The Corner

The Issue That Was Missing Until Last Night: Obamacare

From the midweek edition of the Morning Jolt:

The Issue That Was Missing Until Last Night: Obamacare

Remember Obamacare? Wasn’t that the big issue that fueled GOP victories in 2010 and 2014? Isn’t the running into one problem after another, and fueling voter discontent, as more Americans find themselves paying higher premiums, higher co-pays and higher deductibles under the mockingly-named “Affordable Care Act”? Donald Trump didn’t mention Obamacare or the Affordable Care Act once in the first debate. Neither did Lester Holt or Hillary Clinton, of course.

Finally, last night Mike Pence brought up Obamacare. Tim Kaine, noticeably, did not defend it:

I think he’s a very fitting running mate for Hillary Clinton, because in the wake of a season where American families are struggling in this economy under the weight of higher taxes and Obamacare and the war on coal and the stifling avalanche of regulation coming out of this administration, Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine want more of the same. It really is remarkable that they actually are advocating a trillion dollars in tax increases, which I get that. You tried to raise taxes here in Virginia and were unsuccessful.

But a trillion dollars in tax increases, more regulation, more of the same war on coal, and more of Obamacare that now even former President Bill Clinton calls Obamacare a crazy plan. But Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine want to build on Obamacare. They want to expand it into a single-payer program. And for all the world, Hillary Clinton just thinks Obamacare is a good start.

Here’s Bill Clinton’s full comment, in context. It’s not a blanket denunciation of Obamacare, but it acknowledges what most Democrats prefer to ignore: millions of Americans are paying more, under a law that was touted as saving them money.

If you’re already on Medicare or if you get enough subsidies on a modest income then you can afford your healthcare. But the people who are getting killed in this deal are small business people and individuals who make just a little too much to get in these subsidies. Why? Because they’re not organized. They don’t have any bargaining power with insurance companies and they’re getting whacked. So you’ve got this crazy system where all of a sudden 25 million more people have healthcare and then the people are out there busting it sometimes 60 hours a week wind up with their premiums double and their coverage cut in half. It’s the craziest thing in the world.

Hopefully Donald Trump remembers to mention Obamacare Sunday night.

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