nation's health care system.

The bill, The 21st Century Health Information Act, would replace paperwork with confidential, electronic health information networks designed to save lives and money by eliminating medical errors, according to a USA Today report.

Clinton unveiled the bill while standing next to former US House Speaker and Republican leader Newt Gingrich who once called her controversial 1994 health system plan “centralized bureaucratic socialism” and subsequently pushed hard for her the impeachment of her husband.

The USA Today report said Gingirch and Hillary Clinton have long touted the measure’s main points.

He has pushed such modernization through his two-year-old Center for Health Transformation. She has worked with Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, (R-Tennessee) for a year on a bill, similar to the House measure introduced by Representatives Tim Murphy, (R-Pennsylvania) and Patrick Kennedy, (D-Rhode Island).

But even as Clinton said she was “delighted” to stand with Gingrich, she acknowledged the strangeness of teaming with the leader of the 1994 “Republican revolution.” After all, this was the man who at one time embodied what she called the “vast right-wing conspiracy.”

“I know it’s a bit of an odd fellow, or odd woman, mix,” Clinton joked, according to the USA Today report, “but speaker Gingrich and I have been talking about health care and national security for several years.”