At campaign stops in Iowa and New Hampshire on Monday and Tuesday, both Hillary and Chelsea Clinton directly criticized Sanders on healthcare policy.
"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," Hillary Clinton said Monday. "I don't believe number one we should be starting over. We had enough of a fight to get to the Affordable Care Act. So I don’t want to rip it up and start over."
She echoed the argument on Tuesday, the same day a Quinnapiac poll showed Sanders overtaking her in Iowa, 49 percent to 44 percent. Reiterating her claim that Sanders' plan would jeopardize the Affordable Care Act and effectively turn over health coverage programs to the states, many of them led by Republican governors, she said: "If that’s the kind of 'revolution' he's talking about, I'm worried, folks."
Meanwhile, serving as a campaign surrogate in New Hampshire on Tuesday, Chelsea Clinton declared:
Sen. Sanders wants to dismantle Obamacare, dismantle the CHIP program, dismantle Medicare, and dismantle private insurance. 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 off their health insurance."This isn't the first time that Hillary Clinton has attacked single-payer healthcare, having done so in November and December of last year.
Sanders spokesman Michael Briggs hit back: "Secretary Clinton is inaccurate in suggesting that Republican governors would be able to circumvent the law and deny implementation in their states." Referring to a single-payer proposal he put forth in 2013, Briggs added: "The bill Sen. Sanders introduced was very clear. It is national legislation for all states."
National Nurses United added its voice to those defending Sanders' proposal, accusing Clinton of deliberately distorting the facts.
"Surely Hillary Clinton knows that Medicare and Medicaid are national programs, and that they would be funded as national programs," said NNU co-president Jean Ross. "To claim that expanding Medicare to all would hand it over to state governors is a crude, inflammatory distortion, and shows an indifference to all those people who continue to be harmed by a broken system."