Kiss your pre-existing condition medical coverage goodbye if Trump wins

Donald Trump has tried repeatedly during the last 4 years to cripple or kill the Affordable Care Act (also called the ACA or Obamacare). He has attempted to repeal the law, both in Congress and in the courts, with limited success so far. If Trump succeeds in appointing a new Justice to the U.S. Supreme Court before January 20, the ACA will likely be killed by the Court.

What is at stake? The ACA prohibits insurance companies from discriminating against people with pre-existing medical conditions. It provides subsidies to millions to lower their premiums, allows kids to stay on their parents’ insurance until age 26, closed the doughnut hole for drugs under Medicare, and expanded Medicaid coverage to millions of low-income people. All of those provisions and many more could be stricken in a case that will be argued in the Supreme Court on November 10.

The U.S. Constitution requires the president to see that the laws are “faithfully executed.” The ACA is the law of the land. Yet, Trump has rejected his Constitutional duty and directed the Justice Department to attack the ACA in the court case. He wants it struck down in its entirety. Four of the Justices, including the two appointed by Trump, Gorsuch and Kavanaugh, are hostile to the ACA. The other four, including Chief Justice John Roberts, have supported the ACA. If confirmed, Trump’s new appointee will tip the balance, dooming the ACA.

If Trump’s Justices kill the ACA, about 20 million Americans will lose their health coverage, everyone with a pre-existing medical condition will be at the tender mercies of insurance companies as to whether they can get coverage or how much extra they will have to pay for it, and millions of low-income folks may become ineligible for Medicaid. The benefits available under insurance policies will dwindle. The entire medical system will be thrown into turmoil, and the economy with it.

The timing is certainly unfortunate, being that we are in the midst of a pandemic that has twisted the medical system in knots. Millions of people have lost their jobs, along with their employment-based medical insurance. A Commonwealth Fund survey indicated that 41% of those who lost a job because of the pandemic relied on that job for health coverage and that 20% of them were not able to get other coverage.

Trump continues to promise that he will do all he can, through the courts or otherwise, to destroy the ACA, and it is obvious his best route is through filling Justice Ginburg’s seat with a person hostile to the law. What can we do? I plan to vote for Joe Biden, who has promised to keep and improve the ACA. It is critical that voters across the country vote for a Democrat Senate majority to restore the ACA, should it be struck down by Trump’s Court appointees.

Let’s not be fooled by Trump’s claimed support for protecting those with pre-existing conditions. If he truly supported that protection, he would ask the Supreme Court to spare that existing provision in the ACA. He has not explained how an executive order can do the job–the short answer is that it cannot.

If Trump wins the election, everyone who has a pre-existing condition had best get ready to mortgage their house to cover a recurrence of their illness or get the name of a reputable bankruptcy lawyer.

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5 thoughts on “Kiss your pre-existing condition medical coverage goodbye if Trump wins”

  1. I have been waiting to hear what you would have to say in light of Justice Ginsburg’s passing. What about Mitch McConnell’s and the Senate Republican’s inconsistencies concerning when to push through a candidate and when to wait?

    1. It just depends on what best serves the interests of Moscow Mitch. He has no honor and will always change the rules based on expediency, rather than consistency. Both of our Senators went along with Mitch on Merrick Garland’s nomination 4 years ago. Now both have done an about face (the only military move either has ever made).

  2. You should have named this “kiss your ass goodbye – unless you have way more income than the average American”. Trump doesn’t about you and me, only about reversing or eliminating every thing President Obama did. There is more than a little racial bias in this also.

    1. James:

      Many thanks for sending the link to Donald trump’s tweet about his so-called medical insurance plans. Somebody should tell the president that an executive order does not carry the force of law. An executive order cannot prevent insurance companies from discriminating against those with pre-existing conditions. Obamacare, which was enacted by Congress and signed into law by President Obama, can and does effectively protect those with pre-existing conditions. Trump and his Congressional allies tried to kill that protection in Congress and would have succeeded but for John McCain’s “no” vote. Trump is now trying to kill pre-existing condition protection in the case that will be argued before the U.S. Supreme Court on November 10, 2020.

      Trump learned in the 2018 off-year elections that a majority of American voters like Obamacare, particularly its protection for people with pre-existing conditions. Many Republican House members lost their seats in that election for trying repeatedly to kill Obamacare. Trump has since then pretended that he supports pre-existing condition protections. His record shows, however, that he does not.

      The health care “vision” that Trump announced in North Carolina on September 24 is primarily hot air. He correctly claimed that his executive order calling for protection of those with pre-existing conditions was the first of its kind. He failed to point out that the protection is already the law of the land and has been for 10 years under Obamacare. I doubt that any of us can point to a situation in recent memory where someone was denied coverage for a pre-existing condition or required to pay more for its treatment. Were it not for Republican efforts to get rid of Obamacare, pre-existing conditions would not be an issue in this campaign.

      Thanks, again, for sending the link to Trump’s so-call medical vision, James. It just points out the scam he is trying to promote in the silly season of the election.

      Trump’s record shows he does not support pre-existing condition protection:

      Trump’s so-called medical plan:

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