On Friday, August 7 President Trump announced that he will be pursuing an executive order requiring health insurers to cover all pre-existing conditions. There is one stipulation. That order was put in place by the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare.
“Over the next two weeks I’ll be pursuing a major executive order requiring health insurance companies to cover all preexisting conditions for all companies,” Trump said.”That’s a big thing. I’ve always been very strongly in favor. We have to cover pre-existing conditions.”
The President remains unyielding in the fact that this “has never been done before.” Although insurance companies are already required to cover patients with pre-existing conditions under the Affordable Care Act, which Trump has been determined to dismantle during his time in the White House.
It is simple
“Under current law, health insurance companies can’t refuse to cover you or charge you more just because you have a ‘pre-existing condition,'” the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services website states. “That is, a health problem you had before the date that new health coverage starts.”
The rule applies to all health insurance plans bought after March 23, 2010.
Trump’s statement comes as he seeks to overturn Obamacare, which continues to gain ground throughout the country as voters in more states approve its centerpiece Medicaid expansion. Essentially, Trump wants his name on healthcare.
In June, the Trump administration urged the Supreme Court to repeal the act, as millions have lost their health insurance during the COVID-19 pandemic. The court will make a ruling in the fall.
Obama did it first
Prior administration officials of former President Barack Obama were quick to point out the redundancy of Trump’s healthcare plan, if reelected.
Karine Jean-Pierre, who served as an adviser on both of Obama’s presidential campaigns, and currently serves as an advisor on former Vice President Joe Biden’s campaign, posted a photo of Obama signing the Affordable Care Act on Twitter.
“President Obama and Vice President Biden did it first,” Jean-Pierre wrote.
Richard Stengel, who was under secretary for public diplomacy and public affairs under Obama, clarified that pre-existing conditions are already covered under Obamacare, and pointed out that “your administration is currently arguing in the Supreme Court to strike down that law.”
Trump’s track record
This is not the first time that Trump has tried to take credit for protecting pre-existing conditions.
“I was the person who saved Pre-Existing Conditions in your Healthcare, you have it now, while at the same time winning the fight to rid you of the expensive, unfair and very unpopular Individual Mandate,” Trump said on Twitter in January. “I will always protect your Pre-Existing Conditions, the Dems will not!”
Note: The government has reported that almost half a million people who lost their health insurance during the economic shutdown to slow the spread of the coronavirus have gotten coverage through the Department of Health and Human Services’ website.