Clinton calls for fixes to ObamaCare

Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonFive things Bill Clinton needs to do with his convention speech RNC mocked for pushing GOP response to Dems from Omarosa Boos and booze: Sanders struggles to control supporters MORE says she will propose fixes for ObamaCare over the course of her presidential campaign, while strongly defending the law as a whole. 

In an interview with The Des Moines Register published on Sunday, she cited the “family glitch,” which prevents some low-income families from qualifying for subsidies under the law as one example of something she should seek to fix.

ADVERTISEMENT
Some low-income families don't qualify for subsidies because the definition of “affordable” employer-based coverage only takes into account the cost of individual plans and not family plans. 

She also called for fixes to “deal with the high cost of deductibles that put such a burden on so many working families,” as well as to deal with “the exploding cost of drugs, particularly the so-called specialty drugs.”

The law’s high deductibles — the amount one has to pay before insurance kicks in — have been a source of criticism. 

An analysis from the consulting firm HealthPocket found that last year the average deductible for a silver plan was $2,907, more than twice as much as the average deductible in an employer-sponsored plan.

In pointing to specialty drugs, aimed at serious, complex conditions, Clinton also raises a point on which some have sounded the alarm. There has been much attention, for example, on Sovaldi, a new cure for hepatitis C that costs $1,000 per pill, or $84,000 for a 12-week treatment. 

Clinton said she'd be prepared to make fixes regardless of the outcome of an upcoming Supreme Court ruling.

The case of King v. Burwell could invalidate subsidies that help 6.4 million people in at least 34 states who bough health insurance through the federal exchange afford coverage. 

Like other Democrats, Clinton said she thinks the challengers are making a strained, out-of-context argument that the phrase “established by the state” bars subsidies on federal exchanges, since they are not established by states. 

She called that a  “very contorted argument that is being made by the opponents to blow up the Affordable Care Act's guarantee of coverage.” 

 

Despite calling for these fixes, Clinton has made clear she will be a strong defender of the law as a whole.

In March, Clinton tweeted an “embrace” of the law: 

The photo is of Clinton hugging President Obama after the law passed the House in 2010.