02:08 - Source: CNN
4 truths about Obamacare

Story highlights

In short, Hillary Clinton has promised to "build" on and "fix" Obama's health care law

Donald Trump has promised to repeal the Affordable Care Act but hasn't proposed a replacement

CNN  — 

News that Affordable Care Act premiums are set to soar in 2017 represented yet another setback for President Barack Obama’s signature policy, better known as Obamacare. It is also poised to become a dominant issue in the final weeks of the 2016 presidential campaign.

But in truth, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have already said plenty about Obamacare. Here is a brief look at where each candidate stands on the embattled law.


The Democratic nominee has had a consistent message on Obamacare, repeatedly pledging to “build” on some of its reforms and pushing back forcefully against those – including her opponent – who wish to repeal the law. At the second presidential debate earlier this month in St. Louis, Clinton vowed to “fix” Obamacare, acknowledging the “premiums have gotten too high.”

Clinton said she would address this by requiring enrolleees to pay no more than 8.5% of their income in premiums, compared with the 9.66% currently under Obamacare. Clinton also wants to improve the law’s outreach efforts, all part of her broader push to bring healthier individuals into the system.

Republicans go on offense over Obamacare

But Clinton, who has said she supports a public option with Obamacare, has been an unquestioned champion of the law, calling it “one of the great accomplishments not only of this president, but of the Democratic Party going back to Harry Truman.”

Clinton’s more centrist position on health care differed from her Democratic primary opponent, Bernie Sanders, who advocated a single-payer system he called “Medicare for all.”

But the former secretary of state did make a concession to Sanders and his supporters in July when she came out in favor of an expansion of taxpayer-provided insurance – a position she opposed during the primaries.


Clinton’s optimistic view of Obamacare is in stark contrast to Trump, who has vowed to repeal and replace a law he describes as a “disaster.” What hasn’t been clear is what the Republican nominee would like to replace it with. It will be, Trump said at the St. Louis debate earlier this month, “the finest health care plan there is.”

A seven-point plan released by his campaign in March provides some clues. In it, Trump outlined his support for a variety of traditional GOP polices, such as allowing insurers to sell policies across state lines and converting Medicaid into a state-run block grant.

The plan called for a complete repeal of Obamacare, even though Trump had said previously that he would retain some of the law’s provisions, like the one that requires insurers to cover people with pre-existing conditions.

CNN’s Tami Luhby contributed to this report.