Bill “Secretary of Explainin’ Stuff” Clinton said in an interview broadcast Tuesday that President Barack Obama should fulfill his promise to Americans that “if you like your health care plan, you can keep it” even if it means modifying the law popularly known as “Obamacare.”
Obama made that pledge again and again, both in the run-up to the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and in the 2012 campaign — but it was false. Republicans determined to roll back Obamacare have pounded away at this broken promise, even as thousands of Americans have been receiving word that insurers are scrapping their current policies.
“I personally believe — even if it takes a change in the law — the president should honor the commitment the federal government made to those people and let them keep what they got,” Clinton told the online magazine OZY.
The former president — who riled Obama’s re-election team in June 2012 by praising Mitt Romney’s “sterling business record” — came out on balance as strongly in favor of the health care overhaul.
“The big lesson is that we’re better off with this law than without it,” Clinton said.
The botched rollout of insurance marketplaces known as exchanges, exemplified by the failure of the national website HealthCare.gov, resembles the glitches that hurt Medicare Part D when it came off the line under then-President George W. Bush.
“This happened once before: It happened when President Bush put in the Medicare drug program for seniors, which was not as complicated but had exactly the same problem with the rollout,” Clinton said. “It was a disaster.”
“And they fixed it,” he added.