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Trust Index: Fact-checking claims on health care from first Trump-Biden debate

Claims about ACA, Biden’s health care plan made during first presidential debate

Health care remains a top issue for voters, particularly during the spread of the coronavirus as millions lost their jobs and health insurance over the course of pandemic.

During Tuesday night’s first presidential debate, there were a couple of claims from former Vice President Joe Biden about what would happen without the Affordable Care Act (ACA) -- we’re going to test these claims at the same time:

“He’s in the Supreme Court right now trying to get rid of the Affordable Care Act, which will strip 20 million people from having insurance, health insurance -- 100 million people with pre-existing conditions, they’ll be taken off as well,” Biden said.

Both of these are true.

It's True

We’ve reviewed information surrounding this topic and confirmed that It’s True.

What is the Trust Index?

Biden actually undershoots the numbers. According to the non-partisan Kaiser Family Foundation roughly 25 million people get their health care through the federal ACA marketplace or the ACA’s Medicaid expansion. According to a 2017 report from the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services, roughly 133 million people would be at risk for losing all or parts of their coverage if those with pre-existing conditions were no longer protected by the ACA.

Here’s one from President Trump about Biden’s plan:

“The bigger problem that you have is that you’re going to extinguish 180 million people with their private health care,” Trump said.

This claim is not true.

Not True

After review, we've found this information is Not True.

What is the Trust Index?

While estimates differ, the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services do estimate that roughly 180 million Americans have private health insurance. The President is substituting proposals for Medicare-For-All for Biden’s plan. Biden’s plan creates a public option for low income Americans but does not get rid of private insurance. Biden has also repeatedly said he doesn’t support Medicare-For-All.


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