Trump Promised to Protect People With Pre-Existing Conditions – He’s Already Changed His Mind

Although Donald Trump’s presidential campaign was full of attacks on the Affordable Care Act, one thing Trump did promise was to “keep pre-existing conditions” in his version of health care reform because he feels it was necessary to have. Now his administration is walking back on that promise in a major way.

To the approximately 27 percent of Americans under 65 who have a pre-existing condition, Trump’s initial promise was a relief. Prior to the ACA, they often found it cost-prohibitive if not impossible to obtain health insurance because private companies didn’t want to take on the additional costs of people with known health problems. Even if the ACA were to disappear under Republican control, at least a promise to maintain pre-existing condition care would keep their options open.

So why then, as Gizmodo reports, is Trump’s Department of Justice now arguing in court that the ACA’s pre-existing condition provisions are unconstitutional? If that argument proves successful, you can pretty much guarantee that millions will swiftly be denied coverage.

Lest you think Trump simply has no clue what’s going on in this matter, Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a letter declaring that he had the blessing of the president to fight against pre-existing condition coverage in court.

Trump breaking promises is hardly surprising, but that doesn’t make the DOJ’s decision to join 20 conservative-led states on this lawsuit any more logical. For starters, it’s pretty rare for the DOJ (under any party’s control) to come out against an existing U.S. law since it’s generally in the business of trying to defend the law’s constitutionality. Moreover, even a strong majority of Republicans – even those spooked by the word Obamacare – want to see protections for people with pre-existing conditions kept in place.

The government’s main point of contention in this case is that it’s no longer fair to make insurance companies cover people with pre-existing conditions now that the individual mandate requiring all Americans to buy into the health insurance pool is gone. As you may recall, it was the GOP who created this situation by doing away with the individual mandate as part of its larger tax reform legislation.

Defenders of Obamacare view this move by the Republicans as just the latest in a plot to undermine the monumental legislation however they can since they lack the necessary votes in Congress to repeal it officially. California Attorney General Xavier Becerra called the lawsuit a “dubious legal claim with the sole goal of stripping Americans of their healthcare.”

Becerra doesn’t appear to be the only one who considers the DOJ’s stance on this issue’s supposed unconstitutionality “dubious”: just before the DOJ’s brief went live, three longtime attorneys for the department abruptly quit, signaling a disagreement with either the policy or the legal argument itself.

Ultimately, we’ll all have to wait to see where the court sides on the argument, which is little comfort to the 130 million people with pre-existing conditions who could soon find themselves in a world of financial trouble. Shame on the Republican Party and the president who pretended to have a heart on this issue for attempting to screw over some of this country’s most vulnerable people.

Photo credit: Thinkstock

56 comments

Amanda M
Amanda M10 hours ago

My younger daughter was born with a heart valve defect (pulmonary valve stenosis) that required surgery to correct when she was 18 months old. That means that, should Twitler and his minions manage to remove the protections for people with pre-existing conditions from the ACA, that she can be denied coverage by insurers for something that she was BORN with and is NOT HER FAULT. She's able to live a normal life, but still requires visits to her cardiologist every so often to make sure that the valve is keeping up with her growing up. That means that, should she be denied coverage down the road, that she could have her health get worse because she couldn't afford health insurance or doctor's visits or even more surgery if she needed it because of having a pre-existing condition. If she dies down the road because Twitler and his minions get this coverage yanked, I WILL sue them for her wrongful death!

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Eric Lees
Eric Lees3 days ago

@Susanne R

"Lee: Obama promised and succeeded in securing healthcare for all. The GOP did everything in its power to block his efforts every step of the way. People were signing up, and the majority were happy with it. People are still signing up and many more want to; unfortunately, trump has had sign-up information removed from the government website, so many people are struggling to get the information they need."

I assume you are replying to my comment. Yes it has helped some people, I've never claimed otherwise. My point was it is not a sustainable solution to our healthcare mess and everyone knew that.

We should all be able to agree that we still need real healthcare reform as this is not sustainable. Don't get me wrong, Obamacare did not create the mess as this has been a crisis in the making for decades.

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Eric Lees
Eric Lees3 days ago

@Mike Kelly

"Eric Lees is stuck in replay. Same droning, false-equivalency blurb, regardless of the topic. "Democrats did it. Both parties are the same."

Nice try there comrade Lees. Maybe your handlers will allow you to read a newspaper or watch the news someday so that you'll sound a bit less like a whiny, petulant child who didn't get his lolly pop. "

Wow Mike I knew you have partisan blinders but your really showing your true colors now. Your ignorance does not change the facts. Insulting me fro pointing out the truth shows you can't debate me on the facts.

Thanks for showing everyone what a fool you are.

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Joan E
Joan E4 days ago

Does he change his mind because he has examined the facts and has found a better solution to help the people of the United States, or does he change his mind because he doesn't care if he screws us qnd lets us die because of pre-existing conditions, and he is being paid off to do it? Or is it simply that he has the mind of a 2 year old?

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Susanne R
Susanne R5 days ago

@Karen H: Wow! I think it would have taken less time to list the conditions that are not considered "pre-existing." Many of the conditions they determined to be "pre-existing" seem a bit hypocritical to me. What got my attention first was "pregnancy." I'm assuming they would cover the pregnancy if the pregnancy occurred after the policy was issued. But when you think about how difficult the GOP has made it for women to obtain birth control or access to safe, legal abortions, what do they expect? Unplanned pregnancies are going to occur, and an uninsured woman who finds herself in that situation won't be able to obtain insurance coverage for pre-natal care or for the safe delivery of her child. What does that mean for the woman and the child? Does she have her baby at home? What if her labor and delivery develop complications? Would an ambulance service question her on her health insurance status before getting her to a hospital? There are too many unanswered questions and too many possibilities for tragic endings.

Thank you for providing that information!

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Clare O'Beara
Clare O5 days ago

th

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Belinda Lang
Belinda Lang5 days ago

Believe or not even a C-section can be considered a pre-existing condition.

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Dr. Jan Hill
Dr. Jan H5 days ago

noted

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Janis K
Janis K5 days ago

Vote the GOP out, today is the primary in NV.

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Karen H
Karen H5 days ago

FYI - "pre-existing conditions" include (but are not limited to): AIDS/HIV, acid reflux, acne, ADD, addiction, Alzheimer's/dementia, anemia, aneurysm, angioplasty, anorexia, anxiety, arrhythmia, arthritis, asthma, atrial fibrillation, autism, bariatric surgery, basal cell carcinoma, bipolar disorder, blood clot, breast cancer, bulimia, bypass surgery, celiac disease, cerebral aneurysm, cerebral embolism, cerebral palsy, cerebral thrombosis, cervical cancer, colon cancer, colon polyps, congestive heart failure, COPD, Crohn's disease, cystic fibrosis, DMD, depression, diabetes, disabilities, Down syndrome, eating disorder, enlarged prostate, epilepsy, glaucoma, gout, heart disease, heart murmur, heartburn, hemophilia, hepatitis C, herpes, high cholesterol, hypertension, hysterectomy, kidney disease, kidney stones, kidney transplant, leukemia, lung cancer, lupus, lymphoma, mental health issues, migraines, MS, muscular dystrophy, narcolepsy, nasal polyps, obesity, OCD, organ transplant, osteoporosis, pacemaker, panic disorder, paralysis, paraplegia, Parkinson's disease, pregnancy, restless leg syndrome, schizophrenia, seasonal affective disorder, seizures, sickle cell disease, skin cancer, sleep apnea, sleep disorders, stent, stroke, thyroid issues, tooth disease, tuberculosis, ulcers.

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