The campaign started off slow, drawing little support while seeing protesters, and forcing organizers to ask members of the Cabinet to speak at stops. In addition, the Express experienced technical issues, including an overheating bus. The Clinton administration had hoped the caravans would be as effective as a six-day July 1992 bus tour during Clinton's presidential campaign. However, Tony Blankley said, "Public sentiment has crystallized against the Clinton health plan, and a bus tour won't change that." At some stops, more protesters than supporters turned out to meet the buses.
The largely negative public response to Clinton's initiatives has been compared to the Tea Party movement's response to U.S. President Barack Obama's efforts to enact Health care reform in the United States. Obama has used strategies similar to those used during the Health Security Express, such as reporting the stories of individual citizens, but his Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was more successful than Clinton's 1993 plan.