Ahead of Debate, Trump Still Attacking Floridians’ Health Care and Protections for Pre-existing Conditions
As Donald Trump takes the debate stage tonight, Floridians will remember how, amid a deadly pandemic that has already taken the lives of more than 14,000 Floridians, Trump is suing to overturn the ACA. With the Supreme Court set to hear oral arguments on the case just one week after the election, the stakes couldn’t be higher for Floridians.
“During tonight’s debate, don’t let Donald Trump distract you from the fact that he is fighting tooth and nail to repeal the Affordable Care Act without a plan for the millions of Floridians who will lose coverage or see their premiums skyrocket,” said Florida Democratic Party Chair Terrie Rizzo. “Trump’s had four years to deliver on his promises and he’s come up empty handed. Joe Biden is ready on day one to deliver for Floridians and improve access to quality, affordable care.”
Trump’s Broken Promises on Health Care
In 2016, Trump promised Floridians that he was going to create a new health care program and that people would be paying less for health insurance.
- “We’re going to have great health care. By the way, for a fraction of the price. Much less expensive.” [Trump Campaign Rally, Tampa Bay FL, 3/14/16]
This was a lie. In reality, Trump has pushed “junk health insurance,” proposed cutting billions in funding for Medicaid and Medicare, and still has not produced a replacement plan for the ACA
- Trump’s latest budget proposal would cut hundreds of billions of dollars from Medicare which serves over 4.5 million Floridians.
- Trump expanded the availability of “junk health insurance” plans exempt from covering the ACA’s “essential health benefits,” such as maternity care, emergency care, and prescription drugs.
- Trump’s ACA sabotage has already led to higher premiums for Floridians in 2019 because the repeal of the individual mandate disincentivizes younger, healthier people from signing up.
- Trump’s executive order that supposedly protects pre-existing conditions “lacks teeth,” according to health law and policy experts.
In the midst of a pandemic, Trump is fighting to overturn the ACA, which could result in 8 Floridians with pre-existing conditions losing protections.
- When the pandemic began, Trump declined to launch a special ACA open enrollment period, which could have helped the 607,000 Floridians who lost their health insurance when they lost their jobs during the early months of the pandemic.
- If Trump is successful, Florida’s uninsured population would spike 67%
- Without the ACA’s protections, as many as 8 million Floridians with pre-existing conditions could be denied coverage or charged higher rates. This includes 973,800 children with a pre-existing condition.
If Trump succeeds in terminating the ACA, Floridians would see higher costs
- Repealing the ACA would cause premiums to shoot up by as much as 100% or more for the 130 million and counting Americans under 65 who have pre-existing conditions.
- If the ACA is repealed, at least 22 million people would face increased premiums due to losing expanded access to Medicaid or cost-sharing reductions for the individual marketplace.
Joe Biden and Kamala Harris have a plan to build off the Affordable Care Act by expanding coverage and lowering costs for health care and prescription drugs
- Joe Biden will continue to protect and build on the Affordable Care Act as President. He will:
- Make sure every American has access to affordable health insurance.
- Stand up to Big Pharma and negotiate lower costs for prescription drugs.
- Ensure health care is a right for everyone — not a privilege reserved for some.
Central Florida Leaders Call Out Governor DeSantis and Republicans for Failed Leadership on Unemployment
“[The unemployment system] has been broken for a very long time, and COVID has just put the spotlight on the problem…we knew that it was inadequate [in 2011], and it is abysmal now”– Rep. Geraldine Thompson, candidate for HD-44
Yesterday, Central Florida leaders called out Governor DeSantis’ failed leadership on Florida’s broken unemployment system and COVID. Representative Geraldine Thompson, HD-44; Representative Anna Eskamani, HD-47; Representative Jennifer Webb, HD-69; Representative Joy Goff-Marcil, HD-30 highlighted how the Republicans in Tallahassee and Governor DeSantis have not put the needs of Floridians first.
They also focused on how many of the problems we are facing right now are not new problems, but things that were broken before and have been exacerbated by the pandemic. The Republicans designed the unemployment system to fail and now Floridians are paying the price.
HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE CALL
Representative Geraldine Thompson, HD-44
“[The unemployment system] has been broken for a very long time, and COVID has just put the spotlight on the problem…we knew that it was inadequate [in 2011], and it is abysmal now.”
“Rather than focusing on fixing this broken unemployment system…the governor wants to change the subject and to talk about a law that would criminalize peaceful protest and say that people cannot exercise their 1st Amendment right to raise their voices when the government is not listening.”
“I came up through the civil rights movement, so I know about civil disobedience, and I know about marches and protests because the leaders were not listening then and they are not listening now.”
“The governor has failed. His leadership is wanting, and he is following the Trump playbook, and we need real leadership here in the state of Florida…”
“We would want to address unemployment and we would want to address a mask mandate in any special session.”
Representative Jennifer Webb, HD-69
“This crisis has been a series of highlighting how we’ve divested from our families and our local businesses…”
“[The unemployment system] was designed to be harder to apply for unemployment than it was to find any kind of work…that is unconscionable during any time, but especially during a pandemic.”
“…having an executive order that says one thing, enforcement that says another, and then [Governor DeSantis’] talking points saying a third, totally unrelated thing really made [my constituents] feel very jerked around and made it very hard for them to plan how they were going to be responsible in facing this crisis head-on.”
“When the Governor reopened the state, I heard from small businesses all across my district saying ‘we weren’t told; we weren’t ready for the influx of people.”
Representative Joy Goff Marcil, HD-30
“Because of the Governor’s way of presenting the masks and saying that local governments cannot enforce or have any penalties or fees if [people] do not wear a mask…my constituents are not feeling comfortable going to local businesses…the businesses that they’re going to go to…are bigger corporations because they have the manpower to make [mask-wearing] happen.”
“The Governor and leadership in Tallahassee will make you think that we are out of the pandemic when we are still leading the world for cases…Florida’s numbers are rising as well.”
“We’re not gonna get a hold of the unemployment problem until we get a hold of this virus.”
Representative Anna Eskamani, HD-47
“The need for backpay is huge right now and that is probably the biggest burden that many Floridians are facing. They’ve done everything right… but they have not seen their backpay all the way back to…March and April.”
“We need to provide backpay to claimants, we need to remove holds and open up locked accounts; we also need to dramatically improve the [DEO] call center. The Governor knows this, but the Governor doesn’t talk about it.”
“We literally are not paying enough into our state unemployment system to qualify for federal relief.”
“Republicans are acting like the saviors of unemployment when in reality, they are the ones that broke the system in the first place.”
“I just want to recognize how irresponsible the Governor’s calls were for a special session on his mini-Trump agenda to create election tension around issues like BLM and civil disobedience…It’s a slap in the face to constitutional rights…It should be alarming to every single person in the state of Florida.”
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