GOP leaders hide after new Trump attack on pre-existing conditions


Republican leaders like Kevin McCarthy and Mitch McConnell can't be bothered to stand up to Trump's unrelenting attacks on the health care system.

Republican leaders are staying silent as Trump's legal team unleashes a new attack on health care protections for people with pre-existing conditions — protections that Republicans have repeatedly, and falsely, claimed they would protect.

In a Monday court filing, Trump's Department of Justice changed its legal position and is now asking federal courts to strike down the entire Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare.

The ACA enshrined health care protections for people with pre-existing conditions into law, ensuring health insurance companies could not discriminate against those people or charge them more for their health care.

Surveys and polls show that pre-existing condition protections are one of the most popular parts of the law.

That's one reason why Republicans in Congress cynically swore they would keep protecting people with pre-existing conditions — even as they repeatedly tried to rip away those protections from millions of Americans.

Throughout 2017, the GOP-led Congress desperately tried to weaken the ACA and take away protections from from 52 million Americans with pre-existing conditions.

What Republicans failed to do in Congress, Trump is now trying to accomplish in the courts.

Thus far, the only response to this from top Republicans like House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is silence.

At a Tuesday press conference, McCarthy refused to say anything, telling reporters to call his office for a comment. At the same press conference, Rep. Steve Stivers (R-OH), former head of the NRCC, told reporters he won't comment either.

GOP leaders have expressed no concern for cancer patients who could lose health care, or asthma patients who may have to pay hundreds or thousands of dollars more every year for their health care.

In the final weeks of the 2018 midterm election, Republicans repeatedly lied to voters about their commitment to protect the health care of people with pre-existing conditions.

In late October 2018, Trump even had the audacity to say, "Republicans will totally protect people with Pre-Existing Conditions, Democrats will not! Vote Republican."

Trump's lies were exposed in Monday's court filing. And Republicans once again proved that they don't care if Americans go broke or die because they lack health insurance.

Democrats, on the other hand, immediately sounded the alarm when news of Trump's scheme broke.

"If the Trump Administration has its way, protections for patients with pre-existing conditions will end, premiums will skyrocket, and tens of millions of people ... will see their coverage taken away," Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), top Democrat on the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, said in a statement.

Trump and his Republican colleagues "are obsessed with taking health care away from millions of Americans," DNC Chair Tom Perez said in a statement. "It's time for the Trump administration and Republican leaders to stop playing games with people's lives."

But Republicans seem content to stand idly by, giving silent encouragement as Trump races forward to rip away health care protections from some of the most vulnerable people in the country.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.