Healthcare

Clinton: ObamaCare was originally ‘HillaryCare’

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Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton is out with a new defense of her healthcare record — rival Bernie Sanders may have helped write ObamaCare, but it was her idea first.

“It was called HillaryCare before it was called ObamaCare,” Clinton told a crowd of supporters at a country club in Vinton, Iowa. “I don’t want to start over.”

{mosads}Clinton’s rift with Sanders over healthcare continued to deepen this week. While the Vermont senator stands by his single-payer plan, Clinton has dismissed the idea as politically impractical under the current Congress.

The debate is reigniting healthcare wars within the Democratic Party.

While the single-payer idea is popular among Democrats overall, more seasoned supporters warn such a plan has no chance of passing Congress. Veterans of the ObamaCare debate fear that raising the prospect of a single-payer system will distract from improving the existing law — a point that Clinton raised during her clash with Sanders at a Democratic presidential debate on Sunday.

Clinton offered some proof of that Thursday, criticizing Sanders for failing to make traction on his single-payer proposal during more than 25 years in Congress.

“He never got even a single vote in the House or a single Senate co-sponsor. Not one,” Clinton said at a rally at Simpson College on Thursday, according to The Washington Post. “You hear a promise to build a whole new system, but that’s not what you get. … You’ll get gridlock and an endless wait for advances that never come.”

Clinton has had to tread carefully on ObamaCare throughout her campaign: Democrats support the law but are increasingly willing to acknowledge that it doesn’t address the rising out-of-pocket costs.

Clinton’s criticism of a single-payer plan risks putting her out of step with the Democratic grassroots, something Sanders alluded to Sunday when he said the former secretary of State was “sounding like a Republican.”

Tags Bernie Sanders Healthcare reform in the United States Hillary Clinton Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act single-payer healthcare

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