With his poll numbers spiraling at the most crucial time in the election, Donald Trump has been handed a gift against his rival Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.
Speaking on Tuesday from one of his golf resorts in Doral in Florida, a state he has been blitzing this week as early voting begins, Trump declared “Obamacare is just blowing up” after the government projected large cost increases for President Barack Obama’s signature healthcare law, the Affordable Care Act, dubbed Obamacare by many.
Both Trump and his campaign have admitted that Florida is a must win state for the candidate. It is unclear whether he and his party can capitalize on this revived emphasis on Obamacare, a law that Republicans have continuously vowed to repeal.
“We are down in Florida. We are at Trump Nation Doral. And it’s one of the great places on earth,” the businessman turned politician said during a visit to his golf club before encouraging his employees to praise him at the microphone.
He said that many of his employees are having “tremendous problems with Obamacare,” as he highlighted a report that predicted premium increases of roughly 25 percent on average for the upcoming year. This has raised questions already as to how well the nominee actually understands Obamacare, as those employed in medium and large businesses are almost universally covered by group health coverages and are not impacted by the rate hike in question.
In fact, the general manager at the Doral golf resort later clarified that upwards of 95 percent of the club’s employees are on company-provided insurance.
Trump again vowed what he has repeatedly said throughout his candidacy, that if elected, he would “repeal and replace” Obamacare with “something better.” The Democratic nominee, on the other hand, has made it clear that she will not advocate repeal of the law, but that she would work to identify and fix the problems with it.
The Department of Health and Human Services reported Monday that premiums will go up sharply in the upcoming year under the Affordable Care Act, and many states will be reduced to a single insurer. While premiums for a midlevel plan will increase an average of 25 percent across the 39 states that are served by the federally run online market, the vast majority of consumers will not feel the rate hike because of federal subsidies that would apply to their premiums.
While politically, this may be some ammunition in a campaign that has had relatively little by way of October surprises, most experts agree that it probably comes too late in the election season to be helpful. That is particularly true in the presidential race where the Republican nominee seems to lack basic knowledge of the law and has continuously demonstrate an inability to keep a consistent message.