Hillary Clinton to tackle Obamacare

Hilary Rodham Clinton
Democratic presidential candidate, former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton calls on Congress to end the trade embargo the U.S. has imposed against Cuba since 1962, Friday, July 31, 2015, during a campaign stop at Florida International University in Miami. (AP Photo/Gaston De Cardenas)

(CNN) — Hillary Clinton will roll out her fixes to the Affordable Care Act this week, an aide said Sunday, and will do so by hitting Republicans for outright opposing the law.

Attaching herself to one of President Barack Obama’s most consequential legislative achievements, Clinton will use events in Louisiana, Arkansas and Iowa to tout the controversial law’s successes, offering a contrast to Republican presidential hopefuls who oppose the plan.

“As the latest census numbers show, the number of uninsured continues to fall and Americans are now seeing, hearing and feeling the full benefits of the Affordable Care Act,” a Clinton campaign aide said Sunday, confirming what was first reported by The Washington Post.

Clinton feels that “protecting, defending and improving” Obamacare should be a “top issue” for her campaign, the aide added, and that is why they are pushing the issue now.

The former first lady has pledged to defend the law throughout the presidential race and routinely mentions that she failed to pass health care reform in the early 1990s.

“I still have the scars to show it,” she said of the effort at a August event in Las Vegas.

At a forum in Baton Rouge, Louisiana on Monday, Clinton will knock Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, a GOP presidential candidate, for opposing Obamacare and declining to expand Medicaid, the aide said. Later that day, at an event in Little Rock, Arkansas, Clinton will hit Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson also for declining to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.

Clinton will officially roll out her proposed changes to Obamacare on Tuesday during a community forum in Des Moines, Iowa.

Although Clinton regularly touts Obamacare — she told a cheering audience in New Hampshire earlier this month that “the Affordable Care Act is here to stay” — she has previously outlined aspects of the law that she doesn’t support and would like to see changed.

The candidate has lately embraced addressing rising prescription drug costs by bargaining with drug companies for lower prices and examining the tax on the premium health care plans, something unpopular with political important unions.

“I would be the first to say if things aren’t working, then we need people of good faith to come together and make evidence-based changes,” Clinton said in February 2014.

The most concrete change Clinton has embraced is the law’s small business mandate, which requires businesses with 50 or more full-time employees to offer health insurance of pay a penalty. At the same February speech Clinton endorsed addressing businesses “moving people from full-time work to part-time work to try to avoid contributing to their health care.”

Clinton also suggested at a paid health care speech in October 2014 that people who disagree about Obamacare’s medical device tax should be able to “begin to sort it out.”

The medical device tax is a 2.3% excise tax created in part to fund Obamacare; it went into effect at the beginning of 2013. The tax, which helps fund the law, is unpopular with Democrats and Republicans alike, especially those with ties to the medical devices industry.

The Clinton campaign, as part of the health care push, will also urge their supporters to get involved by starting an online petition against the law’s repeal.

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