Former president Bill Clinton offered a vigorous defense of Obamacare today, while sending a message to election-year Democrats who might be inclined to put some distance between themselves and their vote for the Affordable Care Act.
“I think it’s a terrible mistake for people who voted for the health care bill to run away from it,” Clinton said at a fundraiser for the Center for American Progress at the Newseum in Washington this evening. ”I think it is a colossal error to be afraid to discuss policy with the American people or to think they don’t care or to think they can’t get it.”
Dinging Republicans, and their repeated efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, he told the crowd: “I think you can trust the American people to figure out it would be far better to fix what’s wrong with this bill than to keep trying to repeal it and I think that’s what we ought to say.”
His defense of the Affordable Care Act was lengthy with Clinton ticking off the beneficiaries of the law, prompting cheers from the audience when he mentioned people with pre-existing conditions.
Like a speech he gave at his alma mater Georgetown last month, Clinton discussed the importance of policy, and in this address to progressive activists he encouraged them to keep fighting. He said young people just getting into politics fall in love with the poetry of a campaign and are enthusiastic about politics, noting his own signature campaign song: Fleetwood Mac’s “Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow.”
But, he cautioned, “we govern in prose,” reminding the audience that “you can’t forget the prose,” or policy.
It was a busy day in Washington for both Bill and Hillary Clinton with the former president and former secretary of state holding two events each in different parts of the city.