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Trump vows to scrap Obamacare as insurance costs set to jump 25 per cent

Clinton's campaign argued that Trump would 'throw 20 million people off their coverage and let the insurance companies write the rules again'. Photograph: (AFP)

Washington, DC, United States Oct 26, 2016, 06.02 AM (IST)

 With the premiums of Obama's signature healthcare plan set to hike, the US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump targeted the Democratic government, vowing to overturn the program. 

The health department's report announced that there could be an average 25 per cent jump in the insurance costs next year in the 38 American states with federally managed health care exchanges under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). 

Trump jumped at the opportunity to lash out at Obama's pet project, which allows millions of uninsured people to get health insurance with no limits based on "pre-existing conditions."

Republicans have repeatedly tried to overturn Obamacare. Trump said the health program must be "repealed and replaced with something much less expensive for the people", warning even bigger trouble ahead otherwise. 

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The White House fired back, saying most Americans are better off under the current healthcare system. Although Obama did acknowledge that more needs to be done to help those facing rising costs. 

"The vast majority of people who are purchasing health insurance through the marketplace will not see a significant increase in the amount that they pay for their health care, and that`s because the vast majority of people who are purchasing health insurance through the marketplace get tax credits that ensure that health care is affordable," White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters.

Clinton's campaign hit back at Trump, saying he wants to "rip up the ACA and reverse the progress we have made."

Trump would "throw 20 million people off their coverage and let the insurance companies write the rules again," campaign spokesperson Julie Wood said. "Hillary Clinton wants to build on the progress we've made and fix what's broken."

Without explaining where he got his numbers, Trump alleged that the government figures were incorrect and the costs could go up to 60 per cent. 

Other Republican leaders too argued that the system was "unsustainable". Arizona senator John McCain said, "Obamacare places an unfair financial burden on families and small businesses."

Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan compared Obama's healthcare program to ill-fated and now-discontinued Samsung phones that were catching fire.

"The president recently compared Obamacare to a Samsung Galaxy Note 7, and he's right: this disastrous law is blowing up. But at least you can return the phone," Ryan said in a statement. 

(WION with inputs from agencies)

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