WASHINGTON, Sept. 29 (UPI) -- Former U.S. President Bill Clinton said the partisanship on Capitol Hill had limited the opportunities for horse trading over healthcare reform.
Clinton said last week in an interview aired Sunday on ABC's "This Week" that unlike past high-profile standoffs, there was little that each party could offer to the other in order to reach a compromise.
Clinton recalled that during his administration, the Democrats won support for expanding health coverage for children by agreeing to reductions in capital gains that the Republicans wanted. The current environment, however, was different in that it was more purely ideological, he said.
"This is the House Republicans and the Tea Party people saying, 'We don't want to negotiate with the Democrats. We don't want to negotiate with the Senate,'" Clinton said.
Clinton suggested that the Democrats call the Republicans' bluff and not make any deals on the so-called Obamacare. He said the program would be successful once it was up and running, which would be a blow to GOP dogma that anything the government does is bad.
The better course for the Republicans, Clinton proposed, would be to fund Obamacare and then work with the Democrats on fine-tuning and ironing out bugs.
"There were serious problems with implementing the Bush senior drug program," Clinton said. "They all voted for it, but they didn't want to own it, because the government was somehow involved in it."