Bad news came in for the Affordable Care Act on Tuesday as the Obama administration announced that premiums for mid-level plans sold on the ACA marketplace are set to increase by an average of 25 percent.
Cost changes will vary by state and city, ranging from a 116 percent increase for Arizona plans all the way down to 3 percent decreases in Massachusetts and Indiana.
But for Donald Trump, this latest news on Obamacare is nothing less than evidence that “Obamacare is just blowing up,” as he said during a rally this week.
However, amidst Trump’s barrage of attacks against the ACA was a charge that suggested he either doesn’t understand how the health law works or is purposefully misleading the public about its impact.
"All of my employees are having a tremendous problem with Obamacare,” the real estate mogul claimed.
In fact, almost all of Trump’s employees are unaffected by Obamacare because they, like roughly half of the U.S. population, get health insurance through their employer.
Trump’s misunderstanding of the issue is not unusual. ACA opponents often don’t make the distinction between the upcoming premium increases for the roughly 7 percent of Americans with coverage through the ACA marketplace and others, the vast majority of whom are covered by employer-based plans, Medicaid or Medicare.
The fact that Trump is able to criticize the rising rates undermines his claim from earlier this year that the Obama administration was delaying publication of the new rates until after the election, in order to protect Hillary Clinton’s campaign.
The premium price hikes certainly aren’t good news for Clinton, who has positioned herself closely to President Obama and his landmark health care reform.
Nevertheless, Clinton has continued to emphasize the benefits of Obamacare: The country has achieved the lowest uninsured rate in history, insurers can no longer deny coverage for pre-existing medical conditions, they cannot price insurance differently for women and people can stay on their parents’ insurance until 26.
She nevertheless conceded that “the costs have gone up too much so we’re going to tackle that."