Joe Biden hits President Trump on health care: ‘He has no plan’

The first debate between President Trump and Democratic rival Joe Biden quickly turned to a discussion of health care. 

The first question by moderator Chris Wallace was about the vacancy on the Supreme Court for which Trump has nominated Judge Amy Coney Barrett, but Biden quickly pivoted to discussing how a conservative majority on the court could overturn the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, imperiling the health care of millions.

Last week, Trump rolled out what he called a replacement plan for the ACA, but in reality it was a pair of executive orders with no legal standing. Trump also said he would lower drug prices “80 or 90 percent,” but there is no evidence his plan would do that. Trump criticized Wallace for asking him what his health care plan was, saying “I guess I’m debating you, not him, but that’s okay.”

“He has no plan for health care,” Biden said. “He sends out wishful thinking, he has executive orders that have no power. He hasn’t lowered drug costs for anybody, he’s been promising a health care plan since he got elected. He has none, like almost everything else he talks about – he doesn’t have a plan. The fact is this man doesn’t know what he’s talking about.”

“We guaranteed pre-existing conditions,” Trump said before Biden interjected “That’s not true.” 

Last week, White House officials said that Trump’s “protections” for preexisting conditions would not actually be law should the ACA be repealed, but were a “defined statement of U.S. policy.”

“We want to get rid of it and give something that’s cheaper and better,” Trump said of Obamacare, although he has not actually proposed a replacement plan of any sort. Without protections for preexisting conditions provided by Obamacare, the Kaiser Family Foundation estimated in 2016 that up to 52 million people could be denied coverage. Millions more would lose insurance if the Medicaid expansion that was adopted by dozens of states and Washington, D.C., is killed.  

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