WASHINGTON, Oct. 5 (UPI) -- Days after former President Bill Clinton called the Affordable Care Act "a crazy system," he clarified Wednesday that he supports the law and wants to see it improved.
Clinton said the law, often referred to as Obamacare, has given health insurance to 25 million people who didn't have it before and improved care for all Americans by preventing insurance companies from denying coverage to sick people.
Bill and Hillary Clinton, the Democratic nominee for president, said changes are necessary to make insurance more affordable.
"It did a great job in insuring 25 million more people, and it did something for 100 percent of the people, it says you cannot deny anybody health insurance because of a pre-existing condition," Bill Clinton said Tuesday at a campaign stop in Ohio. "All of that is important. There is a big problem with it that needs to be fixed, that everybody who knows admits it. If you're just above the line to qualify for the Medicaid expansion, or just above the line to qualify for the subsidies for small businesses and workers, the likelihood is that your premiums have gone up, your coverage has gone down."
Hillary Clinton made much the same assessment at a press conference later Tuesday. When asked directly if her husband's comments were wrong, she said: "I think he made clear what he was saying."
While the Affordable Care Act has made coverage available for millions of people, studies have shown about 10 percent of Americans still lack insurance. Many of them are younger people who are healthier and do no require regular doctor visits or regular prescriptions. For those who make enough money that they do not qualify for tax subsidies, the government penalty for failing to have insurance is less expensive than the insurance itself.
"The people who are getting killed on this deal are small business people and individuals who make just a little too much to get any of these subsidies because they're not organized," Bill Clinton said Monday night. "They don't have any bargaining power with insurance companies so they're getting whacked.
"So you've got this crazy system where all of a sudden 25 million more people have healthcare 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."