U.S. Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump poses for photos during the opening and ribbon cutting ceremony of Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C., the United States on Oct. 26, 2016. (Xinhua/Yin Bogu)
By Matthew Rusling
WASHINGTON, Oct. 27 (Xinhua) -- Two weeks before the Election Day, U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is bashing President Barack Obama's controversial healthcare overhaul, but experts say this may not impact the upcoming election.
"Obamacare is just blowing up," Trump said Tuesday at a rally, going on a tirade against Obama's landmark yet controversial healthcare law, after it was announced that Obamacare premiums will rise by around 25 percent next year.
The tactic is a bid to cast doubt on rival Hillary Clinton's health care plans, as she said she would continue to implement Obamacare, as the healthcare revamp is known, rather than repeal and replace it as Trump plans to do if elected.
Still, most U.S. voters have already made up their minds about which candidate they will vote for, and Trump's hammering of Obama's healthcare law may not do much to impact the outcome of the elections, experts said.
"It is bad timing for Obamacare rates to go up right before an election. Republicans will use that in races all around the country. But it is not clear that this will help Trump. He is not very adept at using negative information to criticize Clinton," Darrell West, vice president and director of governance studies of the Brookings Institution, told Xinhua.
Surprisingly, there has been little attention to Obamacare in the last few months of this campaign, West noted.
"If it were a bigger issue in the campaign, it would have more potential to help Trump with moderates. But since he hasn't devoted much time to that issue, it is not likely to alter the overall direction of the campaign," West said.
Republicans talk about replacing Obamacare, but they never have revealed what their alternative looks like. This makes it more difficult for them to persuade voters that they have a viable alternative to Obamacare, he added.
Dan Mahaffee, an analyst with the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress, told Xinhua the growing cost of healthcare premiums reflects some of the weaknesses in the original Obamacare law, as well as the difficulties in full implementation in the face of Republican opposition at the state level as well as in Congress.
However, given that the legislation ensures that the American people have access to health care, even if there are pre-existing health conditions or part time employment, it remains very popular.
In the absence of a coherent plan to replace the Obamacare, many Americans may decide that a "less affordable" health care act is still better than the unknown, as there is confusion about what exactly the Trump plan is, Mahaffee said.
Trump's alternative is described in great detail on his website, and many could consider it a well-crafted alternative, but that has not been communicated well on the campaign trail or through the debates, he noted.
"Moderate voters may feel the sticker shock of the price of their healthcare premiums, but the failure to communicate the alternative to the voters limits the upside of (Trump) pushing against Obamacare," Mahaffee said.
Julian Zelizer, professor of history and public affairs at Princeton University, said that with two weeks left until Americans head to the polls, Trump's new focus on Obamacare may not help him much.
"It might mitigate some of the damage that his campaign can do down ballot (in races other than the presidential one), but I think that he consumes so much attention and creates so much controversy, that it won't be as powerful as it would have been in any other presidential campaign, Zelizer said, referring to Trump's penchant for creating controversy.
WASHINGTON, Oct. 26 (Xinhua) -- The recent dip of U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump in the polls has sparked a new round of confrontation between the real estate mogul and his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton, as they wrangled over a group of issues such as Obamacare and poll performances.
With the clock ticking toward Election Day, both candidates are focusing on a handful of key battleground states they hope will turn the tide.Full Story