Washington, DC — This afternoon, President Trump is holding a seniors roundtable event at the White House in response to his declining poll numbers with older Americans. As detailed in Protect Our Care’s “Seniors At Risk” report, President Trump’s failed response to the coronavirus and overall sabotage of Americans’ health care has meant seniors have experienced disproportionate impacts from the pandemic and Trump’s threats to Medicare, Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act have threatened seniors’ health across the board. Ahead of today’s roundtable, Protect Our Care Executive Director Brad Woodhouse issued the following statement:
“The only reason Donald Trump is holding this event today is because he is losing the support of America’s seniors who are worried about their health care and know that President Trump has left them behind. President Trump’s ongoing war on health care coupled with his disastrous coronavirus response has put seniors’ lives in danger. Even before the pandemic began, the Trump administration and their Republican allies’ relentless attacks on the Affordable Care Act, Medicaid and Medicare have hurt American seniors. With seniors bearing the brunt of this botched response to the coronavirus, it’s plain to see why they are no longer supporting the re-election of this disastrous president.”
Top Ways Trump Has Sabotaged Seniors’ Health Care
- Trump Is Backing A Lawsuit That Would Overturn The ACA, Which Would Cause Seniors To Pay More For Insurance And Prescription Drugs. Perhaps the most imminent threat to seniors’ health care, Trump’s lawsuit seeking to overturn the ACA would rip away coverage from 20 million people nationwide and eliminate protections for 135 million people with pre-existing conditions overnight. The lawsuit would also terminate Medicaid expansion and force people over the age of 50 to face a $4,000 “age tax” and to pay more for prescription drugs.
- Trump Is Refusing To Open A Special Enrollment Period, Which Could Help Seniors Get The Health Care They Need. Despite calls from health insurers, lawmakers, and AARP, President Trump has refused to open a Special Enrollment Period (SEP) to help the uninsured obtain coverage. Research confirms that between 1.8 and 2.4 million people would likely gain coverage if Trump opened a special enrollment period. Per the New York Times: “…the administration has also hampered some of its own efforts to appeal to older voters. Mr. Trump recently rejected an expanded enrollment period for the newly uninsured, for instance.”
- Trump Has Repeatedly Called For Medicare Cuts. Ahead of the pandemic, Trump made it clear he remained open to slashing benefits for vital programs like Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security during an interview with CNBC at the World Economic Forum. Trump has repeatedly proposed steep budget cuts to the program to help pay for his tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans.
- Trump Has Waged A War On Medicaid, Threatening Care For Seniors In Nursing Homes And Long-Term Care Facilities And The Economic Stability Of Families. Trump has spent his presidency sabotaging the Medicaid program, which has particularly devastating consequences for older adults. Between imposing strict paperwork requirements for enrollment and proposing steep budget cuts, Trump’s policies have done nothing but shrink enrollment. More than 15 million American seniors and older adults rely on Medicaid for coverage.
- Trump Refuses To Allow Medicare To Negotiate For Lower Drug Prices. As the cost of prescription drugs skyrocket, President Trump and his Republican allies in Congress refuse to allow Medicare to negotiate for lower prescription drug prices. Seniors often live on fixed incomes, and the high cost of drugs can make accessing essential medications out of reach. Nearly 9 in 10 Americans support allowing Medicare to negotiate for lower drug costs for seniors. Despite numerous campaign promises, the Trump administration opposes House Democrats’ plan to allow negotiation and other important measures lower drug costs for seniors.