MEMO: Ahead of Cleveland Debate, Trump Continues Attacks On Ohioans’ Health Care

7 mins read

Ahead of his arrival in Cleveland for the first 2020 presidential debate, Donald Trump continues to break his most basic promises to Ohioans, waging a cruel campaign to take away working families’ health care in the midst of a still-worsening pandemic.

As a candidate, Donald Trump promised Ohioans that he would deliver a “great health care system.”

  • “We’re going to approve and get something that is so much less expensive and so good. A great health care system, a system that you deserve. That’s what we’re going to be doing.” [Trump Campaign Rally, Cleveland, Oct. 22, 2016]
  • “We’re going to have a really great plan that’s going to cost much less and be much better.” [Trump Campaign Rally, Toledo, Oct. 27, 2016]
  • “We’re going to lead on health care. […] We’re going to start winning on health care.” [Trump Campaign Rally, Cincinnati, March 13, 2016]

But as president, Trump has overseen a rise in uninsured Ohioans — especially among children.

  • “The Trump administration in 2017 cut funding to the Navigator program, a service that helps people understand and enroll in Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act exchanges. The funding cuts eliminated Navigator programs in Northeast Ohio.
  • WKSU: Report Finds Surge in Number of Uninsured Children in Ohio. “An increasing number of Ohio children have no health insurance coverage. A report from Georgetown University’s Center for Children and Families indicates the number of uninsured children in the state increased by 28% from 2016 to 2018. That amounts to nearly 30,000 children.”
    • In Ohio, a total of 133,000 kids have no health insurance coverage. The number of uninsured children under age six increased by more than 13%.”

Even in the midst of a global pandemic, Trump is suing to overturn the Affordable Care Act.

  • Cleveland Plain Dealer: “A little more than a decade after President Barack Obama signed the Affordable Care Act (ACA) into law, and as the nation struggles to recover from the coronavirus pandemic, President Donald Trump will bring his efforts to overturn the law to the U.S. Supreme Court”
  • “John Corlett, a former Ohio Medicaid director […] said expanding Medicaid eligibility to Ohioans reduced death rates as it reduced the number of people who couldn’t pay for the medical care they needed.”
  • “He said the ACA’s repeal would eliminate that Medicaid expansion, as well as the law’s prohibition on insurance carriers using pre-existing medical conditions to charge patients more or deny them coverage.”

Trump’s lawsuit is endangering hundreds of thousands of Ohioans’ health coverage right when they need it most.

  • If Trump overturns the Affordable Care Act, 741,000 Ohioans would lose their health coverage — more than doubling the number of uninsured patients across the state.
  • Trump’s lawsuit comes in the midst of surging unemployment in Ohio — and an unprecedented loss of employment-based health insurance. More than 1.7 million Ohioans have filed for unemployment since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, more than the last four years combined.

Millions of Ohioans with pre-existing conditions — including COVID-19 survivors — would pay higher premiums and face the threat of being denied coverage.

  • New York Times: “An existing medical condition includes such common ailments as high blood pressure or asthma, any of which could require those buying insurance on their own to pay much more for a policy, if they could get one at all.”
    • “The coronavirus, which has infected nearly seven million Americans to date and may have long-term health implications for many of those who become ill, could also become one of the many medical histories that would make it challenging for someone to find insurance.”

Ohio public health leaders have warned that repealing the Affordable Care Act  would have severe consequences for patients and local hospitals.

  • The Ohio Hospital Association has warned that repealing the ACA would put a quarter of the state’s hospitals at risk of closure: “That can take a precariously situated hospital and put them into a situation where they could no longer provide services to the community.”

Even Ohio Republicans are running away from Trump’s attacks on working families’ health care.

Photo by Gage Skidmore via Creative Commons.

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