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Bill Clinton Tells Michigan Democrats to Run on Obamacare

The former president's advice at the Jefferson-Jackson Day Dinner echoes that of Democratic operatives, who say Democrats who voted for the Affordable Care Act need to "sell it and sell it hard."

Former President Bill Clinton was the keynote speaker at Michigan Democrats' Jefferson-Jackson Day Dinner Saturday. (Facebook photo)
Former President Bill Clinton was the keynote speaker at Michigan Democrats' Jefferson-Jackson Day Dinner Saturday. (Facebook photo)

Former President Bill Clinton told Michigan Democrats attending the party’s Jefferson-Jackson Day Dinner Saturday not to distance themselves from the president’s Affordable Care Act but to campaign on it.

Clinton, the keynote speaker at the party’s largest fund-raiser, told Democrats the key to victories in the fall is a get-out-the-vote effort to produce the same turnout seen in presidential election years, the Detroit Free Press reports.

More than 8 million Americans have signed up for the insurance via the federal marketplace – more than even the optimistic estimates, the Washington Post said. That, along with projections the health-care law will cost about $100 billion less over the next decade than initially projected, was enough for President Barack Obama to encourage Democratic candidates to campaign on the ACA’s success.

"I think Democrats should forcefully defend and be proud of the fact ...we're helping because of something we did,” Obama said.

Steve Elmendorf, a longtime Democratic Capitol Hill operative and now a Washington, D.C. lobbyist told the Washington Post  “running away” from the ACA  is a bad idea. “Sell it and sell it hard,” he aid.

Clinton echoed that advice Saturday

“One of the reasons no one in America has gotten any pay raise in a decade is we’re spending so much more on health care than our competitors,” Clinton said. “This was a working people’s bill.”

Bloomfield Township Democrat U.S. Rep. Gary Peters, who is running for an open seat, is campaigning on Obamacare – and taking heat for it in a multi-million-dollar ad buy by billionaires Charles and David Koch through their Americans for Prosperity super PAC.

Another AFP ad targeting Democrats in key Senate races for their votes for the health-care act was released last week.

Clinton thanked Peters for supporting the legislation, which the former president said has some problems that should be fixed. “Thank you for defending the Affordable Care Act and saying something good about it,” Clinton said.

“I did vote for the Affordable Care Act,” Peters said. “I voted for the Affordable Care Act because I believe in my heart and my soul that you are entitled to affordable quality health care. That’s what we do in the greatest country on Earth.”

The Jefferson-Jackson Day dinner was reportedly the largest ever, raising more than $500,000 for the November election.


cookiepro2 June 11, 2014 at 02:39 PM
Luther's Fan, if I'm not mistaken, health care insurance now can only charge higher premiums based on age (over 55) and smoking. Awhile back, we had Healthy Blue from Blue Care Network, which tried to encourage weight control and non-smoking. At your annual physical, if you smoked or were obese, your PCP suggested a program to address these areas, and reported back to insurance company. If you progressed by your next physical, your premium stayed the same, otherwise you'd be charged extra. I don't know if this was ever put in practice as there were a lot complaints among the employees at the time.
Dale Murrish June 11, 2014 at 05:55 PM
The more options people have, the better, I think. Not every health care option works for everyone. Healthier living can mean lower risk factors. Medi-share is completely voluntary – if their lifestyle conditions and beliefs work for you, it becomes just like any other business decision. (Don’t know anyone who uses it, so I can’t comment from personal experience.)
Dale Murrish June 11, 2014 at 05:55 PM
Also think certain options should not be prohibited by the government, forcing everyone into high monthly cost plans that cover everything. Or to have certain coverage forced that people have moral objections to. Bottom line is someone has to pay for health care, and if it’s an adversarial relationship, it will probably cost more. Or if it’s mandated by the government to be cheap, it will probably have to be rationed. There is no free lunch. Follow the money…
cookiepro2 June 11, 2014 at 11:17 PM
Dale, I see that Obamacare has allowed an exemption if one chooses to be in one of these "health care sharing ministries" instead of being forced to buy health care insurance. But it is certainly a buyer beware situation, as this Fox news article opined in 2011: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/02/26/christian-medical-plans-pass-health-law-despite-consumer-complaints/ Me, I'm going to go with governmental encouragement to save my pre-tax dollars in an HSA, which I can use to fund COBRA premiums, if needed or Medigap premiums after retirement, it is kind of like an IRA for future medical needs.
Dale Murrish June 12, 2014 at 05:19 PM
It will be interesting to see if the marijuana lobby will be as strong as the alcohol lobby if pot is legalized. Didn’t realize that people could not be charged higher health insurance premiums for being obese, either. Life insurance is different, I think. Government collects “sin taxes”, then spends money to mitigate damage from the fallout of those vices to society… Government tends to be pro-growth: it also ends up growing itself from many of its policies!

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