Trump Accused by People With Pre-Existing Conditions of Lying About Protecting Them During State of the Union Address

President Donald Trump has been accused of telling the "biggest lie" to the American people during his State of the Union address after claiming he will "always protect" those with pre-existing conditions.

The president was criticized by lawmakers and those with such conditions for making the claim, despite his administration currently being involved in a lawsuit that could kill off the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Trump has been determined to remove so-called "Obamacare" since he entered the White House. The landmark bill, seen as one of the key pieces of legislation brought in during Barack Obama's time as president, barred insurers from denying coverage, or charging more, to those with a pre-existing condition.

Trump has promised to introduce new proposals to protect those with pre-existing conditions if the ACA bill is scrapped, but so far none of his administration's alternatives have done so.

"I've also made an ironclad pledge to American families: We will always protect patients with pre-existing conditions," Trump said during his address.

"And we will always protect your Medicare and we will always protect your Social Security."

CNN and The New York Times were among several news organizations to have ruled this statement as false in fact-checking articles.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who ripped up Trump's speech after he finished his address, was one of those who accused Trump of being deceitful with his remarks.

"President Trump's address tonight gave no comfort to the 130 million Americans with pre-existing conditions or the families struggling to afford the prescription drugs they need," Pelosi said. "Once again, President Trump was not truthful about his actions in court to destroy pre-existing condition protections."

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer also said Trump's claim about pre-existing conditions was his "biggest lie" of the night.

"His admin is in court trying to take those protections away," Schumer tweeted. "The only way he can truly protect people with pre-existing conditions is to drop the lawsuit now."

Sen. Bernie Sanders, who will be hoping to put forward his "Medicare for All" plan against Trump in the 2020 presidential election, added: "Trump said, 'We will always protect patients with pre-existing conditions.'

"Really? This is the same president who came one vote away from throwing 32 million Americans off the health care they have and ending the Affordable Care Act's protection for pre-existing conditions."

Tiffany Stepien, whose 10-year-old daughter Sophia was diagnosed with a rare kidney cancer when she was 4, told Newsweek she "struggled" to watch Trump's address when he talked about pre-existing conditions knowing she could face drastically increased medical costs for her daughter.

Stepien said that while Sophia is now cancer free following treatment, which included the removal of one of her kidneys, her condition requires lifelong monitoring.

"I felt frustrated and angry with the fact that Trump lied about protecting pre-existing conditions while he has staff actively fighting to dismantle the ACA in court," Stepien said.

"Unfortunately, Trump neither understands how this impacts families nor cares. Trump cares not for a living, breathing child. He disrespects families with his lies and tweets.

"His state of the union is a lie. I hope that parents and families facing life-threatening illnesses are smart and advocate for the ACA through Congress and the 2020 election," Stepien said.

The president was criticized on social media by those who could be affected if Trump succeeds in fully dismantling Obamacare.

I'm a stage 4 cancer survivor. @realDonaldTrump has voted again and again to take away the health care of people with pre-existing conditions like me. His words are lies. This is his record. https://t.co/HTWmYz5thh #SOTU #ProtectOurCare

— Laura Packard (@lpackard) February 5, 2020

As someone with a pre-existing condition b/c I donated a kidney to my son, and my son who was recipient of said kidney also have said pre-existing condition, @realDonaldTrump @POTUS blatant lie is OUTRAGEOUS! https://t.co/15I8w6tbza

— DeeDeeT (@DdltDee) February 5, 2020

And now the media will spend the next 2 hours normalizing his presidency. Nancy will be attacked because the double standard continues. If you have a kid with a pre-existing condition and you’re listening to the lie, you’d want to do more than tear up a few pieces of paper

— Jeanne Nisbet (@gobie1980) February 5, 2020

I have a pre-existing condition, type 1 diabetes. I’m a disabled veteran on Social Security & Medicare. I barely have enough money for food & medicine after I pay my bills. Trump’s stance on pre-existing conditions and his cuts in these other areas is very concerning for me.

— Chastity 💙🌞😷🏳️‍🌈🌊🌊🐾 (@chastityallen74) February 5, 2020

👍🏻 My son also was born with a cleft lip, submucous cleft palate, & supernumerary tooth. My daughter has type 1 diabetes. I have asthma. Most people have a pre-existing condition that would allow for-profit insurance companies to boot them out of any affordable healthcare option.

— Kelly (@KellybeansTweet) February 5, 2020

If Trump wanted to stop lying about pre-existing conditions, he would call Bill Barr tonight to stop litigation that would completely gut the Affordable Care Act. If Barr wins, babies born w/a pre-existing condition like type 1 diabetes will lose healthcare insurance. STFU #SOTU

— Kelly (@KellybeansTweet) February 5, 2020

Trump literally wants me dead. He is trying to kill off me and thousands of Americans like me because we don't fit in to his agenda. The disabled are terribly inconvenient to the Republicans.

— Cassie #WeKnew (@Cassie27699036) February 5, 2020

As a patient with a pre-existing condition called #hydrocephalus, both my family and I have a hard time finding the right medical care for a shunt that could fail at any time. It would be interesting to see if President Trump actually keeps his promise... #StateOfTheUnion #SOTU

— Tomas Rodriguez (@TomasFRoBeltran) February 5, 2020

"From his executive actions, his consistent and aggressive pursuit of repeal of the Affordable Care Act, and his efforts to undermine coverage for the lowest income population through new restrictions on Medicaid eligibility, it is absolutely clear that the president is misleading the public by saying 'We will always protect patients with pre-existing conditions,'" Linda Blumberg, economist and Institute Fellow at the Urban Institute think tank, told Newsweek.

"His actions and advocacy provide extensive evidence that he is comfortable, and, in fact, aggressively pursuing eliminating the protections that have been put in place before he entered office."

Last month, Trump bizarrely claimed that he was the one who had "saved" the policy banning insurance companies from refusing clients because of pre-existing conditions, despite attempting to repeal ACA.

"Mini Mike Bloomberg is spending a lot of money on False Advertising," Trump tweeted on January 13 while attacking the 2020 democratic presidential candidate hopeful.

"I was the person who saved Pre-Existing Conditions in your Healthcare, you have it now, while at the same time winning the fight to rid you of the expensive, unfair and very unpopular Individual Mandate," he added.

"And, if Republicans win in court and take back the House of Represenatives, your healthcare, that I have now brought to the best place in many years, will become the best ever, by far. I will always protect your Pre-Existing Conditions, the Dems will not!"

In a statement to Newsweek, White House spokesman Judd Deere said: "President Trump has repeatedly stated his commitment to protect individuals with pre-existing conditions and his track record shows that he has consistently done what is necessary to improve care for the vulnerable by opening affordable options for those who were priced out of the market by Obamacare.

"While the media refuses to cover the ineffective provisions of Obamacare that have made health care too expensive for too many, the radical left is doing Americans with pre-existing conditions a disservice by making them a political pawn in their agenda to expand the scope of government."

This article has been updated with additional quotes from the White House, Blumberg and Stepien.

Correction 2/10/20, 04:00 a.m. ET: This article was updated to correct the title of Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.

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President Donald Trump delivers the State of the Union address flanked by US Vice President Mike Pence (L) and Speaker of the US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi (R) at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, on February 4, 2020. MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty