Bill Clinton backtracks on comment that Obamacare was ‘craziest thing in the world’

Donald Trump swooped on the comment, calling Mr Clinton a Trump campaign ‘surrogate’

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The Independent US

Bill Clinton has attempted to backtrack on his comment that Obamacare, a cornerstone of Barack Obama’s legacy, was the "craziest thing in the world".

Speaking at a rally in Flint, Michigan, on Monday, the former president said the Affordable Care Act had caused healthcare premiums of the middle class who did not qualify for subsidies to rise while their coverage went down.

"So you've got this crazy system where all of a sudden 25 million more people have health care and then the people who are out there busting it, sometimes 60 hours a week, wind up with their premiums doubled and their coverage cut in half. It's the craziest thing in the world," Mr Clinton said.

The next day at a rally in Ohio, he clarified that the Act did a “world of good” and the efforts to repeal it by Republicans were a "terrible mistake".

"We, for the first time in our history, at least are providing insurance to more than 90% of our people," he said.

"But there is a group of people — mostly small business owners and employees — who make just a little too much money to qualify for Medicaid expansion or for the tax incentives who can't get affordable health insurance premiums in a lot of places. And the reason is they're not in big pools.

"So they have no bargaining power."


He added that the current system only works for lower-income earners, but does not work for "small business people" and others who earn over the threshold to qualify for subsidies. 

Donald Trump swooped on Mr Clinton’s gaffe, calling him a "surrogate" for the Trump campaign.

The Republican has repeatedly called Obamacare a “disaster” and vowed to “repeal and replace” it.

He added on the campaign trail on Tuesday that he bet Mr Clinton "went through hell last night" with Ms Clinton.

"Honestly, there have been many nights when he’s gone through hell with Hillary," he added.

He tweeted on Wednesday night that Mr Clinton was "right" to make his original remarks on Monday.

"Obamacare is ‘crazy’, ‘doesn’t work’ and ‘doesn’t make sense’. Thanks Bill for telling the truth," he wrote.

Mr Clinton has made previous faux pas on the campaign trail for his wife, including getting into a spat with Black Lives Matter campaigners in order to defend his 1994 justice reform bill.