Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton never mentioned health care Sept. 27, during the first presidential debate of 2016.
Mike Pence, Trump’s running mate, talked a little Tuesday, during the vice presidential debate, about his support for repealing the Affordable Care Act.
Clinton’s pick for vice president, Tim Kaine, referred, briefly, to health coverage for children and military personnel during the debate. Kaine said nothing about health care or health insurance for working-age civilians.
Former President Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton’s husband, brought the topic of health finance out of the shadows Monday, by saying during a campaign speech in Flint, Michigan, that the current Affordable Care Act system is too hard on people who earn more than 400 percent of the federal poverty level.
Trump and Trump’s supporters seized on the fact the Bill Clinton described the plight of moderately broke consumers in the individual health insurance market as “the craziest thing in the world.”
For agents and brokers, the takeaway may be that pressure on the Democratic side for expanding government health coverage programs for working-age adults is still powerful, and unpredictable.
For more about what the candidates have been saying this week, read on:
What Bill Clinton really said Monday
Clinton did not say Monday that he opposes the Affordable Care Act or wants it repealed.
He said the current system works well for people eligible for Medicare, Medicaid and ACA public health insurance exchange subsidies, according to a video of the speech posted on YouTube by Fox 10 Phoenix.
But individuals who earn more than 400 percent of the federal poverty level, or too much to qualify for the exchange subsidies, “are getting killed in this deal,” Clinton said. “They’re not organized. They don’t have any bargaining power with insurance companies.”
Those people’s premiums have doubled and their coverage has been cut in half, Clinton said.
“It’s the craziest thing in the world,” Clinton said.
Clinton said the solution is to let those people buy into Medicare or Medicaid for an affordable rate.
“They’ll be covered,” Clinton said. “It will not hurt the program. We will not lose a lot of money.”
Trump’s, and Kaine’s, reactions
Donald Trump may have given his fullest reaction to Bill Clinton’s remarks Wednesday, during a rally in Reno, Nevada. Right Side Broadcasting has posted a full video of that event and a transcript on its YouTube channel.
“Oh, did Bill Clinton blow it,” Trump said. “The first thing we’re going to do is repeal and replace Obamacare … . Remember, Hillary Clinton called Obamacare one of the greatest accomplishments of the president of the Democratic Party and of our country, except it doesn’t work. It’s a disaster. It’s costing everybody, including our country, a fortune.”
Hillary Clinton wants to “double up and double down,” Trump said. “We’re going to repeal and replace job-killing Obamacare.”
Tim Kaine did mention the ACA Thursday during a campaign event in Pittsburgh that was recorded and posted on YouTube by RBC Network Broadcasting.
“President Obama said we’re going to do the Affordable Care act, and 20 million more people have health insurance,” Kaine said.
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