Washington (CNN)President Donald Trump told one of the most absurd lies of his relentlessly dishonest reelection campaign on Thursday.
At a campaign rally in Freeland, Michigan, Trump claimed his opponent, Joe Biden, “will destroy your protections for pre-existing conditions.” Trump went on to say that he would himself preserve these protections.Facts First: This is not only false but a complete reversal of reality. The protections for people with pre-existing conditions were created by the very Obama administration in which Biden served as vice president — as part of Obamacare, the 2010 law Biden has vowed to preserve and strengthen if elected President. Trump, conversely, has tried repeatedly to get bills passed that would have weakened these protections. He is now trying to get the entirety of Obamacare struck down by the courts. Trump has made a vague promise to protect pre-existing conditions through some kind of executive order. He has not explained how this order would work. (He has also generally promised to unveil a health care plan that would replace Obamacare, but he has not done so; while he said it might be released by the end of August, it still hadn’t arrived as of September 11.)Regardless, his claim that Biden will destroy the protections is absurd. We give candidates some latitude to make predictions about what their opponents might do in office, but it’s laughable to claim that Biden would eradicate a widely popular achievement of his own previous administration.Read MoreThe Affordable Care Act includes several protections for people with pre-existing conditions. It prohibits insurance companies from denying people coverage or charging them higher prices because of pre-existing conditions. (These protections do not apply to short-term health plans, which have been expanded by the Trump administration.) It requires insurers selling Affordable Care Act policies to individuals and small businesses to cover 10 “essential health benefits,” which prevents insurers from omitting critical categories of care from plans offered to patients with pre-existing conditions. It also forbids insurers selling individual or employer plans from setting lifetime limits on coverage of these essential benefits, reducing the chance that people with serious conditions will hit a cap while they still need care.