At the Democratic presidential debate Sunday night, Hillary Clinton listed Obamacare as one of the “greatest accomplishments” in United States history.
Presumably that would means it ranks up there with defeating the British in the Revolutionary War and founding a new nation, conceived in liberty; growing the country from “sea to shining sea”; becoming the greatest industrial power in the history of the world at the forefront of opportunity and invention; defeating the Nazis and Japanese in World War II; passing the Civil Rights Act of 1965; and placing the first man on the Moon.
During Sunday night’s debate, NBC News’ Andrea Mitchell asked Clinton if it was fair to say Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders wants to kill Obamacare. The Democrat socialist has advocated for Medicare-for-all during the campaign.
“Here’s what I believe,” the former secretary of state said. “The Democratic Party in the United States worked since Harry Truman to get the Affordable Care Act passed. We finally have a path to universal health care. We’ve accomplished so much already, I do not want to see the Republicans repeal it, and I don’t want to see us start over again with a contentious debate. I want us to defend and build on the Affordable Care Act and improve it.”
“But the fact is, We have the Affordable Care Act,” Clinton responded. “That is one of the greatest accomplishments of President Obama, of the Democratic Party and of our country.”
The candidate went on to list some of what she believes are the achievements of the ACA, including: 19 million Americans obtain healthcare coverage [the vast majority of which through expanding Medicaid]; the end of pre-existing conditions preventing people from getting coverage; and younger Americans up to 26 years of age being able to stay on their parents plans.
Clinton re-iterated that she believes it would be a mistake to go back. Critics of Obamacare would point out several promises made in the lead up to the entitlement program’s passage that have not borne out including:
1. President Obama stating, “If you like your healthcare plan, you can keep your healthcare plan.” Politifact rated that statement the “Lie of the Year” in 2013 as the ACA began to be implemented.
2. Premiums have not gone down an average of $2500 per family as the president promised, but have spiked under the new regime. In four states in 2016 alone, they have gone up over 30 percent, and in another 17, they increased over 20 percent, the Daily Signal reported.
3. Obamacare would be deficit neutral. According to Congressional Budget Office report issued last year, the ACA will likely cost nearly $2 trillion over the next ten years, while taking in only $600 billion in taxes.
Added to this list of problems with the ACA that over half of the state exchanges have failed at a cost of $1.1 billion to taxpayers, the Washington Beacon reports.
Given these facts, Hillary Clinton may want to reconsider the “greatest accomplishment” characterization.