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Trump Threatens Affordable Care Act, Lives At Risk


President Obama Signs Health Care Reform Bill

President Barack Obama (C) is applauded after signing the Affordable Health Care for America Act during a ceremony with fellow Democrats in the East Room of the White House March 23, 2010, in Washington, DC. | Source: Win McNamee / Getty

I’ll be honest, when the twice impeached and four-times indicted former president Donald Trump revived his calls to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) last week, part of me did a little dance.

After all, nearly 60% of Americans support the ACA and even a strong majority of Republicans support key provisions that eliminate pre-existing conditions and prevent insurance companies from charging sick people more just because they’re sick. In fact, the last time Republicans went on the warpath against Obamacare, they not only failed despite controlling Congress and the White House, they lost the House, the Senate and the Presidency for their trouble.

MORE: How Ending Obamacare Would Hurt Black People

Oh, please throw me in that briar patch.

But as that part of me felt giddy at the prospect of Trump’s unforced political error, I realized that something bigger was at stake.

You see, I remember pre-existing conditions. I remember when turning 19-year-olds meant getting kicked off your parents’ insurance regardless of your situation. I remember when there was no Patients’ Bill of Rights, when insurance companies were allowed to refuse coverage to pregnant women whenever they wanted or deny vaccinations, mammograms, colonoscopies, or countless other essential services for any reason or no reason at all.

I remember what life was like before the ACA and I’m not going back. What about you?

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, more than 40 million Americans have coverage under the ACA and that’s not something you bojangle around with. But that’s scratching the surface of all the American lives Trump wants to put at risk by dismantling the ACA.

Do you want to follow his lead?

Do you want to bring back pre-existing conditions putting 135 million Americans at risk and kicking 54 million Americans off of their plans entirely? Trump does.

Do you think we should kick 21 million hard-working Americans off Medicaid by rolling back Medicaid expansion and raise prescription drug costs for 49 million American seniors by reopening the “Medicare Donut Hole?” Trump does.

Should we raise taxes by eliminating the premium credits that help people pay for insurance through the marketplace? Trump does.

Trump wants to kick 23 million adult children off their parents’ insurance immediately and let insurance companies charge women more than men. He wants to close rural hospitals getting key support from the ACA and putting lifetime caps on the benefits you pay for. He thinks insurance companies shouldn’t have to cover prescription drugs and maternity care and that higher costs and new disruptions for 61.5 million Medicare beneficiaries are totally worth it to score a few political points. What about you?

You see, while it’s true that part of me is just itching to beat Trump and the MAGA Republican Party over the head with all these facts and figures from now until Election Day. But, for me, this is about more than campaign strategy and political gamesmanship. It’s about lives. It’s about my mother and my father, all the friends and family and the countless others whose lives dramatically improved on March 23, 2010, the day President Barack Obama signed the ACA into law.

Donald Trump is willing to put those lives at risk. He and GOP already tried once the same thing and I followed Maya Angelou’s rule, “When someone shows you who they are. Believe them the first time.”

What about you?

Antjuan Seawright (@antjuansea) is a Democratic political strategist, founder and CEO of Blueprint Strategy LLC, a CBS News political contributor, and a senior visiting fellow at Third Way.

SEE ALSO:

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