President Donald Trump claimed he “saved pre-existing conditions” in a tweet, despite the fact his administration is currently fighting a legal battle to eliminate them.
The president made the dubious claim on Monday across two tweets responding to Democratic nominee and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who went after Trump in a series of ads about his record on health care.
Mini Mike Bloomberg is spending a lot of money on False Advertising. 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…..— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 13, 2020
….and, if Republicans win in court and take back the House of Represenatives, your healthcare, that I have now brought to the best place in many years, will become the best ever, by far. I will always protect your Pre-Existing Conditions, the Dems will not!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 13, 2020
But the president’s claim is not true. In fact, the historical record shows the opposite of what Trump’s tweets claim. As The New York Times reported, “His [Trump’s] first legislative priority as president was a bill that would have repealed key parts of Obamacare and weakened such protections.”
Americans with pre-existing conditions are currently protected from higher premiums or deductibles because of former President Barack Obama, who helped pass the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare. One crucial and at times contentious part of the ACA mandated that health insurance companies charge sick and healthy people the same premiums. That mandate enjoys widespread support from Americans but is currently being fought over in court.
Why? Because the Trump administration is fighting to repeal the law. The administration is trying to win a legal battle for a full repeal of the law, which would remove provisions that protect patients with pre-existing conditions. And the Trump administration’s alternatives that it’s supported — from short-term health insurance to the American Health Care Act — do not protect patients with pre-existing conditions from higher premiums.
Immediately after sending the tweet, politicians, journalists and pundits began slamming Trump for a “bald-faced lie.”
Come on. Your administration has been arguing in court to repeal protections for people with pre-existing conditions.— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) January 13, 2020
You're trying to take health care away from millions of people. The least you could do is be honest about it. https://t.co/T0XxHFgy44
The Trump administration is literally asking the federal courts to repeal protections for people with preexisting conditions.https://t.co/BjjPZDafny— Ian Millhiser (@imillhiser) January 13, 2020
This is a bald-faced lie.— Steve Vladeck (@steve_vladeck) January 13, 2020
Having changed its position, the Justice Department is now actively asking the federal courts to throw out the entire ACA—including, more than a little cynically, the (entirely constitutional) requirement that insurers cover pre-existing conditions. https://t.co/VvI6M6RuMQ
An obscene, Orwellian lie, and Dems need to actually make a stink about it rather than just count on fact checkers to do it for them. Otherwise, every other Republican will parrot the lie and the acquiescent media will report that views on who saved pre-ex protections differ. https://t.co/YMqlkpcoD0— Brian Beutler (@brianbeutler) January 13, 2020
Despite facing widespread backlash, Trump has not backed down from his claims. Instead, he pivoted on Twitter from health care to the alleged Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) feud, and tweets critical of the impeachment process and Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).