Donald Trump falsely claimed on Monday that he “was the person who saved Pre-Existing Conditions in your Healthcare,” despite his well-documented push to eliminate the existing health care law barring insurance companies from denying coverage on that basis.
Trump made the claim while attacking Democratic presidential candidate and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
“I was the person who saved Pre-Existing Conditions in your Healthcare, you have it now, while at the same time winning the fight to rid you of the expensive, unfair and very unpopular Individual Mandate,” he tweeted, adding that if “Republicans win in court and take back the House of Represenatives [sic], your healthcare, that I have now brought to the best place in many years, will become the best ever, by far.”
Trump concluded by stating that he “will always protect your Pre-Existing Conditions, the Dems will not!”
This claim flies in the face of Trump’s own record since taking office.
Prior to the enactment of the Affordable Care Act in 2010, it was legal for insurance companies to discriminate against patients who had preexisting medical conditions, such as a history of high blood pressure or even being a woman.
Despite unanimous Republican opposition, a Democratic Congress later passed the ACA and Barack Obama signed it into law in March 2010. The law both banned discrimination based on preexisting conditions and included mandates to make that workable for insurance companies.
Trump fiercely opposed the bill and vowed vaguely to “repeal and replace [it] with something terrific” during the 2016 election. He said this would happen “Immediately. Fast. Quick” if he were elected.
In 2017, after taking office, Trump pushed the Republican-controlled Congress to pass his Trumpcare legislation to repeal Obamacare and replace it with something that would leave tens of millions uninsured. While the legislation required insurers to offer some form of insurance to those with preexisting conditions, it did not prevent discrimination against them and did not include any system to make such coverage affordable for patients or insurers.
The bill failed after a handful of Senate Republicans joined every Senate Democrat in voting no.
That same year, Trump told his supporters to “not worry” about his failed bid to replace the ACA. “ObamaCare will explode and we will all get together and piece together a great healthcare plan for THE PEOPLE,” he tweeted in March 2017.
Since then, Trump has tried other tactics to implode the ACA. Last March, he endorsed a lawsuit by Republican state officials aimed at eliminating every word of Obamacare and replacing it with nothing. He has embraced allowing states to sell junk health insurance plans that exclude people with pre-existing conditions.
In the meantime, by repeatedly working to undermine Obamacare’s mandates, Trump has hurt the system that makes the law work. Last May, Politifact ruled Trump’s claim that he would “always protect patients with preexisting conditions, very importantly” to be false, stating that his administration’s trajectory would do “exactly the opposite.”
Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-NJ) slammed Trump’s dishonesty on Monday, calling his latest statements an “Orwellian lie even for him.”
“Trump is in court right now trying to destroy protections for preexisting conditions,” the longtime lawmaker tweeted, adding that the Trump administration asked the Supreme Court just last week to delay action until after the 2020 election “so he doesn’t get blamed for stealing your care.”
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.