Former President Bill Clinton continued to try and clarify his comments on the Affordable Care Act earlier this week on Wednesday, but told reporters his wife had no issue with him framing the law as creating a “crazy system.”
“Look, I supported it strongly from the get-go, but I knew at some point people that were just above the subsidy line were gonna get in trouble, because they don’t have enough market power,” he told reporters at a campaign stop in Youngstown, Ohio during his second day of campaigning for Hillary Clinton throughout the state.
Clinton created fodder for Republican attacks on Monday when he criticized the law for leaving out small business owners and workers who make too much to qualify for government subsidies for healthcare. At a rally in Flint, Mich., he said that, with the current law, “you've got this crazy system where all of a sudden 25 million more people have healthcare and then the people are out there busting it sometimes 60 hours a week wind up with their premiums doubled and their coverage cut in half."
Clinton clarified at rallies across Ohio on Tuesday that he supported the law and thought it did a “world of good,” and just needed some fixes. But Republican nominee Donald Trump speculated at a rally Tuesday that Clinton “went through hell” after the comments, and Trump’s campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, continued hammering the point on Wednesday.
“President Bill Clinton is our best surrogate,” Conway said Wednesday on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”
But asked specifically whether Hillary had given him “grief” over his criticism of Obamacare in Michigan on Monday, Clinton said she hadn’t.
“She knows, and he [Obama] knows, I've talked to him about it, about how frustrating it is that the people that are just a little above the subsidy line and just a little above the Medicaid eligibility line are having insurance markets that are not working as well as everybody hoped they would,” he said.
But he went on to argue that the law had been crippled by the “adversaries of healthcare,” those who opposed including a public option in the original bill and who “voted 57 times to repeal it.”
They’re “trying to use a problem that the bill has — or a class of people that haven't been helped, and they worked hard to make sure those people didn’t get helped.”
He also charged the media had made a story out of nothing because, he said to a reporter in Youngstown, it’s “hard for you to write a serious story everyday.”
“So if somebody says something and it can be gnarled around, it’s irresistible,” Clinton mused.