First on CNN: Bill Clinton's 'crazy system' Obamacare gaffe lands in RNC mailer

Story highlights

  • The RNC mailer is intended to "turnout voters" in 12 states
  • The piece quotes Clinton saying: "Obamacare is 'a crazy system'

Washington (CNN)Former President Bill Clinton's description of Obamacare as a "crazy system" is headed to mail boxes in a dozen key states in a piece of political literature paid for by the Republican National Committee.

"Bill Clinton finally tells the truth ... and it's not going to help Hillary," reads the mailer, which was provided to CNN by the RNC.
    The RNC's piece goes on to quote Clinton saying: "Obamacare is 'a crazy system' ... where 'premiums doubled' ... and recipients had 'their coverage cut in half.'"
    The RNC mailer is intended to "turnout voters" in 12 states that are vital to Donald Trump's chances on November 8.
    The anti-Clinton mailer will go to three states that Mitt Romney carried in 2012 where the GOP finds itself playing defense: Arizona, Georgia, and North Carolina.
    It will also go to an additional nine states that President Barack Obama carried in his re-election campaign where Republicans are hoping to make inroads this year: Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin.
    The RNC moved quickly to get the "crazy system" remark in a new mailer: Bill Clinton made the remark on Monday -- a mere 72 hours ago -- while campaigning on behalf of his wife in Flint, Michigan.
    Bill Clinton's criticism of Obamacare was focused on a specific group of Americans: those who are uninsured and earn too much money to qualify for subsidized coverage.
    The Affordable Care Act offers subsidies to Americans who earn less than 400% of the poverty line -- that works out to $47,520 for an individual or $97,200 for a family of four.
    "The people that are getting killed in this deal are small business people and individuals who make just a little too much to get any of these subsidies," Bill Clinton said.
    To help middle-income workers struggling to afford insurance, Bill Clinton recommended an idea embraced by his wife's campaign that he first proposed during his 1998 State of the Union address: letting Americans buy into Medicare, the government-run health-insurance program that covers Americans once they reach 65.
    Hillary Clinton's campaign was not pleased that the former president's "crazy system" remark has provided ammunition to Republicans a month before voters go to the polls. But her aides are quick to point out that the former president was not attempting to condemn the entire Obamacare system, just the ways it has failed certain people.
    "I probably would have chosen different words," John Podesta, the chairman of Hillary Clinton's campaign and a former White House chief of staff to Bill Clinton, told CNN's Jeff Zeleny following the vice presidential debate. "But I think what he was saying is: the law has been a success, but there's still more to do."