April 19th, 2008
05:45 PM ET
2 years ago

Clinton, Obama campaign battle over health care attack ads

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New Obama ad takes aim at Clinton over health care.
New Obama ad takes aim at Clinton over health care.

YORK, Pennsylvania (CNN) – Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama’s campaign battled Saturday over television attack ads on the issue of health care.

Obama launched an ad in Pennsylvania Saturday criticizing Clinton’s universal health care plan.

“I just heard that my opponent has put up an ad attacking my health care plan, which is kind of curious, because my plan covers everybody, and his leaves out 15 million people, leaves them out in the cold,” Clinton told an outdoor audience here.

The Obama campaign responded to the New York senator’s criticism by pointing to an ad produced by a pro-Clinton 527 that makes the same claims about his health care plan as she does.

Obama’s ad, titled “Afford,” re-hashes critiques he has made against Clinton’s plan since last year, mainly that her plan forces people to buy health care even if they can’t afford to do so. The ad also suggests Clinton will garnish wages to pay for the plan.

“Instead of attacking the problem, he chose to attack my solution. I don’t think that we can just make speech about this,” Clinton continued. “We have to have a plan that we can actually implement that will provide quality affordable health care. That’s what I’ve been fighting for 15 years and that’s what I will fight for as your president.”

The Obama campaign circulated a script of an ad sponsored by the American Leadership Project. “Hillary Clinton’s healthcare plan would help every American get affordable, quality healthcare. Barack Obama’s plan would leave as many as 15 million Americans uncovered…”

“So you would either be one of the millions without coverage, or you’ll keep paying more to provide emergency healthcare for the millions of uninsured. Call Barack Obama and tell him to support healthcare for all Americans,” says the announcer in the 30-second spot.

“Given that they have been engaging in a self-professed 'kitchen sink' strategy that Senator Clinton describes as 'the fun part,' their charges today are laughable,” said Obama adviser Hari Sevugan. “While they continue to employ the say-and-do-anything tactics of the past, Senator Obama is going to focus on the issues that are affecting the American people.”

soundoff (129 Responses)
  1. GBJ

    BILLARY QUESTIONING SOMEONES CHARACTER? YOU MUST BE KIDDING ME...

    April 19, 2008 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  2. BB 22S

    I would rather have a president who is honest, trustworthy and inspiring although a bit untested, than an arrogant liar, untrustworthy but with more political background.
    We surely do not need a "Fighter" as President- we need a negotiator who is sharp, empathic and trustworthy.

    April 19, 2008 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  3. david

    What does Obama think we are stupid.,
    Ofcource it would cost something.
    But Hillary Clinton health care would offer folks coverage from Emergency type coverage like if someone is diagnosed with cancer or has a heartattack they would be covered by a plan.
    Someone else might want coverage that covers plastic surgery and laski.
    Others would want something is between.
    Folks who have nothing in the bank would pay nothing and would fall into Medicaid and Medicare programs.
    Give Hillary Clinton credit she is the only one who tried as First Lady to get us universal health care...
    She was not the president then.
    Shame on lots of black votes who vote for Obama only because he is black.
    That is a fact..Geraldine Ferraro was correct.
    MD,South Carolina,Missippi,Virginia states were over 50% are blacks
    over 80% of black voters voted for Obama because he is one of them.
    In States like California,Florida,Ohio,New-York Obama lost..and he will lose in PA and Indiana.....
    Eventually Florida would count...or I would switch and become a Republican.

    April 19, 2008 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  4. Floyd Schwartz

    There really is not terribly much to distinguish Obama's and Clinton's health plans. Clinton's 16 page plan does not describe obtaining health insurance as required, obligatory, or mandatory; obtaining insurance is an individual "responsibility". Once her plan is in place, employers who currently provide insurance are "expected" to continue to do so. Does "expected" translate to "required"? One can read-in whatever one wants. It is thoroughly ambiguous.

    There is little in Obama's 15 page plan to distinguish it from Clinton's. I tend to agree with him, however, on the point that we cannot rely on the government to decide what we can and cannot afford. (The Department of Education, for example, recently advised us that our family could afford $24K per year towards our son's education. Anyone who can find that amount in our budget will be nominated for the Nobel prize in Economics.)

    A few months ago David Himmelstein and Steffie Woolhandler had an op-ed in the NY Times in which they described the health plans of the major Democratic candidates as warmed-over versions of a 1971 Richard Nixon plan that has failed everywhere it has been tried. Its a depressingly good read.

    Full disclosure: I am a proponent of Medicare for All.

    April 19, 2008 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
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