Not that President Barack Obama and former President Bill Clinton were ever best friends. But they were at least allies on the campaign trail, so it comes as somewhat of a surprise that Clinton would appear on video to criticize Obama's failure to keep his "If you like your healthcare plan, you can keep it" promise.
Appearing on a site called OZY, Clinton said people who don't qualify for subsidies under ObamaCare and received cancelation letters from their insurance companies should be able to keep their old health insurance plans, no matter what:
They were the ones who heard the promise, if you like what you've got you can keep it. I personally believe, even if it takes a change in the law, the president should honor the commitment the federal government made to these people and let them keep what they got. [OZY]
That's probably not the endorsement Obama was looking for, especially considering today's news that only 50,000 people have signed up for insurance through Healthcare.gov.
Republicans, predictably, jumped at the chance to criticize the White House.
As long as ObamaCare is still law, millions of Americans can’t keep their plans, despite promises from the President: http://t.co/RkVESilhPD— Senator Ted Cruz (@SenTedCruz) November 12, 2013
Former Pres. Bill Clinton is now weighing in on the ObamaCare debacle. He says let consumers keep existing plans. http://t.co/9uFKMUfcDa— David B. McKinley (@RepMcKinley) November 12, 2013
Clinton also criticized the rollout of the website, comparing it to the Medicare drug prescription expansion under former President George W. Bush, which he called "a disaster" where people "lost their prescriptions for their existing medications." Eventually, he said, "they fixed that" — implying that the Obama administration would do the same.
The former president's criticism wasn't all directed at Obama. Clinton also had harsh words for Republican governors who turned down ObamaCare's Medicaid expansion, which left millions of people stranded between the income requirements for Medicaid in its current form and the minimum for the new federal subsidies.
Ultimately, however, he was supportive of the law, saying, "The big lesson is that we're better off with this law than without it."
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Is it now OK to have sex with animals?
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- In Ferguson, Michael Brown lost his life — and America's police lost the benefit of the doubt
- After Ferguson: Stop deferring to the cops
- 7 grammar rules you really should pay attention to
- Republicans love this new health care plan. Too bad it's basically a tax cut for the rich.
- In defense of Gwyneth Paltrow
- Alien conspiracy theorists think the government is on the verge of spilling big secrets
- The hilarious hypocrisy of Republicans complaining about the imperial presidency
Subscribe to the Week