Donald Trump is facing some mockery for proposing an executive order mandating that insurance companies cover pre-existing conditions — which critics noted has already been the law for close to a decade under Obamacare.
As The Hill reported, the president teased the order on Friday, saying he was in favor of the idea and apparently did not know that it is already a requirement under the Affordable Care Act. In his statement, Trump said that such a move had “never been done before,” despite the insurance industry already being required to cover all pre-existing conditions. It was considered one of the major achievements of Obamacare, addressing one of the chief concerns about the industry.
“Over the next two weeks I’ll be pursuing a major executive order requiring health insurance companies to cover all preexisting conditions for all companies,” Trump said at a press conference from his golf resort in New Jersey. “That’s a big thing. I’ve always been very strongly in favor. We have to cover preexisting conditions.”
The announcement faced considerable criticism and mockery from some of the president’s most vocal opponents. Many took to social media to point out that Trump apparently did not know that his predecessor had already accomplished what he was promising to do. Some made note of his long opposition to Obamacare, which he regularly criticized both as president and before his time in politics. Trump mounted an effort to have the law overturned that was ultimately unsuccessful.
Trump says he's looking at doing an executive order to require health care providers to cover preexisting conditions, which is already the law of the land thanks to the Affordable Care Act he hates so much pic.twitter.com/2EG5iL9DCA
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) August 7, 2020
Trump and the Republican Party have faced criticism for taking aim at the provision requiring the industry to cover pre-existing conditions while also at times claiming they were trying to protect it. As The Hill noted, the president has backed a court challenge to the ACA that, if successful, would overturn the law and eliminate the protections for people with such conditions. Trump also supported a 2017 bill from House Republicans that would have weakened the existing protections in place, and his efforts to repeal the ACA also would have eliminated the provision, the report added.
Despite his backing of the legal challenge, Trump has at times spoken in support of protecting this provision and taken credit for putting it in place.
“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,” Trump tweeted in January.