President Donald Trump, whose administration asked a court to end Obamacare’s protections for people with pre-existing medical conditions just last month, claimed “All Republicans support people with pre-existing conditions” in a tweet on Thursday.
All Republicans support people with pre-existing conditions, and if they don’t, they will after I speak to them. I am in total support. Also, Democrats will destroy your Medicare, and I will keep it healthy and well!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 18, 2018
A day after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) warned the GOP isn’t done trying to repeal Obamacare, Trump claimed any Republican who doesn’t support health coverage for pre-existing conditions “will after I speak to them.”
Trump’s Justice Department has argued that pre-existing conditions are unconstitutional as it supports a lawsuit filed by 20 Republican-led states. Last week, 50 Republican senators approved the Trump administration’s expansion of health plans that can deny coverage to people with pre-exiting medical conditions.
Democrats were quick to respond to Trump’s lie, as Rep. Joe Kennedy (D-MA) recalled Republicans’ infamous celebration outside of the White House after the House voted to repeal Obamacare in May 2017. That effort later fell short in the Senate by one vote.
This is you and all your friends laughing hysterically about gutting preexisting conditions a year ago. You thought we forgot? pic.twitter.com/YYREjXaGzN
— Rep. Joe Kennedy III (@RepJoeKennedy) October 18, 2018
Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI) urged the media to call Trump’s tweet a lie.
It is a lie. Say the word lie. They are not for protecting people with pre existing conditions. They are trying to undermine it in court, through the rule making process, and through the AHCA which they all voted for. Again, in this unique instance it’s ok to say it’s a lie.
— Brian Schatz (@brianschatz) October 18, 2018
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), who caucuses with Democrats and ran for the party’s presidential nomination in 2016, noted Trump’s attempts to sabotage Obamacare have threatened “thousands” of people with pre-existing conditions.
You're literally working alongside 20 Republican attorneys general to end protections for people with preexisting conditions.
No one can estimate how many thousands of those people will die if you and your Republican friends are successful. https://t.co/rxhrQhEn3m
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) October 18, 2018
With midterm elections around the corner and health care clearly at the forefront for many voters, numerous Republicans are scrambling to explain votes to weaken protections for people with pre-existing conditions, including the overwhelming majority of vulnerable House Republicans.