November 26th, 2007
08:06 AM ET
14 years ago

Clinton: Obama confuses me on healthcare

PERRY, Iowa (CNN) - Just a day after Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, said his healthcare plan would keep costs down more than any other presidential candidates' plan, Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-New York, came back swinging, calling Obama's plan "confusing."

"If you go back and look, he said it was universal," Clinton told reporters, "[then] he said it was sort of universal, [then] he said it wasn’t universal, [then] he said it covered everybody, [then] he said it didn't cover 15 million. He [said he had] a mandate for kids, now he's against mandates."

She added, "It's been kind of confusing following his description of his own plan."

Clinton and former Sen. John Edwards, D-North Carolina, both support a mandated plan, whereas Obama does not. He says the reason people don't have healthcare is because it's too expensive, not because they don't want it. Obama said that's why a mandated plan won't necessarily solve the problem.

"Sen. Clinton's idea is that we should force everyone to buy insurance," Obama said in a statement released to CNN on Sunday. "She’s not being straight with the American people because she refuses to tell us how much she would fine people if they couldn’t afford insurance."

- CNN Iowa Producer Chris Welch

soundoff (50 Responses)
  1. Tevin, Raleigh, NC

    Sorry Hill, you won't be able to force me to buy anything! I won't give up any of my freedoms! I would love to know how you'd punish those of us who refused to get your healthcare! But, you won't answer that will you?

    November 26, 2007 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  2. Ken, San Diego, CA

    It's funny how the Obama supporters profess "change" and "vision" and a "new way". The fact of the matter is, Obama's health care plan really doesn't do that much. It's a simple attempt to regulate the present HMO system. Both Clinton's (and Edward's plan) show the "vision" and "change" that so many people are clammering for.

    Most health care professionals (NOT the HMO's, but health care professionals) agree that a mandate is necessary to truly "change" the system - to bring down costs, to make healthcare actually affordable. The beauty of Hillary's plan is that is is quite visionary, WIDELY supported by health care professionals, and is actually PRAGMATIC.

    If you want to claim "vision" and "change" at least present something that is more than a token...

    November 26, 2007 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  3. therealist

    You can bet I'll be looking for a government health insurance handout if Hillary is elected. Anyone can open a failing business these days, it's like having your own little do nothing government. Why should I pay three grand a year for my family plan and your health insurance taxes too??

    It's not going to happen..

    November 26, 2007 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  4. Ann, IL

    "The beauty of Hillary's plan is that is is quite visionary, WIDELY supported by health care professionals, and is actually PRAGMATIC.
    If you want to claim "vision" and "change" at least present something that is more than a token…
    Posted By Ken, San Diego, CA : November 26, 2007 1:53 pm "

    Exceptional point. This is what we should call vision and change.

    November 26, 2007 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  5. Ron, TX

    If she could read past a 5th grade level, maybe she wouldn't be so confused.

    It's very simple. Hillary Clinton wants to FORCE people to get health care. Obama allows them a CHOICE.

    Put the PEOPLE back in government! It's a government FOR the people, BY the people. It's NOT people for the government, by the government.
    Barack Obama '08!

    November 26, 2007 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  6. Surrealist, Fort Myers, FL

    I Huckleberry–Obama nothing that makes sense. Except that in Huckleberry's case (he is against employer paid healthcare–because it makes the economy less competitive)might be detrimental to our society in general. His ideas on healthcare are just as naive as his ideas on foreign policy. Artfully rendered–but without substance or understanding.

    November 26, 2007 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  7. Wynter, Loudon, NH

    Someone let all the Rightwing nutjobs out of their straight jackets again! Maybe we need to mandate that there be a leash law for rabid republicans that can't seem to say two words without a lie slipping in between them.

    The article is about health care plans, so I wonder why any republican would care to comment. I thought they were all hyper on attacking Iran. Oops.. that was last week. This week its attacking Pakistan. I just can't keep up with the republican band wagon. It can't keep a beat anyways.

    Back to the article... Healthcare reform is an empty promise if some are left behind. It has to be universal and mandated so that we have protection for those that need it. I love the way Obama uses the word "fine" as if we are going to smack a tax or tariff on someone's forehead if they can't afford healthcare. The problem with healthcare is that its treated like a Wall Street stock instead of part of human survival. I'm not talking about liposuction for some hollywood nut. I am talking about a healthcare safety net to pay for critical care for the poor and elderly. Healthcare the way the GOP wants to keep it would make it a purely profit driven business where the weak and old that can't pay are left on the curb to die. It's time to get it correct.

    Telling it like I see it,

    November 26, 2007 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  8. Oscar, Rio Vista, CA 94571

    I bet the majority of you that have added comments have no idea what Obama and Clinton's plans are. Clinton's plan continues to give money to the insurance firms, which is why they all love it.

    And for those of you who call yourselves pro-life... you are a bunch of hypocrits. You support the birth of babies but once they are born you couldn't care less about what happens to them. That is not pro-life.

    November 26, 2007 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  9. ronnie knoxville tn

    im sorry but people who buy luxuries can afford health insurance. and we all saw over the weekend that Americans are spending fools

    November 26, 2007 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  10. Jermaine, Toledo, OH

    How can Hillary guarantee the homless man living in Central Park can afford health insurance? How many homeless people are in America? How can Hillary guarantee they will be able to afford this?

    November 26, 2007 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  11. Jason, Fairbanks, AK

    For someone with so much "experience" Hillary sure is easily confused.

    November 26, 2007 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  12. RJ, SV, AZ

    Wow...Clinton trying to make Obama appear to be the very flip-flopper she is. Now I've seen everything.

    Talk about being unoriginal....

    November 26, 2007 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  13. Rob Cuba, NY

    I hold an elected public office at the local level that pays $150.00 a month, I operate 3 small businesses, have been an independent entrepeneur for the past 26 years, I cannot afford $1000.00 a month for health insureance for my wife and I, and I do not qualify for NY Health or any other subsidized program, yet ALL of you can get your pearly whites cleaned at our expence, so you have a "pretty smile" while on the campaign trail...your all a bunch of sicko's that are sucking the life out of the people you "think" you represent. When all elected officials "earn" the equivelant of the average income of their constituency, and NO MORE, perhaps only then they can speak at our level!

    November 26, 2007 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  14. Eric, Kansas City, MO

    I'm tired of Rodham talking about how bad Obama's plan is because it doesn't mandate that everyone in America have health insurance. She says it as though Americans should profusely thank her for a mandate. What arrogance.

    November 26, 2007 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  15. Chris, Middletown, CT

    Are you Hillary trying to convince anyone that Obama is now guilty of double speak?? No Hillary thats you...and only you....only a true Hillidiot would buy that line of crap

    November 26, 2007 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  16. stan pitts p.a

    WOW, hillary confused about obamas health plan, the way she only remembers charts and diagrams from a nafta presentation, when her husband was president, that has seen this country lose millions of jobs, sorry hillary, we dont need someone as academically inept as you in the white house, obamas plans are well detailed and explained on his website if you dont get it get lost!!!

    November 26, 2007 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  17. Cammie

    As soon as the Dems take over, I'm quitting my job and going on the dole. Free health care, free food, free housing, plus a government stipend for walking around money. Why work? It will be the life of Riley.

    November 26, 2007 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  18. Tom Dedham, Mass

    The article is about health care plans, so I wonder why any republican would care to comment.

    Let me see Wynter, the one candidate from both parties who as a leader of a state actually got health care passed for all of their citizens, and that would be a Republican named Mitt Romney.

    Now someone on the left talks about the subject but had the chance and got NOTHING DONE, and that would be a Liberal named Hillary Clinton.

    Now Romney got this done by reaching across the aisle in a highly liberal and Democratic state, do you really think Hillary will reach across the aisle to get this done and do you really think they will help her?

    Not a chance dude, she is the most divisive figure of the current crop of candidates, if she ever won, we ALL WOULD LOSE.

    No ranting or raving like a lunatic right-wing nutjob, just the simple facts.

    Just telling it because I know it and lived it.


    November 26, 2007 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  19. pam Eugene, OR

    That is because Hillary is stupid and she finds most things to be confusing! Please anyone but that woman!
    I loved reading the zogby poll that proves she will loose against the top 5 Repubs running agaist her. She is too divise and mean and angry. I am sick of her dirty trick like this. Oh gosh...poor little me...I just can't understand this! She is such a joke.
    Anyone but HRC

    November 26, 2007 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  20. DP, Fullerton, CA

    That's Obama, whose words cannot be trusted. He never think carefully before talking. Whatever he has in mind at that time, he will say it without considering the impacts. Only a uneducated people will talk like that. Today is A, tomorrow will be B and next week will be C.

    Mr. Obama, your hidden agenda of slowly turning the American from God will fail. You may use God's name now and pretend to be a pure Christian to achieve your evil goal, but don't forget my friend, God will not let himself to be fooled. He is God (and I don't think you even believe that there is really God, don't you?) and He knows what you are doing my friend. Just wait for His justice.

    Dear Americans, just be careful with this wolf.

    November 26, 2007 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  21. NO HELP GOV, LA.


    November 26, 2007 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  22. John Halverson DC

    Clinton told reporters, "[then] he said it was sort of universal, [then] he said it wasn’t universal, [then] he said it covered everybody, [then] he said it didn't cover 15 million. He [said he had] a mandate for kids, now he's against mandates."
    Is Hillary explaining how to take a position on something? this sounds oddly familiar, something about a New York Govenor and Drivers Licenses.

    If she isn't teaching or explaining how to "play" politics then it sounds like a HYPOCRITE!

    November 27, 2007 12:13 am at 12:13 am |

    There was a time in my life when I didn't have health insurance. So I went to college and got a job. Now my full time employer provides me with health insurance. Funny how that works.

    November 27, 2007 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  24. Steve in SC

    Wynter, I hope you are not serious about that question. If only lefties were to pay for this freebie, righties would have no issue however, even you have to realize both lefties and righties will have to pay, that gives righies the right to comment! Be liberal with you own $, not mine! agree with you.

    November 27, 2007 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  25. DONALD QUICK fenton mo.

    A tax brake will not help low income people buy helthcare. thay do not make enough to pay taxes. so no help.

    November 28, 2007 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
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