Politics in 2017: Trump and Dayton argue health care over Twitter

Another reminder it’s 2017: The president-elect of the United States and the governor of Minnesota, trading barbs about a significant law over Twitter.

On Tuesday morning, Donald Trump decided to tweet about the Obama administration’s Affordable Care Act, and how bad he thinks it is. He included comments by Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton (and in a previous tweet, a quote from Bill Clinton) to help make his point:

Dayton replied a couple hours later, defending the health care law and blaming Republican lawmakers for trying to sink it rather than trying to improve it.

The background

Dayton did in fact call the Affordable Care Act “no longer affordable” in October, referencing three consecutive years now of health insurance rates on private market rising dramatically. But after his unaffordable quip was jumped on by conservative lawmakers as a way to poke holes in the health care law, he said he had “regret” that it was “wrongly used” against Democrats in election races.

He also specified that for 98 percent of Minnesotans, the law is working fine. It’s the 2 percent (about 125,000 people) who have to get insurance through MNsure, but make too much money to qualify for tax credits, that the law isn’t working for.

Trump has gone to this well before

Trump jumped on the “no longer affordable” line right after it happened.

On Oct. 13, he tweeted that the “Dem Gov. of MN” called Obamacare no longer affordable, and added: “I’ve been saying this for years- disaster!”

Trump also mentioned it in a speech in Ohio, the Pioneer Press reported.

Where Trump and Dayton stand on health care

Minnesota is dealing with its own Affordable Care Act crisis – costs for health insurance plans bought through MNsure have been shooting up and up, and both Dayton and state lawmakers have said they need to find some relief for families.

On Tuesday, the first day of the state’s legislative session, Dayton re-announced his plan from a few months ago. It would use money from the state’s surplus to give those 125,000 people that are most affected by the higher rates some additional help. The health insurance companies would give the consumers a 25 percent rebate, and the state would pay the health insurer back.

Of course, it’s up to state lawmakers to pass and approve whatever actually gets done – and they were unable to agree to a plan for a possible special session, so that didn’t happen.

MNsure was set up by the state under the Affordable Care Act. Trump has repeatedly said he wants U.S. lawmakers to repeal the health care overhaul, though he has floated the idea of keeping a couple popular provisions – not allowing insurance companies to deny coverage based on pre-existing conditions, and also letting young people stay on a parent’s plan until they’re 26 years old.


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