Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton told voters in Iowa this week, “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.”

When asked about the failed health reform attempt while her husband was president, Sen. Clinton said: “I think we’re in a better position to do that today than we were in ’93 or ’94. … It’s hard to ignore the fact that nearly 47 million people don’t have insurance.”

As Sen. Clinton and other presidential candidates and advocates look to the future possibility for substantive health care reform, it is a good time to take a look back at lessons learned from the previous attempt at putting together a universal coverage plan. So for the Health Affairs Blog’s 100th post, we offer here a reading list on why the Clinton health reform plan, round 1, failed (all papers free access from Health Affairs):

  1. From political scientist Theda Skocpol, a masterful analysis of what happened: “The Rise and Resounding Demise of the Clinton Health Plan”
  2. From pollster Daniel Yankelovich: “The Debate That Wasn’t: The Public and the Clinton Health Plan”
  3. From public opinon researchers Bob Blendon, Molly Ann Brodie, and John Benson: “What Happened to America’s Support for the Clinton Health Plan”
  4. To get a sense of what was behind the plan in the first place, read the original paper by the plan’s leading architects, Paul Starr and Walter Zelman, “A Bridge To Compromise: Competition Under A Budget,” and Zelman’s “The Rationale Behind the Clinton Health Care Reform Plan”
  5. And to learn some of the reasons Zelman felt the plan failed, see his interview with political scientist Larry Brown:
    “Looking Back On Health Care Reform: ‘No Easy Choices’”