In President Donald Trump’s Feb. 5 State of the Union address, Trump said his plan for healthcare in the U.S. was to lower drug prices and protect people with pre-existing conditions.
However, in accordance with his track record, Trump was lying about wanting to protect people with pre-existing conditions. In June, the Trump administration filed a brief to declare the Affordable Care Act’s protections for pre-existing conditions unconstitutional.
The Trump administration filed the brief on part of a lawsuit by 20 state attorney generals that claimed the ACA was unconstitutional because Congress repealed the individual mandate, which, according to them, makes everything else unconstitutional.
On Dec. 14, a federal judge in Texas ruled in favor of the ACA being unconstitutional, which Trump said in a tweet was “Great news for America!”
Should a higher court affirm this decision, all protections the ACA provides would be stolen from people, the most important of which is the law’s ban on pre-existing conditions. Insurers could again prey on the misfortune of the sick and dying.
Before the institution of the ACA, insurance companies either refused to cover people with pre-existing conditions or charged them much higher premiums. In some cases they would charge people the higher rate, but refuse to cover the condition, or the company would put a cap on the amount of coverage someone could get, which often ran out quickly.
Some examples of pre-existing conditions include cancer, which nearly 1 in 3 people in the U.S. will get in their lifetime; diabetes, which over 100 million Americans live with; and HIV, which more than 1.1 million people in the U.S. live with.
While all of Trump’s lies are harmful, this lie about pre-existing conditions is even more so. His claims of protection are in direct opposition to his administration harming millions of Americans by stripping them of their protections like a thief in the night.