WASHINGTON — Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y), considered a prominent contender to become secretary of State in the Obama administration, was offered an alternative Tuesday -- to be a senior member of the Senate team aiming to overhaul the nation's healthcare system.
Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.), who has announced plans to craft sweeping healthcare legislation next year, asked the former presidential contender to head a working group focused on insurance coverage.
The potential assignment comes a decade and a half after Clinton led a controversial effort to reshape the healthcare system as first lady during her husband's first term in the White House. That campaign collapsed amid bitter opposition from many in the healthcare industry and accusations that Clinton ran a secretive process that ignored input from important stakeholders.
President-elect Barack Obama has not indicated how he plans to tackle healthcare. But many involved in the debate have high hopes that his push will be more successful.