Bill Clinton criticized President Barack Obama’s signature policy reform while on the stump for his wife, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, calling Obamacare “the craziest thing in the world.”
Speaking Monday at a Democratic rally in Flint, Michigan, the former president ripped into the Affordable Care Act (ACA) for flooding the health care insurance market and causing premiums to rise for middle-class Americans who do not qualify for subsidies.
“So you’ve got this crazy system where all of a sudden 25 million more people have health care and then the people who are out there busting it, sometimes 60 hours a week, wind up with their premiums doubled and their coverage cut in half. It’s the craziest thing in the world,” Clinton said.
Clinton, whose efforts with his wife to overhaul health care in the 1990s were stymied by a recalcitrant Congress and the insurance lobby, told the crowd the insurance model “doesn’t make sense” and “doesn’t work here.”
Touting his wife’s proposal to allow people without access to subsidies to buy into Medicare and Medicaid, he also acknowledged that market-based solutions would not solve the country’s problems with insurance costs and coverage.
“On the other hand, the current system works fine if you’re eligible for Medicaid, if you’re a lower-income working person; if you’re already on Medicare, or if you get enough subsidies on a modest income that you can afford your health care,” Clinton said. “But the people that are getting killed in this deal are small business people and individuals who make just a little too much to get any of these subsidies.”
Post debate, Clinton takes the lead
Angel Urena, Clinton’s press secretary, defended the former president’s stance on Obamacare on Tuesday, saying he had consistently supported the legislation since it was enacted in 2010.
“President Clinton spoke about the importance of the ACA and the good it has done to expand coverage for millions of Americans. And while he was slightly short-handed, it’s clear to everyone, including President Obama, that improvements are needed,” Urena said in a statement.
The White House said again Tuesday there were changes they would like to see made to the ACA.
“President Obama has of course acknowledged that with cooperation from Democrats and Republicans in Congress, there are some things that could be done to further strengthen the law. That’s something that Sec. Clinton has vowed to pursue if she is elected President of the United States,” press secretary Josh Earnest said in a briefing.
But he insisted Obamacare remains a top accomplishment of the president’s tenure.
“The Affordable Care Act continues to be a source of pride for people who work here in the administration in terms of that significant legislative accomplishment. That’s essentially our position,” Earnest said. “You’d have to talk to President Clinton about exactly what message he was trying to send.”
When asked whether the former president went too far in his criticism against the ACA, Earnest responded he’s “not sure what argument (Clinton) was making.”
And when asked if he wished Clinton hadn’t used “crazy” or “craziest” to describe Obamacare, Earnest said, “Of course.”
[Source:- CNN politics]