Tags: Trump Administration | Democrats 2016 | Healthcare Reform | Hillary Clinton | Obamacare | Rising | Costs

Rising Obamacare Costs Could Hurt Hillary

Image: Rising Obamacare Costs Could Hurt Hillary
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By    |   Monday, 30 May 2016 09:15 PM

Hillary Clinton admits that high costs are a serious problem for Obamacare, but she continues to champion the controversial healthcare law, and Republicans hope to take advantage of that as the November election nears.

Presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump discussed the premium hikes with Senate Republicans earlier this month, and the Republican National Committee wrote in a recent email that "Despite premium hikes under Obamacare, Clinton continues to take credit for the law on the campaign trail," reports The Hill.

Many Americans will first become aware of the rising premiums in November, when the Obamacare enrollment period begins. Republicans are defending 24 Senate seats in November as well.

Trump told lawmakers at the meeting that he thinks the Obama administration may try to push back the enrollment period until after the election in hopes of keeping Clinton and other Democrats from losing votes, unnamed senators attending the closed-door meeting reported.

But Clinton, while defending Obamacare as "a big step forward for the vast majority of Americans," has acknowledged that out-of-pocket costs, premiums and more need to be looked at, and told a woman at a CNN town hall in March that "we are going to have to get the costs down."

The looming cost increases, though, are a "real problem," said Democratic strategist Brad Bannon, as Americans "expected there'd be some sort of leveling off in [the cost of] healthcare insurance. But at the same time, they see good things about [Obamacare]. That's why I think public opinion is so evenly split."

Bannon told The Hill that most of the public wants Obamacare to be reformed, not repealed, and Clinton supports a government-run health insurance alternative to increase competition.

She has also proposed additional measures, including a new tax credit and more enforcement on antitrust laws to keep health insurance companies from merging to avoid competition.

However, the premium increases are expected to be high this year because insurers are being slammed with extra costs after setting their premiums too low initially. Providence Health Plan, one of Oregon's largest insurers, for example, is seeking a 29.6 percent increase.

State regulators still have to approve the proposal, though, and Obamacare rules cap the percentage of income that most people have to pay for healthcare, giving Americans some help over premium increases.

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Hillary Clinton admits that high costs are a serious problem for Obamacare, but she continues to champion the controversial healthcare law, and Republicans hope to take advantage of that as the November election nears.
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Monday, 30 May 2016 09:15 PM
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