Trump's 'victims of Obamacare' actually saved by Obamacare


Even Donald Trump's photo ops are lies.

Donald Trump has done virtually nothing to persuade Americans to support his health care repeal plan.

He has stayed away from the public and the press, and the majority of what he says on Twitter about health care is a stream of lies and insults directed at Democrats and even his own party.

So in a rather unusual move on Monday, Trump held an event, albeit a very brief one without any questions from the press, about health care.


Trump did not offer any specifics about how his "repeal and replace" plan — or his alternative, repeal now and worry about a replacement at some later date — would benefit the American people. Instead, he recited his familiar litany of attacks and lies about Obamacare, saying it is "death" and that it has "wreaked havoc" on the country "for the past 17 years."

The backdrop to Trump's speech was a group of families Trump described as "victims of Obamacare." But, as is always the case when it comes to Trump, that's not exactly accurate.

The Daily Signal, a right-wing site created by the conservative Heritage Foundation, interviewed one of Trump's featured "victim" families: the Weers. And even that outlet — theoretically, an ally in Trump's war on Obamacare — reported a very different tale.

In the very first sentence, The Daily Signal states that for the Weer family, "the Affordable Care Act has been both a blessing and a burden."

The Weers benefit from a tax credit to pay for their family's insurance — something available because of Obamacare. Without it, their insurance would cost $1200 a month.

But more importantly, their insurance covers their young son, Monty, who was born in 2014 with spina bifida. Before Obamacare, that would be a pre-existing condition that could disqualify him from any coverage at all.

That's a plain fact Monty's mother, Marjorie, acknowledges — despite the complaints she has about the health care law.

The other reason Obamacare is a "blessing" for the Weer family is that there is no lifetime limit on insurance coverage of Monty's care. Insurers used to be able to put lifetime caps on what they would spend for the entirety of a patient's life. For patients like Monty Weer, born with conditions that are costly to treat, patients and their families could max out and end up going bankrupt having to cover health care out of pocket.

Obamacare ended that too.

The Weers have their complaints, but those complaints have more to do with the insurance companies that have pulled out of the market in South Carolina, where they live, leaving them with fewer options.

But that has far more to do with Republicans, and especially Trump, trying to sabotage Obamacare instead of making it stronger.

There's a reason the majority of Americans support Obamacare and strongly oppose Republican attempts to repeal it. It has made health care more affordable and more accessible for millions of people. And it has saved lives.

That's something even Trump's supposed supporters would tell him, if he ever bothered to listen.