Nation & World

AP FACT CHECK: No, Trump didn't save preexisting conditions

In this Jan. 9, 2020, photo, President Donald Trump speaks on proposed changes to the National Environmental Policy Act, at the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)
In this Jan. 9, 2020, photo, President Donald Trump speaks on proposed changes to the National Environmental Policy Act, at the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump made a striking claim Monday, insisting it was he who ensured that people with preexisting medical problems will always be covered by health insurance.

He wasn't.

TRUMP: “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...”

THE FACTS: People with preexisting medical problems have health insurance protections because of President Barack Obama's health care law, which Trump is trying to dismantle.

One of Trump’s major alternatives to Obama's law — short-term health insurance, already in place — doesn’t have to cover preexisting conditions. Another major alternative is association health plans, which are oriented to small businesses and sole proprietors and do cover preexisting conditions.

Neither of the two alternatives appears to have made much difference in the market.

Meanwhile, Trump's administration has been pressing in court for full repeal of the Obama-era law, including provisions that protect people with preexisting conditions from health insurance discrimination.

With “Obamacare” still in place, preexisting conditions continue to be covered by regular individual health insurance plans.

Insurers must take all applicants, regardless of medical history, and charge the same standard premiums to healthy people and those who are in poor health, or have a history of medical problems.

Before the Affordable Care Act, any insurer could deny coverage — or charge more — to anyone with a preexisting condition who was seeking to buy an individual policy.

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TRUMP: “...and, if Republicans win in court and take back the House of Represenatives (sic), your healthcare, that I have now brought to the best place in many years, will become the best ever, by far. I will always protect your Pre-Existing Conditions, the Dems will not!”

THE FACTS: Trump and other Republicans say they'll have a plan to preserve protections for people with preexisting conditions. The White House has provided no details.

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Associated Press writer Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar contributed to this report.

Find AP Fact Checks at http://apne.ws/2kbx8bd

Follow @APFactCheck on Twitter: https://twitter.com/APFactCheck

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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