(Breitbart) – CLAIM: President Donald Trump wants to cancel health insurance coverage for people with pre-existing conditions.
VERDICT: False. Trump supports repealing Obamacare but has always backed coverage for pre-existing conditions.
CNN moderator Abby Phillip stated several false or contested claims as facts at the Democrat debate on Tuesday night. One was the claim that President Trump wants to end health insurance coverage for pre-existing conditions, simply because the president also supports a court challenge to Obamacare. In fact, while repealing the individual mandate of Obamacare, and backing a full “repeal and replace,” Trump has always insisted on covering people with pre-existing health conditions.
In his first address to Congress in 2017, Trump declared that his “first” principle in repealing and replacing Obamacare would be that “we should ensure that Americans with preexisting conditions have access to coverage.” Later that year, Republicans in the House of Representatives passed a Trump-backed bill to repeal and replace Obamacare, the American Health Care Act (AHCA), which included additional spending to protect Americans with pre-existing health conditions.
In 2019, Trump again promised in the State of the Union address “to protect patients with pre-existing conditions.” And he repeated that promise again earlier this month in a speech in Toledo, Ohio. The president backs a court challenge to the existing Obamacare system because he believes it will create political momentum for a better Republican alternative.
Some Republicans have also introduced legislation to protect pre-existing conditions in the event that the courts throw out Obamacare — which many conservatives believe was unconstitutional on the day it was signed into law. Given support from his party for extending such coverage, and his own promises, there is no way Abby Phillip’s contention can be stated as fact.
Flashback: Donald Trump Announces Revolutionary Healthcare Transparency Rules
President Donald Trump announced a new rule requiring hospitals to publish their prices for services publicly, allowing customers to make more informed choices.
“For decades, hospitals, insurance companies, lobbyists, and special interests have hidden prices from consumers so they could drive up costs for you,” Trump said. “And you had no idea what was happening. You’d get bills that were unbelievable and you have no idea why.”
The finalized price transparency rule, implemented in January 2021, requires hospitals to disclose negotiated rates with insurance companies.
The president cited incidents of patients being charged exorbitantly high prices for MRIs and having a baby, even charging outrageous prices for a simple blood test.
“We’re stopping American patients from just getting, pure and simple — two words, very simple words: ripped off,” Trump said. “Because they’ve been ripped off for years.”
The president also announced a proposed rule requiring insurers to tell patients their expected costs prior to the services.
Trump welcomed Dr. Art Laffer to the White House event to talk about the significance of the new rule.
“This is the biggest revolution I’ve seen in generations,” Laffer said. “As opposed to most revolutions, this revolution saves lives; it doesn’t cost lives.”
Laffer said that the health industry was in need of transparency reform, allowing patients to get better service.
The president’s effort to repeal and replace Obamacare was successfully blocked despite Republicans having a majority in the House of Representatives in the first two years of his term. But Trump has worked within the system to make important regulatory reforms to make the cost of health care more transparent.
Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar praised the president’s actions.
“The changes you described, what we’re doing at HHS, will be revolutionary to our healthcare system — perhaps the biggest single change that President Trump has made to Americans’ healthcare experience,” he said.
Video: Trump delivers remarks on transparency in healthcare prices