Back To Articles

Last Night’s State of the Union Misleads on Healthcare

February 5, 2020

President Trump’s comments on health care in this year’s State of the Union (SOTU) were highly misleading, and the fact is that more and more Americans are struggling to afford the care and medications they need. Healthcare affordability is a critical issue for Pennsylvanians and for all Americans, and PHAN calls on lawmakers of both parties at both the state and federal levels to move swiftly to make affordable, high-quality healthcare a top priority and to move swiftly to implement bi-partisan policy solutions.

In the meantime, PHAN did some fact-checking of some of the President’s key statements on healthcare in the SOTU:

STATEMENT: “An iron-clad pledge to families: we will always protect people with pre-existing conditions”

FACT:  The Trump Administration is currently in court attempting to eliminate lifesaving pre-existing condition protections and take coverage away from the tens of millions who have gained coverage thanks to the Affordable Care Act.  This is part of a longstanding and on-going campaign of ACA sabotage, which has stripped people of coverage, increased out-of-pocket costs for those who remain covered, and created chaos in the health care system.

STATEMENT: “Send me a bill lowering the costs of prescription drugs and I will sign it.”

FACT: The House has already passed a bill that would deliver lower drug prices, the Lower Drug Costs Now Act (HR3), which would give Medicare the power to negotiate directly with the drug companies to bring down prices. This would not only benefit Medicare beneficiaries; these cost savings would also be available to Pennsylvanians with private insurance.  Both President Trump and Senate Leadership have declined to even consider the bill.  Instead, President Trump is proposing half-measures that would do nothing to guarantee affordable medicines for patients.

STATEMENT: “We will always protect your Medicare”

FACT:  The President has repeatedly proposed privatizing Medicare and tried to end Medicaid as we know it. Not only has he proposed hundreds of billions in cuts to Medicaid, but the Administration’s latest proposal would cap and slash Medicaid, allowing states to refuse coverage for some lifesaving medicines, impose unaffordable premiums and deny services to people with high health care needs.