Why would Hillary Clinton risk lying when lack of honesty and conviction is her biggest perceived weakness among voters? Looking at who she’s lying to answers the question.
Hillary Clinton claimed in Iowa: “His plan would take Medicare and Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program and the Affordable Care Act health-care insurance and private employer health insurance and he would take that all together and send health insurance to the states, turning over your and my health insurance to governors.”
The trouble is that CHIP, Medicaid, and major parts of Obamacare are already administered by the states. Clinton should know this since she spent years taking credit for Ted Kennedy’s bill to create the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP).
She hasn’t had a problem with state administered programs in the past. Did she intend to criticize ACA, SCHIP and Medicaid? Her attack is a hypocritical flip-flop in addition to misleading people about how the programs currently operate.
Chelsea Clinton followed up the coordinated attack by saying, “Senator Sanders wants to dismantle Obamacare, dismantle the CHIP program, dismantle Medicare and private insurance.” I can’t imagine by what logic that having programs already administered by the states being turned over to states amounts to dismantling them.
This is a fear-based tactic, no less so than the infamous 3am phone call ad of 2008. Clinton has spent two decades focusing on the age demographic which votes in the highest numbers: seniors. Now she’s trying to scare them into believing that Bernie Sanders will take away their health care.
In the late 90’s, when the phrase “universal health care” disappeared from Clinton’s vocabulary, she started focusing on “protecting social security” and “prescription drugs for seniors.” Many other Democrats followed her example, prompted by focus groups claiming these were low-risk ways to incrementally expand health coverage.
She brought that focus into Iowa in 2008 where her grassroots operation focused on the most frequent voters, which are often seniors. I noticed in the caucus room I attended that those supporting Obama and Edwards came from a variety of backgrounds. Everyone in the Clinton side of the room was a white person with grey hair. Polls show that people over 65 are her biggest group of supporters.
Clinton’s attack is alienating Sanders supporters and won’t convince swing voters. It’s meant to frighten her core voters into sticking with Clinton. It’s an attack she’s making because she’s afraid her strongest base of support will defect right before the Iowa caucus.
Clinton is running scared.