At last night’s State of the Union, President Trump claimed his next major priority would be “to protect patients with pre-existing conditions.” If these claims sound familiar, it’s because they are. Donald Trump has been repeating this lie throughout his presidency, even as he has been working to take away people’s pre-existing condition protections since day one of his administration. He supported multiple House and Senate repeal bills that would have ended such protections, is pushing junk plans that allow for insurance companies to discriminate against people with pre-existing conditions, and is arguing in court that pre-existing condition protections should be eliminated in a lawsuit Trump himself predicts would “terminate” the Affordable Care Act and its consumer protections.
The media has already called Trump out for his lies on this topic:
Vox: Don’t Believe Trump When He Says It’s A “Priority” To Protect Americans with Preexisting Conditions. “President Trump used his State of the Union address to lay out a seemingly straightforward health care agenda. He described two major priorities: to lower drug prices and ‘to protect patients with preexisting conditions.’ What Trump didn’t say: His administration thinks the Affordable Care Act’s protections for preexisting conditions are illegal and ought to be ruled unconstitutional.” [Vox, 2/5/19]
NBC News Fact Check Of Trump Claim That He Supports People With Pre-existing Conditions: “This Is False.” “‘We totally support people with pre-existing conditions,’ Trump said at the White House last week. This is false. The Trump administration is backing a Republican-led lawsuit that claims Obamacare’s protections for pre-existing conditions are illegal. If the suit succeeds, insurers would be able to start denying coverage to those people. The White House has not proposed alternative legislation that would offer those with pre-existing conditions the protections Obamacare gives consumers.” [NBC News, 10/23/18]
New York Times Fact Check: Trump Claims To Protect Pre-existing Health Conditions. That’s Not What The Government Says. “At a campaign rally in Las Vegas, President Trump said that he and Republicans “will protect patients with pre-existing conditions.” But his Justice Department has said that those provisions under the Affordable Care Act should be overturned.” [New York Times, 10/21/18]
Washington Post Editorial: “It’s The Height Of Free-Lunch Irresponsibility For Republicans To Suggest That Consumers Could Have Mandatory Coverage For Preexisting Conditions Otherwise.” “It’s the height of free-lunch irresponsibility for Republicans to suggest that consumers could have mandatory coverage for preexisting conditions otherwise. It was already the height of hypocrisy for them to render Obamacare’s individual market less stable — then pledge to keep the part of it everyone likes. As the saying goes, though, hypocrisy is the compliment vice pays to virtue.” [Washington Post, 10/22/18]
Time Magazine on Trump’s Pre-existing Conditions Statements: “To Say That These Claims Are Fantastical Is Almost An Understatement.” “In recent days, Trump has responded by making two bold pronouncements that have little grounding in the facts: that Republicans will protect people with pre-existing conditions, and that he is working on a big middle-class tax cut that will be voted on soon. ‘We’re going to be putting in a 10 percent tax cut for middle-income families. It’s going to be put in next week,’ he told attendees at an Oct. 22 rally in Houston. ‘We’ve been working on it for a few months, a 10 percent brand-new — and that is in addition to the big tax cuts that you’ve already gotten.’ To say that these claims are fantastical is almost an understatement…In both cases, Trump is essentially admitting that his approach on two signature issues was not popular and may end up costing some Republican lawmakers their jobs in the midterms.” [Time, 10/24/18]
Bloomberg: “In The Real World, President Donald Trump’s Justice Department Is Arguing In Court That The Affordable Care Act’s Protections For Pre-existing Medical Conditions Are Unconstitutional And Should Be Nullified.” “In the real world, President Donald Trump’s Justice Department is arguing in court that the Affordable Care Act’s protections for pre-existing medical conditions are unconstitutional and should be nullified. On top of that, his administration explicitly supported a bill passed by House Republicans that would have weakened those protections…That gets at the heart of Republicans’ dilemma: It’s one thing to promise an end to Obamacare’s burdensome regulations while vowing to lower premiums and maintain patient protections. But it’s actually a phenomenally difficult policy problem, and the GOP hasn’t offered a proposal that solves it.” [Bloomberg, 10/19/18]