E- Newsletter: President Trump’s Disgraceful Health Care Lies
By Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr.
President Trump has no problem telling a lie. But last week the President wrote a brazen opinion piece for USA Today on health care that took his lies to a new level. The piece so thoroughly distorted the facts that one has to wonder if there is anyone left in the White House who values the truth.
For two years, President Trump and Congressional Republicans have worked together to undermine our nation’s health care system. Congressional Republicans have repeatedly attacked Medicare and Medicaid. They tried, unsuccessfully, to strip away health care coverage from more than 24 million Americans, including 500,000 here in New Jersey.
And now President Trump wants to eliminate protections for 130 million Americans with pre-existing conditions.
Understandably, this is not a record that President Trump wants to promote. But rather than changing his ways, he’s once again trying to distort reality.
President Trump is not being honest when he writes that Democrats want to gut Medicare for America’s seniors. That could not further from the truth. We want to protect and strengthen Medicare and Medicaid.
If Democrats take back the House, we’ve already committed to strengthening Medicare and making prescription drugs cheaper for seniors. We would do this by giving the federal government the ability to negotiate drug prices with the pharmaceutical companies on behalf of seniors on Medicare. This is already being done by the Department of Veterans Affairs and through Tricare, the Military’s health care plan. It’s a commonsense proposal that Congressional Republicans have unfortunately repeatedly opposed. We’re committed to finally getting it done for seniors.
Congressional Democrats will also continue to fight House Republicans ongoing attacks to slash funding for Medicare and Medicaid. Over the last two years, House Republicans have proposed budgets that would have cut almost $500 billion from Medicare and more than $1 trillion from Medicaid. Today, seniors who need long-term care rely on Medicaid for support, and these Republican proposed cuts would seriously risk that ongoing support. We should be looking at ways to strengthen long-term care support for seniors not undermine it through these draconian cuts.
And Republicans are now considering additional cuts to Medicare and Medicaid in order to pay for their $1.5 trillion tax scam that disproportionally benefits the wealthy and corporate interests. The tax law also dramatically hurts New Jersey families by limiting state and local tax deductions. But now Congressional Republicans and members of the Administration are using the tax law as another reason to target future cuts to Medicare and Medicaid. Congressional Democrats are simply not going to let that happen.
The President is also lying when he claims he’s protecting people with pre-existing conditions. In June, his own Administration asked a federal court to strike down key patient protections included in the Affordable Care Act (ACA). If successful, the Trump Administration’s action would eliminate protections that ensure more than 130 million Americans with pre-existing conditions cannot be denied coverage.
One of the key points of the ACA was that insurance companies could no longer discriminate against anyone who had a pre-existing condition. Before the law, insurers could outright deny or limit insurance coverage to people with pre-existing conditions like cancer, Multiple sclerosis, bipolar disorder or sleep apnea. They could also charge outrageously high premiums that made insurance virtually unaffordable.
Last year, Republicans failed to strip these protections away when they were unsuccessful in repealing and replacing the ACA. But now, the Trump Administration is trying it again. This time through the courts.
If Democrats are fortunate to take back the House next month, we will protect coverage for the 130 million Americans with pre-existing conditions. We will strengthen and improve the ACA by reversing the most egregious efforts by the Trump Administration and Congressional Republicans to sabotage our nation’s health care system. We will also take bold action to reduce the costs of health care and prescription drugs, while also protecting and strengthening Medicare and Medicaid.
It’s time for Washington to work again for the people, and that will happen in a Democratic House.