Trump allowed the sale of short-term health insurance plans and Association Health Plans that do not require pre-existing conditions to be covered.
On the third night of the Republican National Convention, Kayleigh McEnany, White House press secretary, said that President Donald Trump stands by people with preexisting conditions. She followed this by stating how he supported her through her recovery from a preventive mastectomy. However, the claim that Trump supports Americans with preexisting conditions is not supported by his record.
Even since Trump entered office, he has been trying to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The federal law, signed into law by the Obama administration in 2010, requires health insurers to cover people with preexisting medical conditions and not charge them more when they have an expensive medical condition. The Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) notes that people with preexisting health conditions were often denied coverage or charged higher premiums for individual market coverage before the ACA.
Trump issued an executive order on October 12, 2017, instructing the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Treasury to consider proposing regulations to expand association health plans (AHPs), short-term insurance, and employer health reimbursement arrangements. His administration proposed rules that would expand the sale of less expensive insurance with fewer benefits, including an absence of coverage for preexisting conditions.
The regulations had been rolled out in 2018. The Trump administration allowed small businesses to offer Americans cheaper, less-comprehensive policies, the AHPs, that last only up to a year. However, because AHPs are short-term, companies can charge higher premiums or deny coverage based on medical history and preexisting conditions, which Obamacare made illegal for long-term plans.
The KFF found that approximately 27% of 18-64-year-olds or 54 million non-elderly adults have preexisting conditions that would likely disqualify them from coverage without the protections from the ACA. On August 7, Reuters reported that Trump is working on an executive order to require health insurers to cover preexisting conditions; however, he has not yet done so.
Trump has not enacted any policy to protect Americans with preexisting conditions. On the contrary, under AHP, it is not permitted to set premiums directly based on health-related factors. Other non-health factors, such as occupation and age, can be used to determine premiums closely correlated to health status, potentially leaving people with preexisting conditions or who are older exposed to much higher premiums.