Shalala Reflects Clinton Administration, HHS on NPR
With the Clinton administration coming to a close, Donna Shalala reflected on her eight years as HHS secretary in a Jan. 5 interview on NPR's "Morning Addition," highlighting a legacy of "healthier and wealthier" children. "American kids are better off. That's as good a legacy as anyone could wish for," she said. The Clinton administration also faced a number of health care-related problems, including the failed 1993 universal health coverage plan spearheaded by first lady Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.). According to Shalala, the failure taught her that "you can't write huge treatises to change the American health care system" without public consensus. Still, she said that the health care system had improved during the past eight years, citing higher rates of insurance for Americans, especially children. Asked about the effect a potential economic downturn would have on American health care, Shalala argued the new administration could still "cover every kid" in four years. "A little less tax cut and a little less spending, we can take care of every American kid," she said. In June, Shalala will become president of the University of Miami. Prior to taking the helm at HHS, she served as president of New York's Hunter College and chancellor of the University of Wisconsin (Stamberg, NPR "Morning Edition," 1/5).This is part of the Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.