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Trump approved the attack on health care he claims he didn't know about

Trump falsely claimed he didn’t know his own Justice Department was supporting a plot to end pre-existing conditions protections, which would once again let health insurance companies overcharge or deny coverage to sick people.

By Tommy Christopher - November 05, 2018
Donald Trump

Health care has become such an important issue to voters in the midterm elections that many Republicans feel they have no choice but to lie about their record of attacking it — especially Trump.

The Trump administration is supporting a lawsuit that seeks to have the Affordable Care Act’s protections for people with pre-existing conditions found unconstitutional. If that lawsuit succeeded, insurance companies would once again be free to overcharge or deny coverage to people based on their past or current health problems.

Yet Trump still absurdly claims to support protections for pre-existing conditions — and now he’s absurdly denying that he knew anything about the lawsuit before his administration signed on to support it.

In an interview that aired on Sunday night, Axios reporter Jonathan Swan asked Trump if he’d been given a “heads up” by Attorney General Jeff Sessions that the Justice Department was filing a brief in support of the lawsuit.

“No, he didn’t. Actually, he didn’t,” Trump claimed.

When asked about this claim Monday morning, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders backed up Trump’s story.

But in a letter announcing his support of the lawsuit dated June 7, 2018, Sessions said he was making his decision “with the approval of the President of the United States.”

The letter goes on to detail the administration’s position in support of the lawsuit, and explicitly names the provisions that guarantee people with pre-existing conditions cannot be discriminated against.

The lawsuit argues that those provisions are unconstitutional because a provision in the GOP tax scam, which Trump signed, eliminated the financial penalty in the ACA’s individual mandate.

In the past two months, Trump has ramped up his lies about health care, insisting that Republicans “want to protect Americans with pre-existing conditions.”

But his administration’s support for the anti-Obamacare lawsuit is just one of many ways he and Republicans have attacked health care for the more than 52 million Americans with pre-existing conditions.

Trump and Republicans have already jacked up Americans’ health care premiums by sabotaging the Affordable Care Act through the GOP tax scam and various Trump executive orders. This sabotage has kept President Barack Obama’s health reform law from working as intended, and premiums are unnecessarily much higher as a result.

Prior to Trump’s election, Republicans tried to repeal or weaken the Affordable Care Act at least 70 times. And last July, Trump and the Republicans tried to pass a health care bill that would have allowed insurers to jack up premiums for people with pre-existing conditions, pricing them out of the market.

That bill would have also thrown 26 million Americans off of their health insurance altogether. It was ultimately defeated in the Senate by Democrats, who were joined by three Republican senators, including the late Sen. John McCain (R-AZ).

Trump’s latest lie is another sign that Republicans are desperate to cover up their record of gutting health care — but they can’t escape the facts.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation. 

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