Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had advice Wednesday for Democrats running this year: Run toward Obamacare.
Clinton told "PBS NewsHour" that Democrats should be using Obamacare to their advantage as they urge their constituents to elect or reelect them. Anecdotes refuting the health care law's success, she said, no longer hold up against the number of people now insured and on Medicaid.
"I think Bill’s advice, and it would be my advice as well, if I were a Democrat running for reelection in 2014, I would be posing a very stark choice to the voters of my district, or my state: If you want us to go back to the time when your sister with diabetes, or your husband with his heart condition, couldn’t get insurance at an affordable rate, then don’t vote for me, because I think it’s great that your sister and your husband now have insurance," she said.
Clinton said she understands the risk candidates face when standing up for issues of economic inequality, and that she and former President Bill Clinton are "battle scarred" from their own efforts to do so. But when faced with the choice, she said, it's better to "get out and defend" the law.
"I think people should say, look, we’re going to learn more about how it’s working, and if there are adjustments that need to be made as we go forward, wouldn’t you rather have somebody who wants to keep the good and fix what’s not working, than somebody who wants to undermine it and maybe throw it out?" she said. "These are very stark choices."
A number of Democrats have distanced themselves from the health care law. Senate candidates Michelle Nunn in Georgia and Alison Lundergan Grimes in Kentucky have said they would not have voted for the bill when the Senate passed it in 2010. Democratic Sen. John Walsh, up for reelection in Montana, has reminded his constituents that he was not in office when the bill went to a vote.
Clinton said there's still time for Democrats to come around, with several months left before the general election in November.
"People will kind of get organized and get out there," she said.