Hillary Clinton defends Obamacare, says it may need fixes

The former secretary of state continues to slowly wade into domestic politics

By Elias Isquith

Published February 27, 2014 4:15PM (EST)

  (AP/Gerald Herbert)
(AP/Gerald Herbert)

Delivering the keynote address at the 2014 meeting of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society, former first lady and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton acknowledged Obamacare is imperfect but praised many of its reforms and described the law as an overall good.

“I think we are on the right track in many respects but I would be the first to say if things aren’t working then we need people of good faith to come together and make evidence-based changes,” Clinton said before claiming that "[p]art of the challenge is to clear away all the smoke and try to figure out what is working and what isn’t.”

Clinton celebrated Obamacare provisions that allow young people to stay on their parents' health insurance plans until the age of 26, as well as those that provide free preventative care. Speaking about beneficiaries of these elements of the law, as well as the millions who have received health insurance through it, Clinton said "to take away what has now been provided” would be "a great tragedy."

"This is going to be challenging and I don't think we should throw the baby out with the bath," she added.

More from CNN:

Between her remarks and a question-and-answer session with the group’s board chairman, Scott MacLean, Clinton did not offer specifics on how she would change Obamacare.

Instead, she asked the audience of medical professionals and information technology specialists to play a role in the reforms.

Clinton synthesized her views on Obamacare near the end her answer for MacLean, stating that those in power needed to "be smart about the reforms and changes that have to occur."

"So sitting here today, I think that the glass is slightly more than half full in terms of the positive reality," Clinton concluded. "If there are things that are going to undermine quality, increase cost, than we have to know about them."

Elias Isquith

Elias Isquith is a former Salon staff writer.

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