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 also complained anew that Democrats didn't allow him to send lawyers to the impeachment inquiry. The opposite is true: Democrats invited him to send lawyers to the inquiry and he said no.
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." — tweet.
TRUMP: “I stand stronger than anyone in protecting your Healthcare with Pre-Existing Conditions. I am honored to have terminated the very unfair, costly and unpopular individual mandate for you!”
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.
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!” — tweet.
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.
TRUMP: “'We demand fairness' shouts Pelosi and the Do Nothing Democrats, yet the Dems in the House wouldn’t let us have 1 witness, no lawyers or even ask questions." — tweet.
THE FACTS: Not true. The House Judiciary Committee, which produced the articles of impeachment, invited Trump or his legal team to come. He declined.
Absent White House representation, the hearings proceeded as things in Congress routinely do: Time is split between Democratic and Republican lawmakers to ask questions and engage in the debate. Lawyers for Democrats and Republicans on the committee presented the case for and against the impeachment articles and members questioned witnesses, among them an academic called forward by Republicans.
The first round of hearings was by the House Intelligence Committee and resembled the investigative phase of criminal cases, conducted without the participation of the subject of the investigation. Trump cried foul then at the lack of representation, then rejected representation when the next committee offered it.
His lawyers will participate in the Senate's impeachment trial.
Associated Press writers Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar and Lisa Mascaro contributed to this report.
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