Rep. Joe Kennedy III (D-Mass.) took to Twitter on Wednesday to fire back at a USA Today op-ed from President Donald Trump.
Specifically, Kennedy took issue with a paragraph in which Trump claimed he had protected patients with pre-existing conditions and lowered insurance premiums.
“As a candidate, I promised that we would protect coverage for patients with pre-existing conditions and create new health care insurance options that would lower premiums. I have kept that promise,” read a quote from Trump’s op-ed.
In his response, Kennedy laid out four key points where he says Trump is lying about the administration’s efforts on health care:
Let’s count the ways this is a lie:
⁃You tried to take health care from 30 million Americans
⁃When you failed, you made it more expensive for everyone
⁃Your Admin is in court trying to gut preexisting conditions
⁃Your junk plans are scams targeting sick patients https://t.co/wBoMbu63SQ
— Rep. Joe Kennedy III (@RepJoeKennedy) October 10, 2018
“You tried to take health care from 30 million Americans,” Kennedy wrote of the failed American Health Care Act. “When you failed, you made it more expensive for everyone.”
While the AHCA did fail, Republicans were successful in repealing the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate through their 2017 tax legislation. An estimate from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office found that, “Average premiums in the nongroup market would increase by about 10 percent in most years of the decade … relative to CBO’s baseline projections.”
“Your admin is in court trying to gut preexisting conditions,” Kennedy added. “Your junk plans are scams targeting sick patients.”
In July, Trump’s Justice Department declined to defend key provisions of the Affordable Care Act in court. Those provisions included one that prevented insurers from charging more for patients who suffered from pre-existing conditions.
The Trump administration has also been criticized for allowing the sale of certain low-cost health insurance plans that offer subpar or minimal coverage. Critics have dubbed those plans “junk,” and have argued that while appealing to healthy individuals, they can hurt customers when they need coverage most.
“This may sound good to some people, particularly those who are — for now – healthy,” wrote Andy Slavitt, former acting administrator for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, in a March op-ed. “But we know from decades of experience prior to the ACA that these junk insurance policies have other consequences that are very predictable and very negative.”