Former President Barack Obama responded to late-night television host Jimmy Kimmel’s monologue about his son’s open heart surgery, saying stories like his are why his administration fought so hard to pass the Affordable Care Act.
Monday night on “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” Kimmel broke down a number of times while detailing his family’s struggles with his son Billy’s open heart surgery. He also delivered a heartfelt plea to President Donald Trump and congressional leaders to preserve protections for those with pre-existing conditions in their new healthcare proposal.
“Well said, Jimmy,” Obama tweeted on Tuesday. “That’s exactly why we fought so hard for the ACA, and why we need to protect it for kids like Billy. And congratulations!”
Congressional Republicans are currently embroiled in a debate over an amendment to the American Healthcare Act (AHCA). The amendment would allow states to waive certain parts of the Affordable Care Act’s community-rating rules, which prohibit insurance companies from charging more to those who have preexisting conditions.
States would be eligible to apply for a waiver if they provide some funding for people with preexisting conditions to get coverage, participate in the “invisible high risk pools” established by the AHCA, or “provide incentives to appropriate entities” to “stabilise premiums.”
While the amendment garnered the support of the ultraconservative House Freedom Caucus, it has driven away more moderate Republicans who have said they cannot support a bill that doesn’t guarantee protections for those with preexisting conditions.
During an interview with CBS’ John Dickerson for “Face the Nation” on Sunday, Trump said that the bill would include a clause that guarantees protections for those with preexisting conditions.
“Preexisting conditions are in the bill,” Trump said. “And I just watched another network than yours, and they were saying, ‘Preexisting is not covered.’ Preexisting conditions are in the bill. And I mandate it. I said, ‘Has to be.'”
He later added: “”We actually have — we actually have a clause that guarantees. We have a specific clause that guarantees.”
He also repeated his comments during an interview with Bloomberg on Monday.
“I want it to be good for sick people,” Trump said. “It’s not in its final form right now. It will be every bit as good on preexisting conditions as Obamacare.”
But the the AHCA, as it currently stands, does not include that guarantee.
Well said, Jimmy. That’s exactly why we fought so hard for the ACA, and why we need to protect it for kids like Billy. And congratulations! https://t.co/77F8rZrD3P
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) May 2, 2017
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