Obamacare and 2016

Let's hope that Mr. Trump is going to hit Mrs. Clinton very hard on Obamacare.  In other words, the next president will have to fix it, or it will collapse on its own.  

It's hard to see how it turns out in a different way.  

We are down to increasing taxes to pay for Obamacare or scrapping the law and replacing it.  

My preference would be to scrap it and let the states deal with it.  Let state legislatures write their own plans and try out different ideas.  I have full confidence that the states will find individual, or even regional, solutions to this complicated mess.

In the meantime, this is the latest from the Obamacare experience:

The Geisinger Health Plan, run by one of the nation’s top-rated health care organizations, foresees medical costs increasing next year by 7.5 percent for people buying insurance under the Affordable Care Act.

So when Geisinger requested a rate increase of 40 percent for 2017, consumer advocates were amazed. And Kurt J. Wrobel, Geisinger’s chief actuary, found himself, along with other members of his profession, in the middle of the health care wars still raging in this political year.

Actuaries normally toil far from the limelight, anonymous technicians stereotyped as dull and boring. But as they crunch the numbers for their Affordable Care Act business, their calculations are feeding a roaring national debate over insurance premiums, widely used to gauge the success of President Obama’s health care law. Health plans around the country have just filed proposed rates for 2017. State insurance commissioners are still reviewing them.

But questions about the proposed increases are reverberating through the health care system and into the political campaign.

Let's hope that questions reverberate, indeed.  It's time for U.S. voters to have the discussion about Obamacare denied them in 2009.

Mrs. Clinton got a free ride on Obamacare because Mr. Sanders called for a single-payer program, or a program that President Carter and President Obama could not pass despite Senate majorities.  So she simply said that she'd fix Obamacare but generally stood by the plan without specifics.

Let's call on Mr. Trump to challenge Mrs. Clinton to defend the premium increases and the total mess the law has created across the country.  Again, the Democrats have gotten away with calling for universal care but not explaining how it will impact the family budget. 

Get going, Mr. Trump.  The last jobs report and the Obamacare mess have given you two amazing opportunities to draw a distinction from Mrs. Clinton.

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