For full disclosure, I didn’t watch the Democrats’ town hall last night. At this point I can barely manage to stay up for the Republican debates and I get paid to do it. But that doesn’t mean that we can’t all enjoy the highlights the next day thanks to the wonders of YouTube. (If you’re really into mental self-abuse you can watch the entire show with both candidates here.) Hillary Clinton was quizzed by Jake Tapper and several audience members as the night wore on and it led to a few memorable moments. One of them came when CNN actually allowed a woman to stand up and ask the question which has been on the minds of many working class families who have seen their health care premiums continue to climb under Obamacare. Let’s start with the video.
“I voted for Obama, but then my health insurance skyrocketed from $490 a month to $1,081 a month for a family of four. I know Obama told us that we’d be paying a little more. But doubling – over doubling – my health insurance cost has not been a little more. It has been difficult to come up with that kind of payment every month. I would like to vote Democratic, but it’s costing me a lot of money. And I’m just wondering if Democrats really realize how difficult it’s been on working class Americans to finance ObamaCare?”
Clinton remains polite but was clearly caught off guard. First she tries to counter with a question, asking if the woman had previously been getting her insurance through an employer before moving to Obamacare. Both of those assumptions turn out to be wrong when the audience member answers. She and her husband had been buying their insurance privately because of bouts of unemployment. Their premiums have now tripled and they are not on Obamacare because it cost even more than they are paying now.
Clinton is clearly left without an answer. She tries to claim that the woman is some sort of “rare exception” but that’s complete horse hockey. She then tells the woman she really wants to bring prices down, but suggests that she go back on the Obamacare exchange and “keep shopping” to see if there’s something better. The woman – who started her question by saying I would to vote Democrat, but it’s costing me a lot of money – is clearly not impressed. Her health insurance premiums are breaking the family budget and she’s obviously been shopping for every option already.
Her story is far from unique, though. As the Daily Signal reports, the premium for insurance plans obtained through employers will average around $6,400 for “employee only” and about $15,500 for families. The government’s own projections agree. There is no relief on the way as long as the Obamacare mandates remain in place, not only for simply having health insurance, but for the many required coverage items which every employer must include whether the employees need them or not. Rather than lower costs, which Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi and the rest of the crew most definitely promised while the ACA was being negotiated, or even more slowly rising costs, the bills have skyrocketed. They will continue to do so going forward and Hillary Clinton’s flat footed moment at the town hall reminds us that they have no plans to counter this trend and, frankly, no interest in doing so.