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White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany

Photo by Gage Skidmore/ CC BY-SA 2.0

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany lied about Donald Trump's stance on preexisting conditions in her speech at the Republican National Convention Wednesday.

Trump "stands with people with preexisting conditions," McEnany claimed.

That is false.

In reality, Trump has tried multiple times to repeal or sabotage the Affordable Care Act — former President Barack Obama's signature health care law that prohibited insurance companies from denying insurance coverage to or charging more for people with preexisting conditions, among other things.

The Trump administration has joined a lawsuit from Republican attorneys general seeking to strike down the ACA as unconstitutional — a move that could cost millions their health insurance and could leave those with preexisting conditions facing higher insurance costs or the inability to obtain insurance altogether. That challenge is currently before the Supreme Court.

In 2017, when Trump had both a Republican House and Senate, he tried to repeal Obamacare and replace it with "something terrific."

However, the GOP proposals would have led tens of millions to lose their health insurance coverage, or would have raised costs for those with preexisting conditions. The repeal effort ultimately failed, and Republicans all but gave up on their repeal effort as they could never come up with a popular enough replacement.

Trump also signed an executive order in October 2017 that would allow insurance companies to sell junk plans that don't cover all of the services guaranteed by the ACA — which could lead to increased costs for people with preexisting conditions. And he's tried to sabotage sign ups for Obamacare plans, slashing the advertising budget meant to inform Americans about how to obtain coverage through marketplaces.

Meanwhile, despite frequently pledging to release a new health care plan that would be better than the ACA — better known as Obamacare — Trump has yet to make good on that promise in the more than three years he's been commander in chief.

Trump has promised to release a replacement plan at least five times in 2020 alone, always saying that his plan is going to be released in two weeks. Those two weeks always come and go without a new plan.

Facing criticism for his health care actions, Trump said he was going to sign an executive order demanding insurance companies cover preexisting conditions. As with many of his promises, Trump claimed he would sign that order "over the next two weeks."

However, such action would be useless, as Obamacare has offered coverage and protections for those with preexisting conditions since it was signed into law more than 10 years ago.

Ultimately, McEnany was just pushing a lie about preexisting conditions Trump has made numerous times.

On Monday, Trump lied about his efforts on preexisting conditions, falsely claiming that he and Republicans are protecting people who have medical conditions from being discriminated against by health insurance companies — even though he's done the exact opposite.

"We protected your preexisting conditions, very strongly protected. And you don't hear that, but we strongly protected your preexisting conditions," Trump said Monday morning during his first of numerous speeches at the Republican National Convention. "So we got rid of the horrible individual mandate, which cost everybody a fortune and we strongly protect — every Republican is sworn to protecting your preexisting conditions. It's very important. You will not hear that. You won't hear that from the fake news."

8-24-20 preexisting conditions from Shareblue Media on Vimeo

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.


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