Bill Clinton criticized President Barack Obama’s signature policy reform Monday while on the stump for his wife, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, calling Obamacare “the craziest thing in the world.” But he attempted to temper his criticism at a Tuesday rally.
Speaking 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.
On Tuesday, he tried to clean up his criticism.
“Look, the Affordable Health Care Act did a world of good, and the 50-something efforts to repeal it that the Republicans have staged were a terrible mistake,” Clinton said at a rally in Athens, Ohio. “We, for the first time in our history, at least are providing insurance to more than 90% of our people.”
“But there is a group of people — mostly small business owners and employees — who make just a little too much money to qualify for Medicaid expansion or for the tax incentives who can’t get affordable health insurance premiums in a lot of places. And the reason is they’re not in big pools,” Clinton said. “So they have no bargaining power.”
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump said Tuesday he bet Clinton “went through hell last night” with his wife, then added: “Honestly, there have been many nights when he’s gone through hell with Hillary.”
Bill 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.”