Does Hillary Clinton Support Obamacare? She'll Need To Clarify Her Position, And Soon
As Hillary Clinton hedges the fine line between supporting Obama while still espousing change and a fresh face for America, there’s one big Obama issue that she’s going to have to take a stance on: Clinton will have to tackle the Affordable Care Act. The presidential candidate has previously shown her support for the healthcare reform and scoffed at Republicans’ efforts to repeal it. However, as Obamacare remains a key point of contention for Republicans, Hillary will need to finesse an even-keeled take on Obamacare. Otherwise, as the magazine National Journal joked, they’ll be calling it "Clintoncare."
It is worth noting that, despite partisan friction over the healthcare reform and some hitches in the rollout of the plan, overall the Affordable Care Act seems to be functioning pretty well. As The Washington Post reports, a Gallup poll found that the rate of uninsured adults has dropped from 18 percent in the third quarter of 2013 to 11.9 percent in the first quarter of 2015. While those numbers might not sound groundbreaking, that’s 4.6 million people that have gained insurance coverage largely since the Affordable Care Act went into effect.
So, logically, it doesn’t seem like such a bad thing for Hillary to support — and she likely will. However, because of the partisan bickering that has erupted over this bill, Hillary’s support will inevitably sweep her into the scorn of Republicans. Already, Republican frontrunners in the presidential campaign have denounced Obamacare and many have vowed to repeal it. For instance, Jeb Bush has called the law a "disaster." Texas Sen. Ted Cruz said at a Liberty University event:
…Imagine in 2017, a new president signing legislation repealing every word of Obamacare.
Obamacare, the president’s signature law, is one of his more unpopular legislative policies. For the last three election cycles, healthcare, namely Obamacare, has been a key issue and it undoubtedly will make another strong showing in 2016. However, at this point, Hillary doesn’t seem to be backing down or shying away from the issue. Just last month, she criticized Republican efforts to repeal the law:
Our nation's future — jobs & economic growth — depends on investments made today. The GOP budget fails Americans on these principles.Repeal of the ACA would let insurers write their own rules again, and wipe out coverage for 16 million Americans.
And Hillary really shouldn’t back down on the issue. Although it’s been an Obama effort, it’s also long been a Democratic issue. But in spite of the increased number of insured, Americans still aren’t so sure they like the Affordable Care Act. Last month, a Kaiser Family Foundation poll found that 43 percent of Americans viewed the policy unfavorably, compared to 41 percent who supported it. Those numbers have remained relatively stagnant over the last five years, National Journal reported.
So, just as is the case in any Obama-related issue in the presidential election, Hillary is going to have to figure out how to thread the needle between sticking up for her party’s causes — and their current leader — while also encouraging voters who are tired of Obama that she is not a carbon copy.
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