Republicans seize on Obamacare as election-closing issue

Clinton and Trump battle over Obamacare

WASHINGTON (WUSA9) - With two weeks left in the presidential race, Donald Trump and his fellow Republicans appear to have found an issue to unite around, as the GOP and its nominee spent much of Tuesday attacking Obamacare premium hikes.

“Job-killing Obamacare is just one more way that our system is rigged, believe me,” Trump told a rally crowd in Tallahassee, Florida Tuesday night. “You’re going to have 60, 70, 80, 90 percent increases in Obamacare. We’re gonna repeal it. And we’re gonna replace it. And we’re gonna get you great, great healthcare at a fraction of the cost.”

Trumps sustained focus on a policy matter comes on the day after the administration announced that premiums for a benchmark plan sold on federally-run healthcare exchanges would become about 25% more expensive for customers next year (on average, depending on the state).

Subsidies will also rise to insulate many consumers – and state run exchanges will likely not see similar increases, leaving about seven million people affected.

With the affordable care act, also known as Obamacare, still widely unpopular among Republican voters, the issue offers Trump a chance to rally his base in the race’s closing weeks.

On the trail in Florida, Hillary Clinton did not mention the premium hike in her one public event today, but told a Miami radio station she had discussed the need to address problems with the ACA with President Obama.

In the DC metro area, the effects of the premium hikes will be minimal, Washington Post health policy reporter Amy Goldstein told WUSA9 on Tuesday.

“Different rates are in different places, so in Virginia it won’t go up quite that much,” Goldstein said. “DC and Maryland each run state-based exchanges, so that big rate increase doesn’t have anything to do with those two states.”


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