RELEASE: “With the Affordable Care Act, We Have Some Comfort”: CAP Action Campaign Highlights Trump Administration’s Broken Promise on Protections for Preexisting Conditions

Washington, D.C. — As the Trump administration continues to try to use the federal courts to destroy the Affordable Care Act (ACA), including protections for Americans with preexisting conditions, the Center for American Progress Action Fund is releasing a new video in its social media campaign to educate Americans on what’s at stake. The campaign is telling stories of Americans such as Sarah Doerr of Minneapolis, whose son Max lives with a rare neurological disorder known as pantothenate kinase-associated neurodegeneration (PKAN). Because of the Trump administration’s open hostility toward the law, Doerr says she is uncertain that treatment for Max’s preexisting condition will remain protected if the ACA is destroyed through the courts. Doerr says that repealing the ACA and its protections puts Max’s life at risk.

“It’s really scary that Trump will say anything. He’s making promises without any plan to back them up,” Sarah Doerr says in the video. “Trump will tweet anything if he thinks it will get talked about. I don’t think he understands what kind of jeopardy it puts our kids’ lives in.”

According to the Washington Post, the Trump White House—which has failed to produce an alternative plan to the ACA, as it had promised—has stalled on plans to write a bill and is focusing on toppling the law in the courts. In July, after dozens of failed attempts by the Trump administration to repeal the ACA in Congress, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit heard oral arguments in the case of Texas v. Azar, a 20-state lawsuit—backed by the Trump administration—to overturn the entire ACA. Caught in the balance of the court fight are people like the Doerrs and 20 million other Americans who would lose health care coverage as well as more than 130 million who could lose preexisting conditions protections nationwide if these efforts are successful.  

The Trump administration’s attempts to dismantle the ACA in the courts are a stark departure from Trump’s promise to preserve protections for preexisting conditions and his claim that “Republicans only will always protect patients with pre-existing conditions.” This broken promise is one that Doerr says may take away the only comfort she has that her son will be protected. 

“It’s an unknown for us, what his medical treatment will look like in the future. With the Affordable Care Act, we have some comfort knowing that his condition, which would be considered a preexisting condition, would be covered, and he wouldn’t be subject to a lifetime cap,” Doerr continues in the video.

According to Doerr, President Trump’s broken promises are the reasons why she can’t believe the president when he makes promises that affects her child’s life. 

“I absolutely don’t trust him,” she says. “I don’t think the real-life consequences of what he’s saying are anywhere on his radar. He doesn’t understand how this affects families like ours. Kids like Max, they deserve every opportunity to get the treatment that they need for their diseases.” 

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