I have made it a point not to speak ill of any of the candidates in the Democratic presidential primary, and have even defended allegations against Hillary Clinton by conspiracy nuts that claimed she works for Monsanto – although it is no secret that I am an ardent supporter of Bernie Sanders. I accepted the fact that his campaign was considered a long shot in the beginning, and reluctantly came to terms with the realization that I might end up having to vote for Hillary Clinton in the general election.
Suddenly, Clinton doesn’t look so inevitable and Sanders is ahead of her in some polls in early states. What was a boring race to the media just a couple of months ago has turned into something that is a welcome diversion from the relentless pandering and insults from Donald Trump.
It shouldn’t have come as a surprise that Clinton would be forced to go on the offensive against Sanders. However, the way she did it was ill-advised, and bringing out her daughter Chelsea to hit Senator Sanders on healthcare resembles the same talking points the GOP used against President Obama on the Affordable Care Act.
“Sen. Sanders wants to dismantle Obamacare, dismantle the CHIP program, dismantle Medicare, and dismantle private insurance,” she said during a campaign stop in New Hampshire. “I worry if we give Republicans Democratic permission to do that, we’ll go back to an era — before we had the Affordable Care Act — that would strip millions and millions and millions of people off their health insurance.”
In a statement, Sanders spokeswoman Arianna Jones said that Clinton’s attacks are “wrong.”
“It is time for the United States to join the rest of the industrialized world and provide health care as a right to every man, woman and child,” she said. “A Medicare-for-all plan will save the average middle-class family $5,000 a year. Further, the Clinton campaign is wrong. Our plan will be implemented in every state in the Union regardless of who is governor.” (Source)
In response, the Sanders campaign also posted this picture on Twitter from 1993 in which Hillary Clinton personally thanked him for his commitment to healthcare for all Americans, a cause she supported back then:
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) January 13, 2016
When Hillary Clinton or her supporters make statements like this, it sounds a lot like the rhetoric coming from the Republican Party in their opposition to the Affordable Care Act, as well as single-payer insurance. Sanders has long supported single-payer healthcare and it would be more beneficial to Americans who are currently dealing with the patchwork of state health exchanges and partisan opposition to Medicaid expansion.
I understand that Hillary Clinton is feeling the heat from the Sanders campaign, but she has to win the backing of his supporters if she is the Democratic nominee. Spreading blatant falsehoods about his record on healthcare could be a good way to turn them off and cost Democrats the election.
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