President Obama will award the Presidential Medal of Freedom to former President Bill Clinton next Wednesday -- eight days after Clinton offered some not-so-helpful recommendations for Obama's health-care law.
Clinton in an interview released Tuesday suggested Obama should keep his word and allow people to keep their current health insurance if they want to. Many people who have obtained insurance on the private market have seen their plans canceled for not meeting Obamacare's standards -- despite Obama's promise that people who liked their insurance could keep it.
"I personally believe, even if it takes a change in the law, the president should honor the commitment the federal government made to these people and let them keep what they got," Clinton said.
The former president remains the highest-profile Democrat to push Obama to make the change, though some Democrats -- including Sen. Mary Landrieu (La.), Sen. Dianne Feinstein (Calif.) and Rep. John Barrow (Ga.) -- have made similar requests.
Obama and Clinton have had an at-times-testy relationship, most notably during the 2008 presidential campaign in which Obama beat Clinton's wife, Hillary Clinton. A recently released book about the 2012 race quotes Obama saying of Bill Clinton: "I like him … in doses." At the same time, Clinton's speech at the 2012 Democratic National Convention was seen as a huge boost to Obama and his health-care law.
Obama will honor Clinton alongside baseball hall of famer Ernie Banks, former Washington Post executive editor Ben Bradlee, Oprah Winfrey and former senators Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) and Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii), the latter of whom died after the 2012 election.
The Medal of Freedom is the nation's highest civilian honor.