Clinton hopes to paint Obama as healthcare flip-flopper

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton’s (D-N.Y.) campaign released a Web video Tuesday backing up the former first lady’s claim that Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) has changed positions on single-payer healthcare.

The video compares statements Obama made during Monday night’s Democratic debate with those he made to an AFL-CIO conference in June 2003 while campaigning for the Senate. Contradicting what Obama said at the debate, the old footage shows the senator saying, “I happen to be a proponent of single-payer universal healthcare coverage.

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“That’s what I’d like to see,” Obama told the union at the time. “But as all of you know, we may not get there immediately because first we have to take back the White House, we have to take back the Senate and we have to take back the House.”

At the debate, Obama stated: “I never said that we should try to go ahead and get single-payer.

“What I said was: If I were starting from scratch, if we didn’t have a system where employers typically provided healthcare, I would probably go with a single-payer system.”

Clinton attacked Obama on what she said is a changing position and referenced the remarks he made in 2003.

“We have seen, once again, a kind of evolution here,” she said. “When Sen. Obama ran for the Senate he said he was for single-payer and said he was for single-payer if we could get a Democratic president and a Democratic Congress.

“As time went on, the last four or so years, he said he was for single-payer in principle, then he was for universal healthcare,” Clinton added. “And then his policy is not … universal.”

Obama struck back, saying the only thing that had evolved is Clinton’s “presentation of my positions, which has happened frequently in this campaign.”