After Obamacare

In advance of the primaries this coming Tuesday, CNN afforded the Democratic candidates a two-hour town hall infomercial. CNN convened the proceedings in Columbus last night.

First Bernie Sanders took questions for an hour, then Hillary Clinton. One successful physician was allowed to ask questions in both hours to express his fears of Donald Trump and specifically request the candidates’ thoughts about how they would beat him. CNN must have thought the man had a vitally important message for the country. Although CNN has cosponsored debates among the Republican candidates, such a question has not been posed about Clinton. I wonder why.

The Clinton hour included a victim of Obamacare. Office manager Teresa O’Donnell told Clinton about how her monthly costs for health care insurance for her family of four went from $490 to $1,081 a month. “I know Obama told us that we’d be paying a little more. But doubling, over doubling, my health insurance cost has not been ‘a little more.’ It has been difficult to come up with that kind of payment every month. I would like to vote Democratic, but it’s cost me a lot of money, and I’m just wondering if Democrats really realize how difficult it’s been on working-class Americans to finance Obamacare?” O’Donnell asked.

Obama actually promised that Obamacare would lower premiums by an average of $2500 per family. It was one of the several core promises Obama made to cram the law down our throats. Each one of the promises was a calculated lie. O’Donnell must have missed that, but she certainly asked a good question.

Clinton struggled to answer the question (video below, about five minutes). In order to buy some time she first quizzed O’Donnell about her coverage. Then she unspooled a run-on sentence of Faulknerian length. “OK, well, first of all let me say, I very much want to get the cost down and that is going to be my mission because I do think that for many, many people, but there are exceptions, like what you’re telling me, having the Affordable Care Act has reduced cost, has created a real guarantee of insurance, because if you’d had a pre-existing condition under the old system you wouldn’t have gotten affordable insurance, so it’s done a lot of really good things, but it has become increasingly clear that we’re going to have to get the cost down,” she said.

Well, thanks. Would that be by reducing mandated benefits or by imposing price controls?

Having bought time to consider her answer further, this is the best Clinton can do: “And one thing that I would like you to do, and I’m not saying it’s going to make a difference, but I would like you to just go shopping on th[e Obamacare] exchange.” The Washington Free Beacon headline puts it this way: “Clinton stumped on Obamacare question, tells voter she should keep shopping.”

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