Clinton pitches Obamacare as stimulus for budding filmmakers, artists, Internet entrepreneursby George Bennett | February 27th, 2014
CORAL GABLES — Hillary Clinton encouraged college students to sign up for the Affordable Care Act, saying Wednesday that the health care law “liberates” people from being stuck in jobs they don’t like and will allow them “to go try your hand at filmmaking or an Internet start-up or be an artist.”
The potential Democratic presidential candidate’s remarks were slammed by the Republican National Committee in a sure sign that skirmishing in the 2016 battle for the White House has already begun.
Clinton spoke for an undisclosed fee to a crowd of 6,100 at the University of Miami and fielded written audience questions read to her by University President Donna Shalala, a friend and former Bill Clinton cabinet secretary.
Persuading young, healthy adults to sign up for health insurance is a key to the success of the Affordable Care Act, and Shalala asked Clinton to “make the case to these ‘invincibles’ for why they should care that everybody has health insurance in the United States.”
Clinton responded that, first of all, it’s in a young person’s interest to get insured because no one knows if an accident or illness might put them in need of costly health care. Secondly, she added, “If everybody’s insured, the cost of your being insured goes down. You have to have a large pool of people.”
Also, Clinton said, health insurance that isn’t tied to a job “enables you to be much freer going forward as far as the choices you make in life.”
She continued: “Because ultimately having access to health insurance not connected to employment, subsidized as it is under the Affordable Care Act, liberates you to choose what you want to do in your life. You don’t have to take a job, as so many people in my generation did, just to have health insurance. I know so many friends from literally high school, college, who stayed in jobs for decades because they had a spouse with a pre-existing condition and they couldn’t afford to lose the job they had.
“You will be liberated from that. If you want to go try your hand at filmmaking or an Internet start-up or be an artist you will have the opportunity now to do that without assuming disproportionately the risk that something could happen to you or, when you’re married or have children, to your family.”
A GOP spokesman pounced on Clinton’s comments.
“This is the sort of spin you hear from folks like Nancy Pelosi on the very fringe of the Democrat party who are trying to save face for this failing law. The reality facing young people is one where Obamacare is decimating the 40-hour work week and putting insurance even further out of reach with skyrocketing premiums,” said RNC spokesman Michael Short.