Published on February 4th, 2019 | by Chelsea Kiene1
Health Care Promises Made — and Broken — By President Trump
By Chelsea Kiene
“The way to make health insurance available to everyone is to lower the cost of health insurance, and that is what we are going to do.”
That was the promise President Donald Trump made to the American people during his first address to a joint session of Congress in 2017. Nearly two years later, however, that promise remains unfulfilled.
Instead, 7 million more Americans have become uninsured under President Trump. Health care premiums have spiked. In the first time in more than a decade, the rate of children without health insurance in the United States has increased. The cost of prescription drugs continues to climb.
As President Trump prepares to deliver his State of the Union address Tuesday, it’s important to evaluate how Trump’s promises measure in comparison to his record. Not only has Trump broken his promises on health care, but he and his administration have also made things far worse for many Americans.
In the years leading up to Trump’s presidency, the Affordable Care Act helped bring the rate of uninsured Americans to record lows. The Affordable Care Act ushered in historic reforms to our health care system, including prohibiting insurers from discriminating against people with pre-existing conditions such as cancer, diabetes, and asthma. Additionally, by allowing states to expand Medicaid eligibility, the Affordable Care Act has helped millions of low-income Americans gain health coverage. In states like Ohio, which expanded its Medicaid program in 2014, Medicaid expansion has improved the lives of enrollees, many of whom previously could not afford health insurance.
This is what the ACA gives us. A future for sick kids equal to that of their healthy friends. Affordable care for the previously uninsurable. An ability to breathe a little easier. #ProtectOurCare @HealthCareVoter pic.twitter.com/2jfgOKKdN6
— Stephanie Killian (@SKillian72) February 3, 2019
However, the Trump administration, along with Republicans in Congress and state legislatures throughout the country, has spent years attacking the Affordable Care Act through legislation, regulations, and lawsuits.
Through these attacks, President Trump has broken many health care promises.
Take, for instance, protections for people with pre-existing conditions. President Trump has repeatedly pledged to protect pre-existing conditions coverage. Yet the Trump administration has refused to challenge a lawsuit that would eliminate pre-existing conditions coverage and has implemented rules that make it easier for insurance providers to discriminate against people with pre-existing conditions. Trump himself supported legislation that would have ended protections for people with pre-existing conditions.
People like Susan Hyde and her daughter.
As Hyde recently shared at a press conference in Columbus, both she and her daughter have pre-existing conditions. Hyde, a cancer survivor whose daughter was diagnosed with leukemia at the age of 3, fears what may happen should Trump break his promise on pre-existing conditions.
“President Trump has been in office for two years and there is still a great deal of uncertainty about health insurance coverage,” said Hyde. “I will continue to worry about my daughter’s future until his administration acts to guarantee affordable coverage for all Americans.”
There’s no telling what President Trump will say at Tuesday’s State of the Union address. But when it comes to health care, Ohioans should view any grand pledges from Trump as nothing more than empty promises.
Chelsea Kiene is the Deputy Communications Director of For Our Future Ohio. For Our Future Ohio is a statewide coalition organization that builds progressive power through voter engagement and community organizing to strengthen public education, create shared economic prosperity, advance social and racial justice, and preserve the environment.