WASHINGTON (CBS DC) — Former Secretary of State Hilary Clinton offered a “qualified endorsement” of President Barack Obama’s embattled health care law, saying that while the law has numerous positive elements she is open to make “evidence-based changes” to the law.

In a pair of speeches in Florida, Clinton defended the law that Republicans look to use against Democrats in the 2014 midterm elections, and hope to apply against Clinton should she decide to run for president in 2016.

“I think we are on the right track in many respects but I would be the first to say if things aren’t working then we need people of good faith to come together and make evidence-based changes,” Clinton said during a speech in Orlando before the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society, according to CNN.

She noted that young adults’ ability to stay on their parents’ insurance through the age of 26 as one positive example that the law is helping Americans. But she said the law’s impact on small businesses should be reviewed with more detail.

Clinton added that the law is dealing with Republican critics providing “misinformation” about the effect of Obamacare, confusing many Americans.

“Part of the challenge is to clear away all the smoke and to try to figure out what is working and what isn’t,” said Clinton.

Clinton continued: “What do we need to do to try to fix this? Because it would be a great tragedy, in my opinion, to take away what has now been provided. I don’t think we should throw the baby out with the bath.”

A new CBS News/New York Times Poll finds that half of Americans agree with Clinton, with 50 percent of those polled saying Obamacare is “good, but changes [are] needed.” But 42 percent said the health care law should be repealed entirely and only 6 percent said the law is working well and should be kept in place in its current form.

Republicans immediately blasted Clinton for wading into debate over the health care law, suggesting that support of the Affordable Care Act can be used during her potential 2016 campaign.

“We’re glad to hear Hillary is embracing Obamacare and look forward to her campaigning on it in 2016,” the Republican National Committee said in an email to CBS News.


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