Donald Trump used a promotional event at the Trump National Doral Miami resort earlier this week to continue his campaign for the office of the president. Nothing afoul there but there was something afoul with many of the remarks he made, with one outright lie sticking out from the rest.
Trump was attacking Obamacare, which will experience high rate increases in the premiums for benchmark policies next year, the announcement of which was made by the Department of Health and Human Services Monday. He noted the average rate increases were announced at 25 percent, which is true, and then added that it would in fact be more like 80 to 90 percent.
That assertion by Trump, the 80 to 90, is not the biggest lie he told on the day, but it is a lie. There will be some states that will have increases of that magnitude but the average is the average, and the average increase is 25 percent. Naturally that means that some rate increases will be much less, given that some will be 80 to 90 percent and the average is 25 percent. That’s how averages work!
Trump, who many pundits are saying does not appear to fully understand the Affordable Care Act, failed to point out that of the more than 15 million people on the health insurance program that previously did not have insurance, some 85 percent are eligible for subsidies that will seriously reduce the cost of their insurance premiums.
Trump’s Obamacare lie
But here is the biggest lie he told Tuesday in Miami: “All of my employees are having a tremendous problem with Obamacare.” Huh? ALL of his employees? It’s actually more like none are, and we’ll explain that, but certainly the assertion that all are is either a blatant lie or a statement born of a large gap in knowledge.
Here’s why: most of his employees are not even on Obama care, in fact estimates are that 95 percent are on the health-care program his company provides, which industry insiders say is a very good one. David Feder, who runs Trump’s Miami operation, says 95 percent is indeed the number of the employees there on the Trump company health-care program.
So Trump’s “all of my employees” is demonstrably a lie. Further, those working at Trump hotels, for example, that do not work enough hours to qualify for the coverage the company provides, that 5 percent (the number will be lower as some will be on coverage provided by their spouses’ workplace or medicare) will get significant help with the rate increases, via the subsidies.
Those who earn up to some $47,000 are eligible for subsidies; the less a person earns the larger the subsidy they are entitled to. Working part-time at a Trump Hotel would entitle a person insured under Obamacare to a healthy subsidy. In other words, it’s arguable that very few, if any, of Trump’s employees are experiencing “a tremendous problem” with Obamacare.
So either Trump does not know how the system works or was lying for effect. Further, it seems unlikely that he’s gone about polling his part-time, low-income employees about their experiences on Obamacare.
Clinton and Affordable Care Act
During the campaign, Trump had been claiming that President Obama would make sure rate that any increases wouldn’t be announced until after the election, to benefit Hillary Clinton. Despite the fact the president could not influence the timing of the announcement, Trump has been gaining points with his supporters by saying so. At his press conference, he did not note that he had been proven wrong.
Trump is now tying Clinton to Obamacare and it appears the announcement on the rate increases has prompted him to latch onto Obamacare as a principal policy-area to attack her on in the final two weeks of the campaign.
Clinton, however, does not advocate leaving Obamacare unchanged but has presented policy that will see her alter it in ways she says will improve it dramatically. Reporter Tim Kludt discusses Clinton’s and Trump’s stated views on health care in a recent story on CNN and notes the former secretary of state advocates altering the particulars of the Affordable Care Act.
The notion that Trump intends to use Obamacare as a vehicle to attack Clinton from now until November 8 was reinforced by his campaign manager today. Kellyanne Conway said that Obamacare will be a focus for Trump and he will work to tie it to the Democratic nominee for president.