Hillary Clinton boasted tonight she knows exactly how much money it takes to influence “political decision making.” After Bernie Sanders said the next president must have the “guts” to take on private health-insurance companies, Clinton responded that she has a history fighting the insurance industry, adding, ”I know how much money influences the political decision-making.”
She then hastened to add, “That’s why I’m for huge campaign-finance reform,” before pivoting back to health care.
Here’s the full exchange:
SANDERS: We need someone with the guts to stand up the private insurance companies and all of their money, and the pharmaceutical industry. That’s what this debate should be about.
CLINTON: Well, as someone who, as someone who has a little bit of experience standing up to the health-insurance industry, that spent — you know, many, many millions of dollars attacking me and probably will so again because of what I believe we can do, building on the Affordable Care Act — I think it’s important to point out that there are a lot of reasons we have the health-care system we have today. I know how much money influences the political decision-making. That’s why I’m for huge campaign-finance reform. However, we started a system that had private health insurance. And even during the Affordable Care Act debate, there was an opportunity to vote for what was called the public option. In other words, people could buy-in to Medicare, and when the Democrats were in charge of the Congress, we couldn’t get the votes for that. So, what I’m saying is really simple, this has been the fight of the Democratic Party for decades. We have the Affordable Care Act. Let’s make it work. Let’s take the models that states are doing. We now have driven costs down to the lowest they’ve been in 50 years. Now we’ve got to get individual costs down. That’s what I’m planning to do.