Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump seized on an admission by the Obama administration that Obamacare premiums will spike 25 percent, charging rival Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton is trying to move the United States toward a socialized medical system completely run by the government.
“The architects of Obamacare,” Trump said, “Jonathan Gruber and Hillary Clinton, knew they were telling us lies, because they’re trying to move us toward a single-payer system where the healthy pay for the sick.”
“This, my friends, is the rigged system,” he charged in a statement Tuesday.
He said the “admission by the Obama administration that Obamacare is an unaffordable disaster should come as a surprise to no one, and this only reaffirms the American public’s belief that the entire program was one big lie.”
The Affordable Care Act, passed in 2010, is regarded as the president’s signature legislative achievement. Trump has vowed, if elected, to press for its repeal.
Trump noted it’s projected that Obamacare rates will rise even higher in some places “due to lack of competition,” with increases of 80 or even 100 percent.
“Here’s the reality – Americans were lied to when we were told we could keep our doctor, we were lied to when we were told we could keep our health plan, and we were lied to when were told this would lower health care costs,” he said.
In Philadelphia, only two insurers are left and premiums are expected to rise 53 percent, the local CBS affiliate website reported. In Pennsylvania, the number of insurers in the marketplace has reduced from 13 to eight.
Aetna Inc. Chief Executive Officer Mark Bertolini warned that healthier people will avoid buying Obamacare health insurance plans as premiums climb, threatening the stability of the market, Bloomberg reported.
“As the rates rise, the healthier people pull out because the out-of-pocket costs aren’t worth it,” Bertolini said at Bloomberg’s The Year Ahead Summit in New York. “Young people can do the math. Gas for the car, beer on Fridays and Saturdays, health insurance.”
He said further that as costs rise and more individuals decide not to buy health plans, premiums will rise even higher, unless a new president and lawmakers can find fixes.
“What happens is the population gets sicker and sicker and sicker and sicker,” Bertolini said. “The rates keep rising to try and catch it. It’s a fruitless chase, and ultimately you end up with a very bad pool of risk.”
The Hill noted that even Democrats are increasingly acknowledging that the Affordable Care Act has an affordability problem.
Former President Bill Clinton said recently that people unable to get the subsidies are “getting killed” by high premiums, and Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton said this month that “the reality is the Affordable Care Act is no longer affordable to increasing numbers of people.”
Even President Obama, the Hill pointed out, said in a speech last week that “there are going to be people who are hurt by premium increases.”