KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Bill Clinton Delivers Speech To Dispel Health Law Confusion

The former president -- dubbed the "explainer in chief" -- spoke from his presidential library in Arkansas to drum up support for the overhaul and scold Republicans for their repeal efforts.

The New York Times: Clinton Urges Americans To Sign Up For Health Care Exchanges
He chose his home state as the venue, and did not refrain from ticking off several problems he saw with the law. But former President Bill Clinton on Wednesday made a meticulous, if wonkish, case for Americans of all political leanings to embrace the Obama health care law (Goodnough and Chozick, 9/4).

The Washington Post: Bill Clinton Drums Up Support For Obama's Health-Care Law
President Obama deployed his highest-profile spokesman yet on Wednesday to tout his far-reaching health-care law: the 42nd president of the United States. And Bill Clinton even stuck to the script. As Obama and his aides try to win support for a military strike against Syria, the White House remains focused on raising the public profile of the Affordable Care Act, which is weeks away from the most critical stage of its implementation (Eilperin, 9/4).

Los Angeles Times: Bill Clinton Offers Case For Obamacare: 'We've Got To Do This'
At a crucial juncture a few weeks before the Oct. 1 opening of the law's health insurance marketplaces across the country, Clinton scolded Republicans who have voted to repeal the law more than 40 times, arguing that they have not offered "real alternatives." "The benefits of reform can't be fully realized, and the problems certainly can't be solved unless both the supporters and the opponents of the original legislation work together to implement it and address the issues that arise whenever you change a system this complex," he said during Wednesday's address at the Clinton Presidential Library (Reston, 9/4).

NPR: Bill Clinton Steps Up To Dispel The Confusion Over Obamacare
With the launch of the major piece of the Affordable Care Act less than a month away, the Obama administration is escalating the public relations push with one of their most effective weapons – former President Bill Clinton, now known to many as explainer in chief. Speaking from his presidential library in Little Rock, Ark., this morning, Clinton led what amounted to a graduate seminar on the Affordable Care Act, webcast live for those who cared to watch, on how the law is supposed to work and why it's needed (Rovner, 9/4).

The Wall Street Journal: Bill Clinton Touts Health Law In Speech
Mr. Clinton touted the law's benefits and set out arguments for its provisions, but also highlighted glitches and called on Republicans to help fix "relatively simple matters" in its implementation. … In a wide-ranging speech, the former president hit on a number of themes, including the increase in health spending in the U.S., competition in insurance markets, the burden of covering health costs for the uninsured, and whether the law has led to employers hiring part-time workers instead of full-time employees (Radnofsky, 9/4).

Politico: Bill Clinton Calls For GOP To Improve – Not Repeal – Obamacare
Still he spoke about the law’s future in ways that Obama could not. He called out specific problems with complex legislation and held up his native Arkansas as a model of bipartisan Obamacare compromise. Clinton called for bipartisanship going forward, about a month after Obama scolded Republicans for making repeal their "holy grail" and as Republicans prepare to return to Congress next week ready to resume their push for defunding (Millman, 9/4).

USA Today: Bill Clinton Urges Unity For Obama's Health Care Law
It's not the first time Obama has turned to Clinton, with whom he once had a frosty relationship, to help him explain policies and garner public support. Clinton campaigned often for Obama in the 2012 election and delivered a forceful speech at the Democratic National Convention arguing why Obama was worthy of a second term. Obama joked afterward that he should appoint his predecessor the "Secretary of Explaining Stuff," and the moniker stuck (Camia, 9/4).

The Hill: Bill Clinton Says GOP Has Duty To Help Fix Obamacare 'Glitches'
Former President Bill Clinton on Wednesday said Republicans have a duty as elected officials to help fix the "glitches" in ObamaCare. Clinton lent his reputation as "explainer in chief" to the healthcare law's rollout, delivering a roughly hourlong speech in which he praised Obamacare and criticized congressional Republicans for their steadfast opposition (Baker, 9/4).

The Associated Press: Clinton Defends Federal Health Care Law In Speech
Bill Clinton urged opponents of the federal health care law Wednesday to stop trying to repeal it and instead work to improve it, as the White House enlisted the former president to make the case for its signature domestic accomplishment. Speaking at his presidential library in downtown Little Rock, Clinton offered a detailed defense and explanation of the law as a key part of its implementation nears (DeMillo, 9/4).

NBC News: Bill Clinton Reappears To Pitch Obamacare Implementation
As the White House remains consumed by the debate over military intervention in Syria, former President Bill Clinton made an unusual political appearance to urge bipartisan implementation of President Barack Obama’s signature domestic achievement: the 2010 health care reform law. Appearing in his home state of Arkansas, Clinton –once described by Obama as the "Secretary of Explaining Stuff" – worked to make a detailed case for the overhaul, acknowledging some problems with it, but arguing that opponents should work to fix those glitches rather than reject the law of the land (Dann, 9/04).

CBS News: Making A Push To Get People To Join "Obamacare"
The man President Obama calls his "secretary of explaining stuff" took on a special mission Wednesday -- to drum up public support for what the president calls "Obamacare." Former President Bill Clinton spoke at his library in Little Rock, Arkansas. "We need all hands on deck here," he said. "The health of our people, the security and stability of our families, and the strength of our economy are all riding on getting health care reform right. And doing it well. That means we have to do it together" (Tracy, 9/04).

Medpage Today: Clinton Speaks Out In Support Of Health Law
Speaking from his presidential library in Little Rock, Ark., Clinton called on Republicans and Democrats to work together to implement the 2010 health law and address glitches that come in such a massive law when they arise. … In a nearly 45-minute speech, he admitted the ACA isn't perfect but is better than the clearly unsustainable path the American health system was on, which he called "unaffordable and downright unhealthy for millions of Americans" (Pittman, 9/4).

McClatchy: 'Secretary Of Explaining Stuff' Explains Obamacare
President Barack Obama tapped the "Secretary of Explaining Stuff" to help him tout "Obamacare." As the deadline for implementation fast approaches for the health law, former president Bill Clinton tries to explain why it is good thing when so many Americans don't seem to like and Republicans seem intent to kill it (Kumar, 9/04).

Stateline: Bill Clinton: States Must Fix Poverty Glitch In Health Law
Former President Bill Clinton Wednesday championed the new Affordable Care Act, but urged Congress and the states to fix its worst problems. Speaking to an invitation-only audience at his presidential library in Little Rock, Ark., Clinton touted the law’s early successes and future benefits, while pointing out glitches he said need to be addressed (Vestal, 9/04).

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