Pivoting off of one of the few policy spats in Monday night's presidential debate in South Carolina, Hillary Clinton hit Barack Obama on Tuesday for wavering on his support for a single-payer health care system. In a video put out on YouTube, the Clinton campaign contrasts portions of the debate - in which Obama says "I never said we should go and try to get single payer" - and a speech Obama gave to the AFL-CIO in 2003 - in which he says, "I happen to be a proponent of single-payer health care coverage."
In Monday's debate, Obama found himself flanked by his two primary opponents as the only candidate whose health care plan did not include a mandate. During the campaign the Illinois Democrat has argued that, if he were starting from scratch he would support a single payer system. In a profile of the Senator in the New Yorker this past spring he offered that, "a single-payer system-a government-managed system like Canada's, which disconnects health insurance from employment-'would probably make sense. But we've got all these legacy systems in place, and managing the transition, as well as adjusting the culture to a different system, would be difficult to pull off. So we may need a system that's not so disruptive that people feel like suddenly what they've known for most of their lives is thrown by the wayside.'"