Remember at last year’s Democratic National Convention when former President Bill Clinton strode on stage and delivered a powerhouse nomination speech for President Obama? Do you also remember the word that became a catch-phrase for the rest of the election? “Arithmetic.” Clinton hammered away at the math behind the mysticism of Republican economic theory and held a workshop for any politician willing to take notes (ahem, Mr. Obama) on how to explain things to the American public in a way that they could all understand. Obama went on to joke that Clinton should become his “Secretary of Explaining Things.”
At a speech yesterday at the Clinton Presidential Center, the elder statesman took the lectern and dispelled myth after myth that the right has been pumping out about Obamacare. It’s no secret that Republicans are planning to repeat their 2010 strategy of lying enough about Obamacare to scare and misinform enough people about the health care law that they vote tons and tons of those evil socialist Democrats out of office. But Clinton did his level-best yesterday to present facts about how the ACA is already helping millions of Americans.
President Clinton pointed out that before Obamacare, health insurance was dominated by just two companies in 80% of the states. There was zero competition so the rates could be as high as the companies wanted without any market input whatsoever. Clinton explained that under the ACA children and women have seen a huge increase in benefit and care availability. He also dispelled myths about young people not buying insurance and even said that employers aren’t cutting hours to save on insurance cost, and that since the law was enacted, 90% of the jobs gained have been full-time. Clinton did point out areas where the law needs improvement — mostly in how it still saddles working families with a large burden — but all of those problems Clinton said could be fixed by the states and Congress…if they wanted to, which is where the real rub is, isn’t it?
Watch CNN’s coverage of Clinton’s speech below: