Health & Human Services

Bill Clinton Urges States to Fix Obamacare's Biggest Problems

Former President Bill Clinton Wednesday championed the new Affordable Care Act, but urged Congress and the states to fix its worst problems.
September 5, 2013

Former President Bill Clinton Wednesday championed the new Affordable Care Act, but urged Congress and the states to fix its worst problems. Speaking to an invitation-only audience at his presidential library in Little Rock, Ark., Clinton touted the law’s early successes and future benefits, while pointing out glitches he said need to be addressed.
 
With less than a month before the ACA’s health insurance marketplaces open for business across the country, Clinton spoke as part of what the White House has billed as a celebrity outreach effort to help Americans understand what the law has to offer them. At the same time, he pointed out its biggest challenges.
 
One of the law’s worst problems, he said, is an unintended consequence of the Supreme Court’s ruling upholding the health law but making the expansion of Medicaid optional for states. As a result, the poorest Americans who live in states that have not expanded Medicaid will not be eligible for any health care assistance. Meanwhile, people in those same states who make higher incomes will get federal tax subsidies to help pay for health insurance.
 
In about half of the states, governors and lawmakers have chosen not to expand Medicaid to low-income adults with incomes up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level. 

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