Clinton blasts GOP ahead of ObamaCare repeal

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Hillary Clinton on Monday denounced Republicans ahead of a vote in the House this week to repeal the core of ObamaCare and defund Planned Parenthood for one year. 

{mosads}At a speech in Davenport, Iowa, Clinton said Republicans are “willing to turn their backs” on the millions of people who have been helped by the Affordable Care Act. 

She warned that while President Obama can veto the bill when it reaches his desk, ObamaCare could actually be repealed and Planned Parenthood defunded if a Republican is elected to the White House. 

“If there’s a Republican sitting there, it will be repealed and then we will have to start all over again,” she said. “I don’t think the stakes could be higher.”

Clinton also continued her attacks on pharmaceutical and health insurance companies, saying Republicans want “to turn our healthcare system back to the insurance companies, so if you have a pre-existing condition it will be hard for you to afford care.”

Republicans are billing the measure, which is being approved under special budget rules that prevent a Senate filibuster, as their first chance to actually get ObamaCare repeal to President Obama’s desk. While he is sure to veto the measure, Republicans say the bill at least makes clear to the public the difference between the parties on healthcare. 

The bill would repeal the central elements of ObamaCare, including the tax credits to help people afford insurance and the expansion of Medicaid coverage, beginning in 2018. 

It also abolishes the mandates for people to buy coverage and for larger employers to provide it, along with a range of taxes such as those on high-cost health insurance plans and medical devices. 

Republicans are also casting this bill as a way to make their views known on Planned Parenthood, given that they were unable to defund the group in their spending bill last month.

“When you force millions of people to buy expensive and unaffordable insurance, it’s not that surprising to see premiums going up,” Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.) said in the Republican address this weekend. 

“We owe it to the American people to take our best shot at repealing ObamaCare, and that’s what we’ll do next week,” she added. “As a result, President Obama will soon have a choice: Does he support the people and women’s health, or does he support Washington mandates and tax dollars going to Planned Parenthood?”

Clinton, for her part, has strongly defended ObamaCare but has also called for it to be improved, pointing in particular at high out-of-pocket costs under the law and rising prices for prescription drugs. She has proposed a new tax credit to help people afford their out of pocket costs, in addition to the financial help that the health law already provides. 

In addition to Clinton’s broadside against the repeal bill, Drew Hammill, spokesman for House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), blasted the measure on Monday. 

“Once again, Republicans cannot contain their contempt for women’s access to health care and affordable health insurance for working families,” he said. “Once again, Republicans are wasting time on a radical bill that will never become law.”

“With this vote,” he added, “Republicans have once again exposed the cruel hollowness of their 2016 agenda.”

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