(CNSNews.com) - The first lady who wants to be a US Senator is harping on some familiar themes as she hits the campaign trail: This week, she declared health care to be a "fundamental human right," and she's pushing to revitalize a universal health care coverage plan which drew her widespread criticism in the early years of President Clinton's term.
"I didn't give up then, and I won't give up now. I have always believed health care is a fundamental human right," Mrs. Clinton said during an appearance at a Rochester, New York hospital in her campaign for New York's US Senate seat. "We can never give up until we figure out a way to provide quality health insurance to everyone in our country."
Clinton also proposes to allow Americans unrestricted access to Canadian prescription drugs, which - because of price controls -- are cheaper than the same drugs sold in this country. It's a plan that some believe would impinge on the Food and Drug Administration's authority to assure the safety and quality of drugs available to consumers.
The New York Times quotes Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America spokeswoman Jackie Cottrell calling Clinton's announcement "an election year proposal."
"Mrs. Clinton's proposal would overturn landmark consumer protection legislation by a partisan Congress, led by her own party, passed 10 years ago to protect consumers from unsafe, potentially adulterated medicine," Cottrell said.
Clinton also took the opportunity to lash out at her likely Republican opponent, New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, suggesting that he has simply stolen ideas from her 1994 Health Security Act, which Congress defeated.
Giuliani has said that he prefers to expand health coverage rather than heavily involving the government in medical programs.
Clinton's comments towards Giuliani's proposal drew criticism from National Republican Senatorial Committee spokesman Stuart Roy.
"It's almost as if the Clinton's have a gene that makes it impossible for them to tell the truth," Roy said. "Mayor Giuliani's plan that allows small businesses to pool their resources and buy more affordable health insurance is similar to the Republican plan for health care reform and is not in the same ballpark as the Clinton plan."
"Hillary Clinton's government takeover of healthcare would run up the deficit, raise taxes and kill small business job creation. Dr. Hillary prescribes the wrong medicine for healthcare," he said.
In 1994, Congressional Republicans denounced the Clinton's Health Security Act, saying it would create "105 new bureaucracies, expand 47 others, make major changes in the tax laws, and promulgate more than 100 new federal regulations," according to National Review.