Trump announced the move during a trip to North Carolina, outlining his “vision” for revamping parts of the nation’s health care. During the speech, which came shortly before a campaign swing to Florida, Trump barely veiled the political nature of his intent.
“The historic action I’m taking today includes the first-ever executive order to affirm it is the official policy of the United States government to protect patients with preexisting conditions,” Trump said, despite the fact such protections are already enshrined in law. “We’re making that official. We’re putting it down in a stamp, because our opponents, the Democrats, like to constantly talk about it.”
The speech and executive order stood as a tacit admission that Trump had failed to keep his 2016 promise to replace his predecessor’s signature achievement with a conservative alternative. For a president who campaigned in 2016 pledging to “repeal and replace” the ACA, Trump’s 2020