President Obama once bestowed Bill Clinton with the coveted title "Secretary of Explaining Stuff," which is exactly the role the former president took on for Obama this week. Clinton spoke to an audience of doctors and healthcare professionals Wednesday at the Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock, outlining the benefits of Obamacare.
Though the audience before Clinton was small, the aim of the speech was to bring positive national attention to Obama's healthcare law, which remains unpopular and a source of widespread confusion.
"We need all hands on deck here. The health of our people, the security and stability of our families and the strength of our economy are all riding on getting health care reform right and doing it well," Clinton said in the remarks. "That means we have to do it together."
Clinton's speech is the first in a series of events the Obama administration has planned to improve public awareness of the law as its key provisions begin to take effect. On October 1, open enrollment and health insurance exchanges (which help citizens find and buy insurance coverage) will begin.
Yet the public remains wildly misinformed — a Kaiser Family Foundation poll found that four in 10 people think Obamacare has been repealed or overturned. The good news for the Obama administration is the same poll found individual components of the law, such as guaranteed coverage for those with preexisting conditions, remain popular.
Going over everything in the law from who gets covered to how exchanges work, Clinton used a step-by-step approach to outline why the law will help healthcare costs go down and give more people greater access to insurance coverage. He also discussed what needs to be improved in the law.
"It's better than the current system," Clinton said. "This gives us the best chance we've had to achieve nearly universal coverage… provide higher quality health care and limit cost increases."
During the former president's remarks, the Republican National Committee, as well as several party members, took to Twitter to express criticism of the healthcare law under the hash tag #Obamacosts.
And Democrats fired back.
GOP Congressional leaders like Senators Mike Lee (R-UT) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) say they are prepared to vote against any bill to fund the government that doesn't ban spending on Obamacare, even if doing so prompts a government shutdown.