President Donald Trump faced tough questioning from a voter regarding his efforts to repeal Obamacare at an ABC News town hall on Tuesday night.
Ellesia Blaque, a PhD and professor who voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016, spoke about her lifelong struggle with sarcoidosis, an inflammatory disease, as well as the extent of her healthcare costs. She asked: “Should preexisting conditions, which Obamacare brought to fruition, be removed –”
“No,” Trump jumped in.
“Please stop and let me finish my question, sir,” Blaque said. “Should that be removed, within a 36 to 72-hour period, without my medication, I will be dead. And I want to know what it is that you’re going to do assure that people like me who work hard, we do everything we’re supposed to do, can stay insured.”
“It’s not my fault that I was born with this disease,” she continued. “It’s not my fault that I’m a Black woman, and in the medical community I’m minimized and not taken seriously. I want to know what you are going to do about that.”
“So first of all, I hope you are taken seriously. I hope you are. And we are not going to hurt anything having to do with preexisting conditions,” Trump replied.
The Trump administration is currently fighting in court to strike down the Affordable Care Act and its coverage of preexisting conditions.
Trump went on to accuse Democrats of wanting “socialized medicine” that would dispose of protections for Americans with preexisting conditions.
The president’s response prompted a multi-pronged fact-check from ABC News anchor George Stephanopoulos:
I just have to stop you there, because it’s just on a couple of points. Number one, Joe Biden has ran against Medicare for All in the primaries. But much more importantly, Obamacare guaranteed people with preexisting conditions could buy insurance, guaranteed they could buy it at the same price as everyone else, guaranteed a package of essential benefits, guaranteed that insurance companies couldn’t put a lifetime limit on those benefits. You fought to repeal Obamacare. You’re arguing the Supreme Court right now to strike it down, that would do away with preexisting conditions. I interviewed you in June of last year, you said the healthcare plan would come in two weeks. You could Chris Wallace that this summer it’d come in three weeks. You promised an executive order on preexisting conditions.
“I have it all ready,” Trump protested. “I have it all ready.”
“But it’s – you’ve been trying to strike down preexisting conditions,” Stephanopoulos said.
“It doesn’t matter, I have it all ready, and it’s a much better plan for you,” Trump replied.
“What is it?” Stephanopoulos said.
Trump did not reply, moving on to call Obamacare “a disaster.”
The two continued to spar, with Stephanopoulos pointing out the administration has had three years to propose an alternative to the Affordable Care Act.
Watch above, via ABC.
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