February 26th, 2008
09:12 PM ET
12 years ago

Clinton, Obama spar over healthcare

 Clinton and Obama opened the debate with a sharp exchange on healthcare.

Clinton and Obama opened the debate with a sharp exchange on healthcare.

(CNN) - Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama continued their ongoing spat over healthcare at Tuesday's Democratic debate, each accusing the other of distorting their respective policy stands.

"Sen. Obama has consistently said I would force people to have health care whether they can afford it or not," Clinton said.

Obama quickly countered, taking Clinton to task for consistently claiming Obama's plan would exclude 15 million Americans.

"I dispute it and I think it is inaccurate," he said. To suggest somehow that our mailing is somehow different from the kinds of approaches that Senator Clinton has taken throughout this campaign I think is simply not accurate."

The back-and-forth was part of an 16-minute opening discussion on the issue, despite repeated attempts from the debate moderators to move to other topics. It followed a sharp exchange last the weekend over campaign literature the Obama campaign is distributing that claims Clinton would force even those who are not financially able to buy health care.

"I think it's important that you stand up for yourself and you point out these differences so that voters can have the information they need to make a decision," Clinton said of her sharp denouncement of Obama Saturday.

- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

soundoff (56 Responses)
  1. viic

    I think she is right. Explain how you could penalize people who dont buy your health ins. at the hospital. Let's get down to the REAL parts of these health care plans so that the American public can make a choice. Only then will we see WHO has the BEST health care plan for ALL Americans. GO HILLARY!

    February 27, 2008 01:45 am at 1:45 am |
  2. tom

    one of the things that bothers me about Hilary is that she keeps talking about experience. I got 35 years of experience. lets look at this she is 61 he is 47 barrack has 20 years of experience so if he was 61then he would have 34 years. so where is the difference in experience? please don't tell me things like I'm dumb, like I don't think and make decisions for myself. the reason health care policy she put forth failed is because of bad decision making, bad planning and bad strategy, etc

    February 27, 2008 01:50 am at 1:50 am |
  3. Kevin

    Who is more divisive? Who is getting over 80% of black vote? Who is polarizing this nation? America, wake up.

    February 27, 2008 01:50 am at 1:50 am |
  4. Brian

    You people call yourselve's the United States? You are so divided from state to state it's pathetic. Different tax laws, different criminal laws, Health care and even different speed limits. What's so United about anythig you do or any of you. Why would you think a health care debate would be a slam dunk for any candidate?

    February 27, 2008 02:00 am at 2:00 am |
  5. RO

    The differences between the two plans may be small, but there's a huge difference on which one will actually set out to do what is intended. I think Hillary's mandated plan ensures that everyone is covered and that it's affordable.

    I work for a health insurance company (I honestly think that health insurance companies should be abolished) and I can tell you that mandate = low premium. I won't get into the details but perhaps CNN could do a more indepth piece on this issue. Obama has other ways of generating savings, but these are what we call "soft savings" that don't necessarily translate into taxpayer dollars since the ones benefiting directly are profit making hospitals, pharma companies, and other service sectors.

    February 27, 2008 02:09 am at 2:09 am |
  6. Ludwig

    Anonx2,Agreed. vote Democratic less and less as time goes on. But wteihs are still 80% of the electorate, so that time will come later than purely demographics would make it seem.

    February 18, 2012 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
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