Trump, Pence turn attention to repeal of “Obamacare” in final week of the campaign

KING OF PRUSSIA, PA – In a speech before supporters, Republican Donald Trump and running mate Mike Pence appeared together, talking about their plan for a “full repeal” of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. Pence led the speeches saying that their replacement will be a market-based and consumers-first plan that expands healthcare options for families while keeping prices low. November first marks the first day of open enrollment in the AFA plans, which continues through January.The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released this week news that they expect health insurance premiums to rise at least 25 percent next year because fewer young healthy people have signed up for insurance than expected, driving up average costs for others in the system. In a Kaiser Family Foundation poll, sixty percent of voters said that candidates having a plan to address their increasing health insurance premiums is “very important” as they cast their ballot. “Obamacare is a crushing weight on the American people but it is also a crushing weight on the American economy,” Pence said to the Pennsylvania voters.Trump told the crowd that his goal if elected would be to call a special session of Congress to address the AFA immediately and implement a replacement plan that would reduce regulation on the industry, open state borders for health insurance sales to drive down prices and eliminate the penalty for those who do not buy insurance. He said he would use free market principles to keep consumer costs under control.Hillary Clinton has said that she plans to fix the Affordable Care Act instead, by increasing taxpayer-paid subsidies and letting people buy into Medicare at an earlier age and creating a government run “public option” on the federal health insurance exchange. “Hillary Clinton wants to expand Obamacare and make it even more expensive,” Trump said. “She wants to put the government totally in charge of health care in America. If we don’t repeal and replace Obamacare, we will destroy American health care forever. It’s one of the single most important reasons why we must win on Nov. 8.”Approximately seventy percent of people qualify for some subsidy to lower costs, but the average premium for benchmark 2017 plans sold on rose 25 percent compared with 2016, the average monthly premium rising to $302 from $242.In a conference call with 25,000 volunteers and advocates tasked with increasing the number of enrollees, President Obama worked to talk up his signature domestic policy measure.”Part of what we can do this time is to overcome the skeptics, to prove people wrong, and to provide momentum so that when the next administration comes in, they are starting from a position of strength,” Obama told the conference call. The law has become an increasingly more important voting issue on the campaign trail lately and for years it has been fought by Republicans in Congress, who said it creates unwarranted government intervention in personal healthcare and private industry.Several big insurers, including UnitedHealth Group Inc , Aetna Inc and Humana Inc, announced this year that they are pulling out of the online marketplaces selling the subsidized plans, citing bigger-than-expected financial losses.Aetna Chief Executive Mark Bertolini said on Thursday that the earliest his company may return to the marketplaces would be 2019.