Bill Clinton to defend Obamacare amid troubled rollout

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Former President Bill Clinton is being tapped to defend Obamacare in a speech next week at his presidential library in Arkansas.

Mr. Clinton’s speech is being billed at an opportunity for the popular Democrat to tout the “critical role that a high-quality, affordable and accessible health care system plays in the United States and any country’s economic and social well-being.”


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“Excited to have President @BillClinton, once dubbed Secretary of Explaining Stuff, talk about the health reform law on 9/4 in Little Rock,” Daniel Pfeiffer, a senior Obama adviser, said via Twitter.

The speech will come less than a month before the open enrollment for state-based health exchanges begins. Under the exchanges, qualified consumers without employer-based health coverage may buy insurance through the help of government subsidies.

The remarks also come in a state that is hosting arguably the most high-profile Senate race in the country, where Sen. Mark Pryor, a Democrat, is fighting for his political life against Rep. Tom Cotton, a Republican.

Mr. Clinton’s involvement in the debate over the Affordable Care Act comes as the Obama administration tries to stem a tide of criticism — primarily from Republicans — over the law.

A breakaway group of Senate GOP lawmakers are calling on Congress to reject any spending bills that include money for the law, and outside groups, including the Senate Conservatives Fund, are taking aim at Republicans who refuse to join the fight to defund Obamacare.

Mr. Clinton also came to Mr. Obama’s defense at the 2012 Democratic National Convention, where he defended the president’s signature law by highlighting how 3 million people between ages 19 years old and 25 years old are now covered by their parents’ insurance, and that people with preexisting conditions will be able to get coverage because of the new law.

“Are we better off because President Obama fought for health care reform?” Mr. Clinton said at the time. “You bet we are.”

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