Clinton Campaign Defends Criticism Of Sanders’ Health Care Proposal

The Hillary Clinton campaign on Wednesday defended recent criticism of Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) health care proposal, calling on the senator to release details about his plan and how he would pay for it.

Recently, the Clinton campaign has stepped up attacks on Sanders, arguing that his plan for a single-payer health care system would raise taxes on the middle class and leave the implementation of the plan up to governors, who could refuse to cooperate.

Chelsea Clinton this week warned that Sanders’ plan would dismantle Obamacare and give too much power to governors.

“Sen. Sanders wants to dismantle Obamacare, dismantle the CHIP program, dismantle Medicare, and dismantle private insurance,” she said. “I worry if we give Republicans democratic permission to do that, we’ll go back to an era — before we had the Affordable Care Act — that would strip millions and millions and millions of people of their health insurance.”

Sanders on Wednesday called out the Clinton campaign’s attacks, calling Chelsea Clinton’s claims “factually incorrect.”

He released a statement slamming Clinton’s “Karl Rove tactics” and used Hillary Clinton’s own words in 2008 to accuse her of hypocrisy. The Sanders campaign pointed to a 2008 video in which Clinton criticized Barack Obama for criticizing her universal health care plan.

In the video, Clinton said that Democrats should not bash each other on universal health care, describing Obama’s attack as “undermining core Democratic principles.”

On Wednesday afternoon, CNN’s Jake Tapper asked Clinton spokesman Brian Fallon if Clinton is “doing just that now against Sen. Sanders.”

“Not at all. There’s no difference or distinction in terms of the fact that both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders support the goal of universal health care,” Fallon responded, adding that in 2008, Obama and Clinton debated which plan was better.

“What’s happening right now is that Sen. Sanders won’t put forward any details about how he intends to make good on his plan to achieve universal health care,” Fallon said, adding that Sanders’ plan would raise taxes on the middle class.

“This is a full-frontal assault on Sanders’ universal health care proposal,” Tapper said in response to Fallon.

“Well, it is true, Jake, and we don’t back off of this,” Fallon replied, adding that Clinton is right to defend Obamacare.

And in a call with reporters on Wednesday afternoon, Clinton campaign officials called on the Sanders to reveal details about his health care plan before the Iowa caucus, according to USA Today. Sanders campaign has said it might not release the plan until February, according to USA Today.

“I think one can only draw the conclusion that the Sanders campaign does not want to outline what would amount to a massive across the board tax increase,” Clinton policy adviser Jake Sullivan said on the call, according to USA Today. “They want to essentially create a circumstance in which they try to lead voters to believe they can implement single-payer healthcare at no burden to anyone and everyone would be better off.”

Watch CNN’s interview with Brian Fallon: