When Bill Clinton is not busy trying to make America great again, he’s busy telling his fellow Democrats what’s wrong with America. In New Hampshire on Friday, he said our health care is “a mess,” and went on to admit (as did Barack Obama before him) that we have a lot of people, especially in rural America, without access to quality, affordable health care. “Get the hell out of there,” Clinton told the Massachusetts crowd of so-called health care problems. “Go back to Venezuela.”
Twice on Friday, Clinton made a point of steering away from specific policy proposals, but the lurch left or right might not matter. He’s won the White House, and a half dozen Democrats are seeking it again. Clinton got that far by making climate change and liberal identity politics the determinants of his campaign, and those issues will play in more campaigns than some people realize. And as Clinton knows, his wife cannot run on her own record. She wants to lead, and she cannot afford to run away from Hillarycare, and that very issue is back and making a clear run at the Clintons’ health care record.
While Hillary was senator and secretary of state, health care costs went up and the number of uninsured people increased.
As the Miami Herald pointed out over the weekend, former President Clinton is about to have his first real public confrontation with the Tea Party. In a lengthy New York Times op-ed, former President Clinton on Saturday called for a new version of his Clinton-Care proposal that includes a mandate for most individuals to buy insurance, reduced taxes on individuals who do, and incentives for employers to offer their workers insurance.
President Trump will not accept his prescription for health care because he’s betting that the Democrats will do whatever it takes to win in the fall.
Then, on Wednesday, 11 Democratic senators led by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer will push the National Institutes of Health to shift $7 billion away from cancer research to ease the $24 billion hole in Obamacare’s Medicaid program. The paper stated that “the Obama administration has laid out an ambitious goal of doubling cancer research funding as part of a longer-term strategy to curb one of the largest health-care challenges.”
If these Democrats can find $7 billion in research, they can find the $24 billion they need to free millions of Americans from ObamaCare’s health insurance regulations and higher premiums.
Obamacare does not prevent insurance companies from denying coverage to people with pre-existing conditions. If a person with a preexisting condition can go to Washington, D.C., and force insurance companies to cover them, why can’t health care providers do the same?
In 2008, then-Senator Hillary Clinton rode a wave of support from Hispanics to victory in Florida. That allowed the Obama campaign to forge a win in battleground states that signaled it had a mandate to pass the Obama-care law.
President Trump should block any and all Democrat efforts to tie the health care of millions of Americans to this mandate program.
President Trump should block any and all Democrat efforts to tie the health care of millions of Americans to this mandate program. He can instruct his HHS Secretary to stand in the way of any language that relates to mandating any type of coverage to be eligible for tax credits or any other incentive.
And finally, I would encourage the president to order the IRS to immediately not honor these health insurance subsidies. President Trump could instruct the agency to immediately not honor these health insurance subsidies. This would be a way to drive home a message to the Democrat-led Congress that the administration can do a much better job managing health care.
Restoring health care to his own voters in Florida is as easy as a single phone call to Susan Collins, or a Supreme Court appointment. It won’t take long, and it will do a lot more than beating back Mitch McConnell, Kevin McCarthy, or Steve Scalise — or making Kentucky nice.
Lanny Davis is a CNN legal analyst and former special counsel to President Bill Clinton. Follow him on Twitter @LannyDavis.