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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Obamacare Is Plotzing, Trump Is Bobbling

Amy Goldstein reports at The Washington Post:
Insurers are raising the 2017 premiums for a popular and significant group of health plans sold through HealthCare.gov by an average of 25 percent, more than triple the percentage increase of this year’s plans, according to new government figures.
The steep increase in rates serves broadly to confirm what has become evident piecemeal in recent months: Prompted by a burden of unexpectedly sick Affordable Care Act customers, some insurers are dropping out while many remaining companies are struggling to cover their costs.
The figures, announced by federal officials Monday, injected a new round of uncertainty into the future of the insurance exchanges that are a core feature of the 2010 health-care law. Health policy experts said the rising prices and shrinking insurance options add tumult to the coming ACA enrollment season. The data immediately touched off a fresh round of criticism among the ACA’s persistent Republican congressional opponents.
In disclosing the 2017 rates, officials played down the impact of higher prices on consumers. They said that more than 8 in 10 consumers will qualify for ACA subsidies that will cushion them from the effects of more-expensive insurance. And they noted that as premiums go up, more Americans will be eligible for the tax credits.
Even with this political gift in hand, Trump managed to bobble it. CNN reports:
Donald Trump claimed Tuesday during an event with staff at his resort here that his employees are having issues with Obamacare -- an account contradicted by his property's general manager -- amid the news that President Barack Obama's signature health care legislation is facing soaring premiums.
"I can say that all of my employees are having a tremendous problem with Obamacare," Trump said. "What they're going through with their health care is horrible because of Obamacare, so we'll repeal it and replace it."
...
Trump's comments sparked questions about whether his employees receive insurance through the health insurance exchanges set up under Obama's signature law, which would mean he does not offer private health insurance to those employees.
Asked by a reporter after the event whether his employees have health care coverage through Obamacare, Trump replied: "Some of them. Most of them, no."
Clarifying Trump's remarks, the general manager of Trump's property in Doral, David Feder, said "99% of our employees are insured through our hotel."
"Over 90%, without a doubt," he added.