Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton gets big bursts of applause from Iowa audiences when she lobs criticism at Iowa’s Republican governor. Clinton now is carrying that criticism to a wider audience.
Clinton has criticized Republican Governor Terry Branstad for closing two of the four state-run Mental Health Institutes rather than heed legislators’ calls to keep the facilities in Clarinda and Mount Pleasant open. In addition, Clinton has bashed Branstad for vetoing nearly $56 million in spending for Iowa’s public schools.
“A bipartisan compromise to fund schools and keep mental health facilities open,” Clinton said, to waves of cheers at the Iowa Democratic Party’s Jefferson-Jackson Day Dinner in October.
Branstad’s plan to switch 560,000 Iowa Medicaid patients into managed care plans is also a Clinton target.
“Your governor is threatening to privatize Medicaid,” Clinton said at the same event and the crowd booed Branstad.
Last week, a woman in Keota complained to Clinton that she can’t figure out what to do for her children.
“I’m with you because I don’t see why you should have to be put through that,” Clinton replied, to applause from the crowd gathered for a “town hall” meeting in a high school gym.
“So I’m hoping that this change either can be slowed down or altered in a way that doesn’t create that kind of anxiety, because that’s what Iowans have been telling me — what that young woman just said — and you’re under a very tight timeline. Like, ‘O.K. tell us what doctors and everything you’re going to use’ and the information wasn’t even available and, you know, if you’re responsible for your own health or more emotionally, as we could hear, responsible for your children’s health, that’s a terrible position to be put into.”
Now, Clinton is running a radio ad in Iowa that wraps all those beefs with Branstad together and offers this sentence as a response: “Thousands of Iowans are standing up and saying ‘Enough,’ and I’m standing with you.”
Branstad’s public approval rating has been on the decline this year and is particularly thin with Democrats. A recent Quinnipiac University survey found half of all Iowans disapprove of Branstad’s job performance, while 38 percent gave the governor positive marks on leadership.
The Obama Administration has indicated it will likely approve Branstad’s move to switch Medicaid patients to private managed care companies, but federal officials have ordered a 60-day delay because switching on January 1 would have created “chaos” for patients and health care providers