Health insurance premiums saw a huge spike in 2016, rising an average of 22 percent. Were these sky-high price increases a regular occurrence or a one-time course correction? Trump hopes it's the former, and that rising premiums will turn people against Obamacare.
He can try to make this hope a reality by not backing various support measures designed to bring down the costs borne by health insurers and passed onto consumers. The government's reinsurance program, put in place to help cover costs during the first few uncertain years of Obamacare, has recently expired. The AHCA proposed a similar assistance program, with a "$100 billion fund over nine years to help states cover a range of contingencies, including caring for the most expensive patients, lowering the premiums and out-of-pocket costs for people 50 to 64 years old and other health care related expenses."
Trump could help alleviate rising premiums by backing a measure similar to either of the above. Or he can let premiums run their own course, without government cost assistance, and hope they continue to go up.
Unfortunately for him, there's little to suggest that premiums will keep increasing. Most observers, including the CBO, lean toward the "course correction" attitude: Premium rates were set too low initially and this was a way for the market to catch up.
And truthfully, most people don't feel the impact of these rate increases. Despite the high average increase, the Kaiser Family Foundation reported that, thanks to government-provided subsidies, the rates consumers paid were effectively the same as the previous year.
If the CBO is correct and skyrocketing premiums were a one-time issue, and most people are shielded from increases anyway, this is much ado about nothing.