Oct. 14--Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton's frank criticism of the Affordable Care Act entered the presidential race Thursday evening.
Dayton, a Democrat who supported the bill known as Obamacare, responded to news of skyrocketing insurance premiums on Minnesota's individual market by acknowledging its shortcomings.
"Ultimately ... the reality is the Affordable Care Act is no longer affordable for an increasing number of people," Dayton said Wednesday.
The governor also said the act had had successes, such as significantly reducing the number of people without health coverage.
On Thursday afternoon, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump cited Dayton's comments in a Twitter post calling the Affordable Care Act "a disaster":
Dem Gov. of MN. just announced that the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) is no longer affordable. I've been saying this for years- disaster!
-- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 13, 2016
As of 10 p.m. Thursday, more than 23,000 people had liked Trump's tweet, sent to his 12 million followers.
The New York businessman also mentioned Dayton's remark during his Thursday speech in Cincinnati.
Trump has promised to repeal the Affordable Care Act and "replace it with something terrific."
But Dayton's critique of Obamacare doesn't mean he wants to get rid of the act, as Trump does. Instead, Dayton wants Congress to tweak the law to make it more affordable for Americans facing high premiums. The governor plans to propose state-level changes as well.
The price increases in Minnesota, among the highest in the nation, are generally blamed on too many sick people and too few healthy people in the state's individual market, which covers about 5 percent of Minnesotans. A major insurer, Blue Cross Blue Shield, exacerbated the situation this year by withdrawing from the marketplace.
Trump isn't the only Republican to cite Dayton's quote as a way to attack the health care law. Minnesota Republicans also took the opportunity to criticize Dayton and the DFL for enacting the Affordable Care Act in 2013.
"I stand by everything I said," Dayton noted during a Thursday news conference where he said Republicans in Washington are solely focused on repealing the health care law rather than improving it.
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