With the blizzard of lies President Donald Trump regularly spouts, it’s impractical to correct him every single time he distorts the truth. But two tweets Monday contained such an egregious string of whoppers on the crucial issue of health care, they simply cannot go unchallenged.
Trump insisted that “I was the person who saved preexisting Conditions on your Healthcare.” He added that Democrats have endangered insurance coverage of those conditions and that, if a lawsuit that the administration supports is successful in ending the Affordable Care Act, coverage of preexisting conditions will “become the best ever, by far.”
Each of these assertions is 180 degrees opposite of true. But far from being just another Trumpian fabrication, this particular snake oil is being sold by the entire Republican Party — with Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley among the earliest and most cynical hawkers of it.
There is much to debate about Obamacare, but here’s what’s not debatable: It was an unprecedented attempt to ensure that people with preexisting medical conditions aren’t shut out of the health insurance market. On that front, it has been largely successful. Obamacare — which passed in 2010 without a single Republican vote — outlawed the standard practice of pricing health-insurance policies out of reach of people with preexisting conditions, or denying coverage outright.
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It would be one thing if Republicans said what they apparently believe: that it’s not government’s responsibility to ensure people with diabetes, cancer or other chronic conditions are able to access medical care without going bankrupt. But they’re not saying that — apparently because they know how unacceptable most Americans would find it. So their strategy instead is to say up is down and hope people believe it.
That was Hawley’s strategy when, as Missouri’s attorney general, he joined a federal lawsuit aimed at killing the Affordable Care Act. When he was rightly attacked for this attempt to eliminate protection of preexisting-condition coverage, Hawley portrayed himself, ludicrously, as the champion of such coverage. He drew national scorn from people who knew better — while winning a Senate seat from Missouri voters who didn’t.
No wonder Trump thinks he can successfully claim credit for the protection that Democrats have provided and Republicans have spent the past decade trying to remove.
Make no mistake: If Hawley’s and Trump’s lawsuit is successful, America will return to the days when a preexisting medical condition was a sentence of poverty, or worse. Whatever the GOP says, that is the undeniable outcome of their relentless campaign to end Obamacare while offering no realistic replacement.
The fact that the GOP feels the need to so brazenly lie to the public on this issue indicates they fear voters will make them pay in November for threatening the health care of millions of Americans. Hopefully, those fears will be well founded.