MILWAUKEE, WI — With a vacancy on the Supreme Court and the coronavirus pandemic ravaging our country, health care is on the ballot, and President Trump is hard at work spinning lies to obscure his disastrous war on health care. The truth is that since taking office, Trump has taken every opportunity to rip away Americans’ health care. Time and again, Trump has tried to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Now, he is suing to dismantle the ACA and has selected Judge Amy Coney Barrett for the Supreme Court vacancy, in part because of her opposition to the ACA, to help stack the court in his favor. Voters cannot afford another four years of Trump’s relentless attacks on health care.
Lies You’ll Hear From Trump
Trump claims he supports protections for people with pre-existing conditions, but he has a case before the U.S. Supreme Court to dismantle these protections. Trump has peddled the bizarre lie that he has put protections for people with pre-existing conditions into place. He hasn’t. The Affordable Care Act — the law he is actively trying to destroy and attempted to repeal in Congress — already protects Americans with pre-existing conditions. The Washington Post fact-checker gave this claim its worst rating: “bottomless Pinocchio,” noting that, by June, Trump had falsely said he would protect pre-existing conditions nearly 100 times. After Trump repeated this claim at the State of the Union, Vox described it as “the biggest lie” in his speech.
President Trump touts his record on prescription drugs, but the truth is that the cost of prescription drugs continues to skyrocket. Donald Trump promised that he would lower drug costs, but instead he gave drug companies billions in tax breaks. The year after the tax bill passed, the largest drug companies made $50 billion in profits and subsequently used their savings to invest billions more in stock buybacks for their shareholders. Meanwhile, more than 4,000 drugs saw price increases averaging 21 percent in 2019, and drug prices are steadily rising even as the nation fights the coronavirus crisis. Trump has rejected common sense reforms, like giving Medicare the power to negotiate for lower prices. Instead of taking action to lower prices, he is making false promises to seniors about $200 drug reimbursements, without a plan for implementation.
Trump has repeatedly claimed that coronavirus is no big deal, that we’re turning the corner, and the problem will just disappear any day now. That’s nonsense. At every turn Donald Trump has sought to downplay the danger of the virus, despite admitting privately that he knew how deadly and dangerous it was. He has a long history of blatantly lying about transmissibility, claiming children are virtually immune when we know they are an important contributor to community spread, and pushing junk science and miracle cures like hydroxychloroquine, which have been debunked over and over. There’s no evidence that the virus will just disappear, despite Trump’s repeatedly making that inexplicable claim. The only way this virus will be defeated is by doing what Donald Trump repeatedly refuses to do – letting the experts and science lead, ramping up testing, and encouraging mitigation efforts like masks and social distancing until it’s safe.
What Trump Won’t Tell You
Trump is before the Supreme Court trying to overturn the entire ACA with no plans to replace it, and now, he’s trying to pack the court in his favor. Trump notoriously tried and failed multiple times to repeal the Affordable Care Act. All of the repeal bills that went through Congress would have caused millions of Americans to lose their health coverage and raised premiums for millions more. Now the Trump administration has thrown its full support behind a lawsuit that would do the same. If the Republican lawsuit is successful, 23 million Americans will lose their coverage and more than 135 million people will lose protections for pre-existing conditions, including the millions of Americans who contracted the coronavirus. The lawsuit will be heard one week after the election, and Trump hopes to have already installed his new anti-ACA nominee to help tilt the decision in his favor.
Millions of people have lost coverage under Trump. Census data revealed in 2018 that the uninsured rate rose for the first time since the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, increasing from 7.9 percent in 2017 to 8.5 percent in 2018, or by approximately 2 million people. The uninsured rate reached 9.2 percent in 2019, meaning 30 million Americans went without health insurance last year. Additionally, more than one million children lost Medicaid coverage between 2017 and 2019. Health care experts have pointed to a “chilling effect” from Trump-backed policies, including Medicaid work requirements. And as a result of Trump’s failed coronavirus response, 12 million people have lost employer-sponsored coverage since February, according to estimates from the Economic Policy Institute.
The coronavirus pandemic didn’t have to be this bad, but Trump botched his response from day one. The United States has the worst coronavirus outbreak in the world, leading with the most deaths – more than 205,000 – and the most cases – more than 7.1 million. And the pandemic is continuing to get worse, with the numbers moving in the wrong direction in more than 21 states. The reason is simple: Donald Trump and his administration have failed. While comparable nations were able to get the virus under control after the initial spike by working together to ramp up testing and enforce mitigation efforts, Trump did none of that. He sought to undermine his own experts, he repeatedly lied to American people and downplayed the danger of the virus, he mocked mitigation efforts like masks, and pushed states and schools to reopen before it was safe to do so. All the while, thousands of Americans died and the economy cratered. All of this could have been avoided with effective leadership that put the health and safety of Americans first. Instead, Donald Trump looked out for his own political interests and made matters worse.