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FACT CHECKS: Trump Lies About Protecting People with Pre-Existing Conditions While Trying to Destroy the ACA in Court

By September 16, 2020No Comments

Last night at an ABC News town hall, President Trump was confronted by Ellesia Blaque — a voter with a pre-existing condition — and lied to her face, claiming that he and his administration are “not going to hurt pre-existing conditions.” Blaque told CNN that she left the event “fuming” because “he didn’t answer” her question about pre-existing conditions. CNN called his answer “a complete reversal of reality.” 

Here’s the truth: one week after the election, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in California v. Texas — a lawsuit brought by the Trump administration to terminate the Affordable Care Act. If successful, Trump’s lawsuit would rip away health care from more than 23 million Americans, end protections for more than 135 million people with pre-existing conditions and throw the entire American health care system into chaos as the nation continues to face the ever-worsening coronavirus pandemic. 

Washington Post: Trump’s ABC News Town Hall: Four Pinocchios, Over and Over Again. Four Pinocchios again! Trump regularly, but falsely, claims that he and the Republicans would keep provisions in the Affordable Care Act that protect people with preexisting health conditions. But the House and Senate GOP plans backed by Trump likely would have resulted in higher costs for people with preexisting conditions in some states, according to the Congressional Budget Office. The Trump administration also refused to defend the Affordable Care Act against a lawsuit that would end protection for preexisting conditions, putting the entire law at risk, and later asked the Supreme Court to strike down the entire act, actively seeking to end the guarantee for patients with preexisting conditions. The Trump administration, meanwhile, has issued new rules that promote the use of low-quality, short-term plans that were prohibited under the ACA. These plans typically don’t have the same protections for people with existing health conditions, allowing insurance companies to deny coverage or charge higher prices.” [Washington Post, 9/15/20

New York Times: Fact Check: Trump Repeated Inaccurate Claims About the Coronavirus, Protests, and His Own Record at His Town Hall. “The president falsely claimed ‘we’re not going to hurt pre-existing conditions’ while Democrats ‘will get rid of pre-existing conditions.’ His administration has asked the Supreme Court to strike down the health care law that includes protections for patients with pre-existing conditions, and in 2017 unsuccessfully tried to repeal it. Democrats and their nominee, Joseph R. Biden Jr., have consistently aimed to uphold that law.” [New York Times, 9/16/20

CNN: Fact Check: Trump Made at Least 20 False or Misleading Claims at ABC Town Hall. “Trump claimed that he would be ‘doing a health care plan’ that would ‘protect people with pre-existing conditions.’ He then said of the Democrats, ‘They will not do that.’ Facts First: This is a complete reversal of reality. Democrats created these protections for people with pre-existing conditions, in Obamacare; Biden was vice president at the time, and he is running on a promise to preserve and strengthen the law. Trump, conversely, has repeatedly tried to get bills passed that would have weakened the protections — and, as Stephanopoulos pointed out, is currently in court trying to get the entirety of Obamacare overturned. Trump insisted to Stephanopoulos that he would put forward a ‘new health care’ plan that would protect people. But he has never unveiled any plan that would offer protections equivalent to the ones in Obamacare — and, regardless, his claim about Democrats is absurd.” [CNN, 9/16/20

ABC News: “Trump Is Suing to Dismantle the Affordable Care Act, Which Guarantees Coverage for Preexisting Conditions, and Has Not Proposed An Alternative.” “While Trump and Republicans have repeatedly insisted on protecting preexisting conditions, the Trump administration is currently in court seeking to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, which guarantees coverage for Americans with preexisting medical conditions. Republicans, urged on by Trump, sought to repeal the Affordable Care Act in 2017, falling several votes short in the Senate. They sought to replace the program with an alternative that included multiple options, which experts said offered skimpier preexisting condition protections than Obamacare. These short-term and association health plans, alternatives promoted by the Trump administration, while cheaper, have fewer benefits for consumers, including weaker preexisting condition protections. Trump has also repeatedly promised his own health care proposal that has failed to materialize; in June of 2019, he told Stephanopoulos it would be unveiled within two months, and said as recently as last month that it would be released in ‘two weeks.’ Trump again claimed the health care plan was forthcoming — but offered no specific details or timeline.” [ABC News, 9/15/20