Former President Bill Clinton defended his call for President Obama to do more to prevent millions of Americans from losing their current insurance plans under Obamacare, saying that he was only trying to be “supportive” and had gone "out of his way" to explain the law to the public.
“I was trying to be supportive of it,” Clinton SAID in an interview with CNN that aired Tuesday. “I don't think you can find anyone in America who's worked harder for his [Obama's] re-election or supported this bill or went out of his way to explain the bill to the American people more than I did.”
Under Obamacare, millions of consumers are being dropped from plans that no longer meet the law’s new requirements, despite Obama’s repeated promise that Americans could keep coverage plans they like under the health care reforms.
In a November interview, Clinton said Obama should “honor” his promise.
“I personally believe that even if it takes a change in the law, the president should honor the commitment the federal government made to those people,” Clinton told OZY.com.
Obama has apologized for the broken pledge, and proposed an administrative fix he says will protect those consumers. Insurers though have balked, saying the proposal is not workable. Obama’s proposal also does nothing to compel insurance providers to retain their customers.
Clinton, though, has vocally defended the overall health law, and said Tuesday that he was only trying to help explain the president’s position to the public.
“First of all, I said nothing about this, not one word until the president himself spoke and it was obvious to me listening to him that he wanted the American people to feel he had kept his commitment and that they didn’t understand that he did in fact grandfather in — that is protect all the policies that were in existence the day he signed the health care bill,” said Clinton. “That was done.
“But he didn’t take over the insurance industry in America. So today, less than 20 percent of the policies which exist in the individual market even existed when President Obama had signed the bill,” he added.
Clinton’s wife, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, is also seen as a potential contender for the 2016 Democratic nomination and holds the lead in most polls.
The former president though denied strongly that his comments on Obamacare were done to help his wife or had political purposes. Asked whether that motive had influenced his criticisms, Clinton replied “no.”