Bill Clinton attempted to clarify comments he made slamming the Affordable Care Act as the "craziest thing in the world," saying on Tuesday that President Obama's signature legislation did a "world of good."
"Look, the Affordable Health Care Act did a world of good, and the fifty-something efforts to repeal it that the Republicans have ... were a terrible mistake," Clinton said at an event in Athens, OH. "We for the first time in our history at least are providing insurance to more than 90% of our people."
Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton through the years
Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton through the years
FILE WASHINGTON, DC - JAN 6, 1994:
President Bill Clinton is escorted by Hillary to a waiting helicopter. The president was leaving for Arkansas after learning of the death of his mother.
(Photo by Margaret Thomas/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (L) and US President barack Obama (R) are greeted by Myanmar pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi (C) at her residence in Yangon on November 19, 2012 . Obama arrived in Myanmar for a historic visit aimed at encouraging a string of dramatic political reforms in the former pariah state. AFP PHOTO / Nicolas ASFOURI (Photo credit should read NICOLAS ASFOURI/AFP/Getty Images)
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (L) looks on as US President Barack Obama (2nd L) speaks during a bilateral meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda (2nd R) on the sidelines of the East Asian Summit at the Peace Palace in Phnom Penh on November 20, 2012. During the two-day East Asia Summit in Phnom Penh, Obama was scheduled to hold talks with the leaders of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) along with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and Japan's Yoshihiko Noda. AFP PHOTO / Jewel Samad (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton board Air Force One at the airport in Yangon on November 19, 2012. Huge crowds greeted Barack Obama in Myanmar on the first visit by a serving US president to the former pariah state to encourage a string of startling political reforms. AFP PHOTO/Jewel Samad (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Barack Obama(2nd-L), First Lady Michelle Obama(L) along with former president Bill Clinton(3rd-L) and former secretary of state Hillary Clinton(4th-L) take part in a wreath-laying ceremony in honour of the late 35th president of the US John F. Kennedy at Kennedy's gravesite in Arlington National Cemetery on November 20, 2013 in Arlington, Virginia. AFP PHOTO/Mandel NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
BERLIN, GERMANY - JULY 06: Copies of the German translation of the book 'Hard Choices' ('Entscheidungen' in German) by Hillary Rodham Clinton, former United States Secretary of State, U.S. Senator, and First Lady of the United States, stand on display at the Staatsoper in the Schiller Theater on July 6, 2014 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Adam Berry/Getty Images)
BERLIN, GERMANY - JULY 06: Hillary Rodham Clinton, former United States Secretary of State, U.S. Senator, and First Lady of the United States, speaks during the presentation of the German translation of her book 'Hard Choices' ('Entscheidungen' in German) at the Staatsoper in the Schiller Theater on July 6, 2014 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Adam Berry/Getty Images)
AUSTIN, TX - JUNE 20: Hillary Rodham Clinton appears on stage during 'A Conversation With Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton' at the Long Center on June 20, 2014 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Gary Miller/Getty Images)
BERLIN, GERMANY - JULY 06: Hillary Rodham Clinton, former United States Secretary of State, U.S. Senator, and First Lady of the United States (R), speaks next to Christoph Amend, editor in chief of Zeit Magazin, during the presentation of the German translation of her book 'Hard Choices' ('Entscheidungen' in German) at the Staatsoper in the Schiller Theater on July 6, 2014 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Adam Berry/Getty Images)
EAST HAMPTON, NY - AUGUST 16: Hillary Rodham Clinton signs copies of her book 'Hard Choices' at BookHampton on August 16, 2014 in East Hampton, New York. (Photo by Sonia Moskowitz/Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CA - JULY 23: Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks during a during a round table event to launch the 'Talking is Teaching: Talk Read Sing' campaign at the
Children's Hospital Oakland Research Institute on July 23, 2014 in Oakland, California. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton launched the 'Talking is Teaching; Talk Read Sing' campaign in partnership withToo Small to Fail and the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Foundation that encourages parents and caregivers to close the word gap by talking, singing and reading to children every day from the birth. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 06: Former president of United States (US) Bill Clinton (R) and his wife, former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (L), leave St. Ignatius Loyola Church after the funeral of former three-term governor Mario Cuomo on January 6, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Selcuk Acar/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
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The former president caused headaches for Democrats on Monday when he criticized the law for flooding the health care market with new customers who benefited from government subsidies, which in turn caused premiums to rise for those who don't qualify for the subsidies.
"The current system works fine if you're eligible for Medicaid, if you're a lower income working person. If you're already on Medicare or if you get enough subsidies on a modest income that you can afford your healthcare," he said in Flint, Mich. while speaking at a campaign rally on behalf of his wife.
Clinton continued: "But the people that are getting killed in this deal is small business people and individuals who make just a little too much to get any of these subsidies ... So you've got this crazy system where all of a sudden 25 million more people have healthcare and then the people are out there busting it sometimes 60 hours a week wind up with their premiums doubled and their coverage cut in half."
He went on to call for Americans to be able to buy into Medicare or Medicaid — effectively what Hillary Clinton's proposed in her own health care reform plan, which includes a promise to "pursue efforts to give Americans in every state in the country the choice of a public-option insurance plan, and to expand Medicare."
Donald Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway tweeted that Bill Clinton's comments were "just delicious."
In response to his remarks, White House press secretary Josh Earnest on Monday acknowledged that the law may need to be revised.
"What I would also say is that since the very first day the President signed this bill into law, he acknowledged an openness to working with Democrats or Republicans in Congress to further strengthen it," he said. "And we have seen a sustained commitment on the part of Republicans to trying to tear down that law."