Trump's effort to repeal ACA clashes with convention claims

  • President Donald Trump speaks from the South Lawn of the White House on Thursday, the fourth day of the Republican National Convention, in Washington.

    President Donald Trump speaks from the South Lawn of the White House on Thursday, the fourth day of the Republican National Convention, in Washington. Associated Press

Updated 8/29/2020 6:07 PM

As Republican officials took turns getting the party's message out during last week's convention, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany touted President Donald Trump's plans for health care.

"I can tell you that this president stands by Americans with preexisting conditions," she said.


But that's not the case, according to The Associated Press.

Trump has pushed for a repeal of the Affordable Care Act. The ACA, signed into law by President Barack Obama in 2010, gives health insurance protection to people with preexisting medical conditions, meaning they can't be excluded from insurance plans or charged higher rates.

Trump has recently pressed the Supreme Court for a full repeal of the plan.

Two alternate health programs put out by the Trump administration, a short-term plan and a plan targeted to small businesses, are not required to cover preexisting conditions.

Earlier this year, debunked a claim by the president, in a Jan. 13 Twitter post, that he "was the person who saved preexisting conditions in your health care."

A White House spokesman at the time told PolitiFact, "President Donald Trump has repeatedly stated his commitment to protect individuals with preexisting conditions.

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But Urban Institute health economist Linda Blumberg told PolitiFact, "You can't tell me you're the savior of people with preexisting conditions when every single thing you've said or done is the opposite of that."

Flowers haven't been in Rose Garden since 1913

First lady Melania Trump recently oversaw a renovation of the White House Rose Garden and the site was the backdrop for her speech during the Republican National Convention last week.

Some social media posts, however, claimed the first lady trampled on tradition.

"Melania dug up the WH Rose Garden, removing roses from every First Lady since 1913," a Facebook user wrote.

That post, flagged as false by Facebook, doesn't take into consideration that many things have changed since 1913, <URL destination="">according to


</URL>"Most of these were long gone by the time the Trumps moved in," landscape historian Marta McDowell told PolitiFact.

Trump's monthlong project was one of many redesigns the garden has seen since first planted by First Lady Ellen Wilson in 1913. There have been 58 different kinds of roses grown in the spot, which was known interchangeably as the West Garden or Rose Garden until around 1950.

First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy redesigned the garden in 1962 to the look that has largely remained until now. At that time, most of the roses planted by previous first ladies were gone because they died off or were replaced, McDowell told PolitiFact.

Bible not required for oath

Recent social media posts falsely claim an Arizona school superintendent was sworn into office on a children's book because she "hates the Bible," according to USA Today.

Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman took her oath earlier this year on the children's book "Too Many Moose," by Lisa Bakos. The book is used to help students with speech impairments.

"This has a lot of sentimental value to me because this is my students' favorite book," Hoffman told a local news station.

The choice had nothing to do with religion, Arizona Department of Education spokesman Richie Taylor told USA Today.

The Constitution doesn't require elected officials to be sworn in with a Bible. That's a "common misconception," USA Today said. In 1825, President John Quincy Adams was sworn in with his hand on a law book, and President Theodore Roosevelt took the oath of office without a Bible.

There were also other false posts on social media linking Hoffman to debunked human trafficking conspiracies and claiming she wanted to push sex education on kindergartners, USA Today said.

"Superintendent Hoffman finds these claims abhorrent and offensive to actual victims of sex trafficking or sexual abuse," Taylor said.

Mailboxes locked to prevent theft

Photos showing locked mailboxes, shared on the internet, are proof of massive voter suppression ahead of the November presidential election, social media users claim.

"Spread this far and wide! This is massive voter suppression happening in front of us! The Post Office in Burbank, CA. All outdoor boxes locked shut. The entrance to the Post Office is locked and you can't mail a letter?" a Facebook user wrote.

The boxes were locked, according to The Associated Press, but it was to prevent theft, not votes.

"The use of Collection Box Anti-theft locking devices, such as at the Burbank Post Office, have been in place since approximately 2016 and this device was developed as a mail-theft deterrent," Postal Service spokeswoman Evelina Ramirez told the AP.

The boxes are locked after the last collection of the day and locks are removed at the start of the next business day. There is also an opening on the back of the boxes for mail to be inserted while the locks are on the front.

• Bob Oswald is a veteran Chicago-area journalist and former news editor of the Elgin Courier-News. Contact him at

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