White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows on Friday touted President Trump’s new executive order aimed at protecting preexisting conditions in health care.
“It’s trying primarily to make sure any insurance company if they got someone covered that they can’t increase the premiums and essentially price that person out of coverage just because they happen to get sick or have a preexisting condition,” Mr. Meadows said on CBS’ “This Morning.”
“It’s the official policy of President Trump to make sure that any legislation, whether it’s new legislation moving forward, whether it’s executive orders or whatever else, that preexisting [conditions] will always be protected,” he added.
Currently, the Trump administration is supporting a lawsuit trying to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, which included protections for those with preexisitng conditions that made it difficult or more expensive to find coverage.
In 2017, as part of the tax code overhaul, Congress zeroed out the penalty for not having coverage, which Mr. Trump signed. That move, lower courts ruled, resulted in the law being unconstitutional.
A federal appeals court ruled last year that the mandate requiring all Americans to have insurance or pay a penalty runs afoul of the Constitution because it is no longer a tax following Mr. Trump’s decision to zero out the fine.
But the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, in a 2-1 decision, put off a thornier question — whether other parts of the Affordable Care Act can stand without the mandate. The Supreme Court will now have to decide.
Mr. Meadows said that lawsuit is part of why they wanted to shore up this particular part of the Obama-era legislation, to ensure those vulnerable Americans are still covered if the bill gets struck down.
The Trump administration is working on its own health care plan but has not publicly unveiled it yet.
“We will have a better and less expensive plan that will always protect people with preexisting conditions,” Mr. Trump said Thursday night in North Carolina.
• Tom Howell contributed to this report.