Sunday, April 6, 2014

Make sure to keep Hillary Clinton engaged in the “Obamacare” debate

It’s 2014 and the time has come to morf “Obamacare” into “Hillarycare” for 2016

Hillary Clinton last made news in the national debate on the occasionally-properly-named Affordable Care Act back in a February speech at Georgetown (See “Hillary Clinton defends Obamacare” by Maggie Haberman, 2/26/14, Politico []; “Hillary Clinton Defends Obamacare, But Is Open To Changes” 2/26/14, Reuters []; “Hillary Clinton defends Obamacare” by Jane C. Timm, 2/27/14, MSNBC []).

Obamacare needs to be tied like a can to Hillary's tail in 2014; or else, she might be able to stay away from any complicity in it during any 2016 campaign.  Alternatively, if Mrs. Clinton is so inclined, if she wants to distance herself from the current version of the Affordable Care Act, force her to do so early and often in 2014.

According to MSNBC’s coverage, “Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton offered a tempered defense of the President Obama’s health care law on Wednesday. *** ‘I think we are on the right track in many respects, but I would be the first to say if things aren’t working then we need people of good faith to come together and make evidence-based changes....’ ” That particular article goes on to say this: “The speech signals how the potential candidate could approach the contentious law in an election. *** ‘Part of the challenge is to clear away all the smoke and try to figure out what is working and what isn’t,’ [Clinton] said. ‘What do we need to do to try to fix this? Because it would be a great tragedy, in my opinion, to take away what has now been provided....’ ”

So far, the former Secretary of State and Democratic frontrunner for the presidential election in 2016 has gotten away with an amorphous and very understated defense of the major domestic policy initiative of the administration in which she was a head-liner and key player. As we move into the 2014 congressional election cycle, as a top Democrat campaigning with various senatorial and congressional candidates, Clinton needs to be confronted about what she thinks are the shortcomings of the current healthcare “law”; and she needs to articulate how her “fixes” might reflect or differ from whatever the  current administration did by fiat and might do or propose in the future. In addition, Hillary Clinton needs to be challenged on how her positions on “Obamacare” might agree or disagree with those of the Republican opposition.

The GOP and its 2014 Senate and Congressional candidates need to recognize that their campaigns must include an Un-Hillary agenda; and it has to deal with much more than “Benghazi - Benghazi - Benghazi ! ! !” 24-7-365 (366 in 2016).

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