Bill Clinton Pushes Health Reform in Chicago

Former President speaks at HIV/AIDS non-profit luncheon

By BJ Lutz
|  Thursday, Nov 12, 2009  |  Updated 1:09 PM CDT
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Bill Clinton Pushes Health Reform in Chicago

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NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 24: Former President Bill Clinton speaks at the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) on September 24, 2009 in New York City. The Fifth Annual Meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) looks to gather prominent individuals in politics, business, science, academics and religion to discuss global issues such as climate change and peace in the Middle East. The event, founded by former president Bill Clinton after he left office, is held the same week as the General Assembly at the United Nations as most world leaders are in New York. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Bill Clinton

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President Bill Clinton continues to rally support for President Obama's health care bill.

As the controversial reform measure works its way through Congress, Clinton used an appearance for the Chicago House & Social Service Agency, a non-profit group which provides housing and support for people with HIV/AIDS, to remind lawmakers that the bill is about more than just dollars and cents.

"There's still an increasing number of homeless people with HIV/AIDS, and a lot of that is because of the health care crisis," he said at the event.

While his remarks focused mostly on the increasing number of homeless patients with HIV/AIDS who could be helped with proper health insurance reform, he said the health care and social problems the nation faces would be even more dire if it weren't for non-profits like Chicago House.

"The role of a non-government organization is stepping in between the gap," between what government can provide and what the private sector can produce, he said.

In Chicago, he said he sees a city full of people who are respectful of each other's differences, and reflected on how far society has come from the days portrayed on TV's "Mad Men."

"If I keep watching this program,” he said, "Will I ever find a happy person?"

He said the show, set in 1960's New York, offered a "lot of really painful reminders" of the mistreatment of blacks and women.

"We've got to create a world of positive interdependence," Clinton said. "We're in this together."

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