For Hillary Clinton, last week's Supreme Court's health care decision is not only an invitation to fully embrace Obamacare as she campaigns for the presidency, but also an excuse to ask voters to look backwards—all the way to the 1990s.
The ruling that may finally place the Affordable Care Act on stable ground has provided Clinton the opportunity to rewrite the narrative of her husband's attempt at health care reform, transforming it from a dismal failure into an important step towards expanded coverage today.
In a tweet posted hours after the King v. Burwell decision was announced, Clinton quoted herself from more than two decades ago.
"'Now is our chance to beat the odds and give the American people the health security they need.'—Hillary in 1993," she tweeted.
In 1993, she chaired President Clinton's Task Force on National Health Care Reform. The president entered office the year before on a wave of momentum for health policy reform. But the effort fell apart for a variety of reasons, and health care reform essentially didn't come back for a generation.
Hillary's messaging follows the Court's ruling that subsidies under the Affordable Care Act are legal, marking the law's second victory before SCOTUS and, most likely, the end of its judicial challenges.
Prior to the ruling, Clinton wasn't afraid to express her enthusiasm for the law. It's easy to understand why. Although it doesn't have her name on it, the law does many of the things that the Clintons promoted in 1993 and 1994.
But as Obamacare looks more and more like a permanent part of American society, it also becomes safer for Clinton to fully embrace, touting it as the result of her decades of health care reform work—not a follow-up to her failure of leadership.
In a separate tweet following the ruling, Hillary Clinton linked to a campaign video published on YouTube this month, writing, "'You have to get up off the floor—and you keep fighting.' Hillary on the fight for health care back in 1993."
"We worked really hard. We weren't successful; I was really disappointed," she said in the video. But before moving on from health care to other policy areas, she ends the subject on a positive note, pointing to the Children's Health Insurance Program, which President Clinton signed into law.
And while last week's court ruling has renewed calls for the repeal and replacement of Obamacare from Republican contenders, it's struck new tones in Clinton's rhetoric, allowing her to put her full weight behind her 2008 primary opponent's signature domestic legislation.
"No child, no adult, should go without quality, affordable health care. And my pledge, as it has been for 25 years, is I will do everything I can to make that happen," she said in a campaign video released Monday.
"We've got to defend the Affordable Care Act," she said at the end of the video.
Caitlin Owens is a health care reporter at National Journal. Her work has previously appeared in the Los Angeles Times, The News & Observer and The Charlotte Observer. She is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.