Clinton Says Obama’s Health-Care Plan Leaves People Out in the Cold

By Dotcomabc

Apr 19, 2008 5:10pm

ABC News’ Eloise Harper and Kate Snow report: Sen. Hillary Clinton, speaking in York, Pa., attacked Sen. Barack Obama today for an ad his campaign released this weekend in Pennsylvania. “I just heard that my opponent has put up an ad attacking my health-care plan," Clinton said, "which is kind of curious because my plan covers everybody and his plan leaves out 15 million people — just leaves ‘em out in the cold. Now instead of attacking the problem, he chooses to attack my solution. I don’t think that we can just make speeches about this. I think we have to have a plan that we can actually implement that will provide quality affordable health care."

ABC’s Jake Tapper points out that Obama’s plan does not offer a mandate, therefore his plan does not "leave people out." They essentially leave themselves out.

Clinton, who, as her campaign has pointed out, is up by one percentage point in a recent Gallup Poll, is crisscrossing the state days before the primary trying to shore up votes before the election on Tuesday. At a stop in West Lawn, Pa., Clinton expressed to the audience how critical a win in Pennsylvania is to her campaign.

“I have to win,” Clinton said. “And that really depends upon what happens on Tuesday in the Pennsylvania primary. Pennsylvanians have a tremendous opportunity to help pick the next president, and I’m asking for your support and vote.”

On a conference call Saturday, Clinton campaign officials called Obama’s new ad a "last-minute false attack."

"The way to ensure health care is most affordable is to have universal coverage," said Neera Tanden, Clinton’s policy director.

The Obama ad states that Clinton’s plan "forces everyone to buy insurance even if you can’t afford it and you pay a penalty if you don’t."  But Tanden said that was not true.

Clinton’s plan would offer help to lower-income Americans and said the Senator "would consider a range of options" in terms of how to deal with people who do not purchase insurance, Tanden said. She said Obama’s plan includes a mandate that children have health insurance and argued that it is Obama who would in fact "force parents to pay a fine" if they did not provide that coverage.

"Sen. Obama talks about running a positive campaign," said Clinton communications director Howard Wolfson. "The fact is in the closing days of this campaign in Pennsylvania, Sen. Obama has employed a kitchen-sink strategy against us."

Wolfson said Obama had out-spent the Clinton campaign dramatically, by about 3 to 1 overall in Pennsylvania. He claimed the Obama campaign spent $3.4 million on television ads in the past week.

And Wolfson once again made sure he set the bar for expectations.

"If Sen. Obama is unable to win here with his enormous spending advantage, with his last-minute false negative attacks, it will again demonstrate that he has a significant problem winning in the large swing states that a Democrat needs to win.”

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