Media Falls for Yet Another One of Trump’s False Claims

The American Healthcare Act on life support

It is unclear whether Trump was lying or simply misinformed on the issue, but when he said Obamacare replacement would come with lower premiums AND extra protections for patients with pre-existent conditions, major news outlets like The Hill, Politico, (and not surprisingly) Fox News fell for it.

Experts at Media Matters for America noted that the latest Republican version of the health care bill- the American Healthcare Act (AHCA), will not prevent insurers from overcharging patients with pre-existing conditions.

In a recent CBS interview, Trump claimed the AHCA would take care of these patients, as  the GOP has “set up a pool for the pre-existing conditions so that the premiums can be allowed to fall”.

Multiple sites took Trump’s word for it, without bothering to fact check for themselves. Fortunately, CNN remained vigilant and produced evidence that Trump was plain wrong.

Sick Patients Will See Premium Prices Go Up

CNN noted pre-existing conditions are not “100%” in the bill as the president claims. Instead, the new bill will enable insurers to boost premiums for this group of patients. So, fewer Americans will afford healthcare, which will break a Republican promise to offer coverage to everyone.

Meanwhile, conservatives are fighting to remove restrictions on the health insurance industry. If that plan succeeds, health insurers will be able to set higher premium prices in states that issue waivers to let them do so. However, under Obamacare, the practice is unlawful.

Experts also think that when Trump mentioned the word “pools” he took patients with pre-existing conditions for patients with a high risk. Yet, being confused is not an excuse when you are playing with the healthcare of millions of Americans. In the U.S., 52 million people live with a so-called “pre-existing condition” like type 2 diabetes, asthma, or cancer. And for many of these patients, having access to health coverage is a matter of life or death.
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