House Speaker Nancy Pelosi blasted President Donald Trump’s latest executive order on health care, saying his pledge to protect Americans with preexisting conditions was not “worth the paper” it’s printed on.
The White House unveiled a new executive order on Thursday amid ongoing attacks from Democrats over Trump’s effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. The president vowed the new pledge affirms that “it is the official policy of the United States government to protect patients with preexisting conditions.”
But Trump failed to note those with preexisting conditions are already covered by U.S. law.
“President Trump’s bogus executive order on preexisting conditions isn’t worth the paper it’s signed on,” Pelosi said in a statement Thursday. “It is an insult to every family with someone with a preexisting condition that President Trump thinks he can get away with this farce while he races a justice onto the Supreme Court to strike down the lifesaving protections enshrined into law by the Affordable Care Act.”
The executive order is largely a symbolic effort and ignores the GOP’s ongoing effort to repeal the ACA.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) also lambasted the order, noting “protections for preexisting conditions are the law.”
“The threat to these protections is from President Trump and the Republicans suing to end them,” Schumer wrote. “We’re fighting to stop it.”
President Trump is lying to you about his “executive order.”— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) September 25, 2020
Protections for pre-existing conditions are the law.
The threat to these protections is from President Trump and the Republicans suing to end them.
We’re fighting to stop it.
The president was confronted by a voter over the issue at an ABC town hall earlier this month. During a heated exchange, Ellesia Blaque detailed her struggle to pay thousands of dollars a year in copayments despite being covered by insurance.
“What we’re doing is we’re going to be doing a health care plan — preexisting, protecting people with preexisting conditions ― as an example, yourself, it sounds like that’s exactly perfect,” Trump said at the time. “That’s exactly what we’re talking about. We’re going to be doing a health care plan very strongly and protect people with preexisting conditions.”
Trump failed to note, however, that his administration has spent years seeking to repeal Obamacare even after Congress, then controlled by Republicans in both chambers, failed to do so in 2017.
The White House asked the Supreme Court in June to overturn the full ACA, which could end coverage for nearly 23 million Americans.
Pelosi said Thursday that Democrats would continue to “fight to defend and strengthen pre-existing condition protections from Congress to the Courts.”
“For his entire Administration, President Trump has used every tool and every chance he gets to weaken or rip away protections for people with pre-existing conditions,” she said. “If President Trump cared at all about people with pre-existing conditions, he would drop his lawsuit to overturn the Affordable Care Act in the middle of a pandemic.”
This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.