ICYMI: Fact Checking Trump’s Desperate Health Care Lies

LANSING–– After Donald Trump yet again lied about his health care record and his attacks on protections for pre-existing conditions, news outlets held him accountable for his desperate spin. Here’s what they’re saying:

The Associated Press: Fact check: No, Trump didn’t save preexisting conditions

By Hope Yen
January 13, 2020

Key Points:

  • THE FACTS: People with preexisting medical problems have health insurance protections because of President Barack Obama’s health care law, which Trump is trying to dismantle. One of Trump’s major alternatives to Obama’s law – short-term health insurance, already in place – doesn’t have to cover preexisting conditions. Another major alternative is association health plans, which are oriented to small businesses and sole proprietors and do cover preexisting conditions. Neither of the two alternatives appears to have made much difference in the market.
  • Meanwhile, Trump’s administration has been pressing in court for full repeal of the Obama-era law, including provisions that protect people with preexisting conditions from health insurance discrimination.
  • THE FACTS: Trump and other Republicans say they’ll have a plan to preserve protections for people with preexisting conditions. The White House has provided no details.

The Washington Post: Trump’s traffic jam of false claims on preexisting conditions

By Glenn Kessler
January 13, 2020

Key Points:

  • Nearly 70 times through Dec. 10, President Trump has falsely claimed he has sought to protect patients with preexisting conditions through his various efforts to eliminate the Affordable Care Act, according to our database of Trump’s false or misleading claims. But these tweets are really something — a virtual traffic jam of false claims.
  • Trump supported House and Senate bills that would have weakened those protections by allowing states to seek waivers from the law and consider a person’s health status when writing policies in the individual market. The theory was that removing sicker people from the markets and allowing policies with skimpier options would result in lower overall premiums. But the Congressional Budget Office concluded that states that took advantage of these provisions could perversely end up blowing up their insurance markets, leaving people with preexisting conditions with spiraling costs.
  • Moreover, the Trump administration 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.
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