MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — President Donald Trump is telling millions of his Twitter followers that he “saved” patients with pre-existing conditions from being denied insurance coverage.

He is also suggesting he is responsible for getting pre-existing condition laws passed, and saving them from getting repealed.

He made this claim as recently as Tuesday, at a campaign rally in Wisconsin.

“They want to take away your private health insurance,” Trump said. “We will protect patients with pre-existing conditions like nobody else, and we will protect your pre-existing physicians, which you’ve had to get rid of.”

The president on Twitter this week also said, “I was the person who saved Pre-Existing Conditions in your Healthcare, you have it now.” He also wrote, “I will always protect your Pre-Existing Conditions, the Dems will not!”

In fact, before the Affordable Care Act, insurance companies did not always cover patients with pre-existing conditions. Now, they are required by law to do so.

A short list includes epilepsy, cancer, diabetes, sleep apnea, pregnancy and childbirth.

At Reality Check, when we fact check these claims, we always try to allow for political rhetoric. But what’s odd about this claim from the president that he saved pre-existing conditions for sick people? The available evidence shows exactly the opposite.

Candidate Trump repeatedly promised to “repeal and replace” Obamacare, but it never happened, despite having a Republican House and Senate for two years.

He signed a law eliminating the unpopular “individual mandate” to penalize people who don’t buy insurance.

And the White House supports a lawsuit seeking to declare the Affordable Care Act unconstitutional, eliminating coverage for pre-existing conditions.

President Trump is right about some Democrats and private insurance. “Medicare For All” would take away private health insurance from 140 million Americans, and replace private insurance with a government-administered health plan. But the authors say it would not abolish coverage for any pre-existing conditions.

Meanwhile, President Trump says he will propose a health care plan to replace Obamacare — after the 2020 election.

Pat Kessler

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