Reality Check: Trump can't take credit for release of Obamacare premiums

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  • Trump predicted that Obamacare premiums would show a dramatic increase
  • The premium rates were released just before open enrollment started

(CNN)During remarks at a rally in Sarasota, Florida, on the last day of campaigning, Donald Trump sought to take credit for the recent announcement of the increase in premiums for policies that will be purchased on the Affordable Care Act exchanges.

He noted that there will be double-digit increase for those policies in many states. He added: "And they're far greater than what you have been told. You have been told numbers because they didn't want to do it before the election. I worked very hard to force those numbers out."
    Seriously?
    Trump is, no doubt, basing this assertion on statements he made at campaign events in which he, correctly, predicted that Obamacare premiums would show a dramatic increase.
    "On November 1, just before the election on November 8, new numbers are coming out which will show 40, 50, 60% increases," he said at a September 16 campaign rally in Miami. "They want to delay it until after the election because it's ... a disaster."
    "The big increase is now going to come on November 1st," he told a crowd in Ft. Lauderdale on August 10. "And they're trying to delay it 'till after the election because it is catastrophic."
    The premium rates were released just before open enrollment started, just like they were last year. And this year they were, indeed, jaw-dropping in many states. But the date for their release was published in the Federal Register on March 8, 2016. There was a 30-day comment period, meaning the rules governing the date went into effect in early April.
    In order for the Obama administration to change the date, it would have had to propose new regulations, a complex process that stakeholders such as state regulators, insurance companies, investors and interest groups probably would have gotten wind of -- and leaked to the news media.
    Trump has produced no evidence that the administration was moving in this direction, and therefore, has produced no evidence that he stopped it.