Skyrocketing premium increases on the Obamacare exchanges for 2017 were announced Monday afternoon by the Department of Health and Human Services, averaging nearly 25% across 38 federal exchange states. More than 70% of consumers in states using the federal exchange will be able to find a premium that is less than $75 a month once financial assistance is factored in, according to the HHS report. That’s because 85% of enrollees in the Obamacare exchanges receive subsidies to offset the cost of the premium increases. But someone has to make up the difference, and it is, of course, middle-income taxpayers. Douglas Holtz-Eakin, former director of the Congressional Budget Office and current president of the American Action Forum, estimates that taxpayers will fork over $32 billion in ACA subsidies this year and up to $50 billion next year.

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Those on both the left and the right overestimated the effect Obamacare would have on the larger health care system. The footprint of Obamacare has been smaller than expected. It hasn’t shaken up the employer system all that much, and it hasn’t changed the underlying health system as champions and critics thought it would. It hasn’t reduced the uninsured as much as expected and (therefore) hasn’t cost as much as expected overall even though per capita costs are higher than projected. The exchanges have drawn far too few healthy people to be stable and the rules that govern them have had too little of an effect on the dynamics of our larger health economy to be fundamentally disruptive.

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The Trump campaign has doubled down on Health Savings Accounts, the health-insurance-as-401(k) product the Affordable Care Act was supposed to extinguish but which was specifically saved by President Obama in order to provide Americans with a health insurance option they could actually afford. The ACA specifically delegates the important job of defining what is and what isn’t health insurance to the Department of Health and Human Services. A President Trump could use that authority to greatly expand the role of HSAs in the exchanges and in entitlements, limited only by changes in budget such revision might entail.

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Two weeks before Election Day, Obamacare is back big time.

Republicans capitalized on the Affordable Care Act’s unpopularity in 2010 and 2014 to retake both houses of Congress. But until now, the issue hadn’t ignited in a presidential campaign season dominated by the outsize personality of the GOP presidential nominee who has focused on trade, terrorism and ad hominem attacks.

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Next year’s enormous premium increases are merely the latest expression of Obamacare’s underlying problems, and the dysfunction is undermining the health security of Americans who lack employer coverage. A wave of major insurers have quit the exchanges, and those that are left have raised deductibles and copays and restricted choices of doctors and hospitals. The only way to break the Obamacare status quo is if the public returns a Republican Congress to Washington. If Republicans can hold the Senate amid a Clinton victory, they’d be in a better position to negotiate solutions along the lines of the House GOP “Better Way” blueprint that would start to repair the individual market and create incentives for more choice and competition.

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In 2008, the year that Barack Obama was elected as president, the combined annual profits of America’s ten largest health insurance companies were $8 billion. Under Obamacare, the ten largest health insurers’ annual profits have risen to $15 billion. This is another fine example of the natural alliance between Big Government and Big Business, which flourishes at the expense of Main Street Americans.

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Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump on Tuesday argued that spikes in health insurance premiums for Affordable Care Act plans provided an urgent rationale for his election on day that also brought fresh signs of a flagging campaign.

Trump’s finance chairman said that the GOP nominee has no further high-dollar fundraising events planned for the remainder of the campaign, dealing another serious blow to the GOP’s effort to finance its get-out-the-vote operation before Election Day.

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Donald J. Trump, desperate for a winning political issue in the final two weeks of the presidential race, fiercely attacked Hillary Clinton on Tuesday over sharp premium increases that will hit some Americans covered under the Affordable Care Act.

“The rates are going through the sky,” Mr. Trump said at a rally in Sanford, Fla., referring to double-digit increases in battleground states like North Carolina and Iowa.

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Obamacare enrollees will face varying rate hikes depending on which state they live in. Insurers in some states had underpriced their products in the first few years of the marketplaces set up under President Obama’s health care law and now are trying to make up for their losses with big cost increases. The highest AVERAGE premium increases are in Arizona, 116%; Oklahoma, 69%; Tennessee, 63%; and Minnesota, 59%. Millions of people in other states will find premiums for their current plans spiking at least as high.

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The Affordable Care Act is in the midst of the death spiral critics have long predicted. Before it enters the final death throes, Republicans must publicize viable market-based alternatives to replace it. That is the only way to avoid the potentially disastrous government-run, single-payer health-care system that would result from Hillary Clinton’s and President Obama’s policy proposals.

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