The politics of ACA rate hikes will be 2016 in reverse

Protester holds sign saying "ACA Saves Lives"
Demonstrators at a pro-ACA rally in New York in July. Photo: Albin Lohr-Jones/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

We are about to see a replay of the 2016 election fight over premium increases, but this time in reverse. Last time, it was the Republicans hammering Democrats for the rate hikes. This time, it will be Democrats accusing Republicans of driving up premiums by sabotaging the Affordable Care Act.

What to watch: It's going to be a balancing act for the Democrats. They can (and will) score political points by blaming Republicans for the coming premium increases, but another campaign debate about rising premiums could also undermine the ACA by focusing on its continuing problems.