- President Donald Trump appeared at an ABC News town hall Tuesday night in which he faced questions from multiple voters.
- At one point, Trump started to talk over Ellesia Blaque, an assistant professor from Philadelphia with preexisting conditions, who was asking a question about Obamacare.
- When he did so, she immediately shut him down, saying: “Please stop and let me finish my question, sir.”
- Trump was also confronted at Tuesday night’s town hall on his response to the coronavirus pandemic, racial-justice protests, immigration, and more.
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A voter shut down President Donald Trump when he started to interrupt her during an ABC News town hall on Tuesday night.
ABC News identified the voter as Ellesia Blaque, an assistant professor from Philadelphia who voted for Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election.
At the town hall, Blaque said she was born with a disease called sarcoidosis and started asking whether Trump would make sure she would remain covered by health insurance as she has been under the Affordable Care Act, the law also known as Obamacare.
She said: “Should preexisting conditions, which Obamacare brought to fruition, be removed without–“
“No,” Trump said.
“Please stop and let me finish my question, sir,” Blaque replied.
—ABC News (@ABC) September 16, 2020
Blaque continued: “Should that be removed, within a 36- to 72-hour period without my medication I would be dead. And I want to know what it is that you’re going to do to assure that people like me that work hard, we do everything were supposed to do, can stay insured.
“It’s not my fault that I was born with this disease. It’s not my fault that I’m a Black woman and in the medical community I’m minimized and not taken seriously. I want to know what you are going to do about that.”
The president responded: “So first of all, you are taken seriously. I hope you are. And we are not going to hurt anything having to do with preexisting conditions. We’re not going to hurt preexisting conditions. And, in fact, just the opposite.”
Trump went on to say that he was working to replace Obamacare with his own unspecified healthcare plan and that people with preexisting conditions would be covered.
The ABC News host George Stephanopoulos, who was moderating the town hall, called the president out, saying his administration had been trying to dismantle Obamacare yet hadn’t come up with a viable alternative that would protect people with preexisting conditions under the law.
Obamacare was the first US government program to ensure that people with preexisting medical conditions could receive health insurance and pay the same standard premiums as healthy people.
The Trump administration has been challenging Obamacare in the courts. In June, it asked the Supreme Court to invalidate the plan.
The Republican Party has tried to pass its own health-insurance program via Congress but has been unsuccessful.
The Trump administration has also offered alternative plans to Obamacare, but one of those major alternatives doesn’t cover preeexisting conditions.
Last month, Trump said he could invoke an executive action to make sure that health-insurance companies cover preexisting conditions, falsely claiming it “has never been done before.”
At Tuesday night’s town hall, Trump was also confronted on his response to the coronavirus pandemic, racial-justice protests, immigration, and more.
The Fox News host Laura Ingraham, who is a staunch supporter of the president, later tweeted that the forum and questions were a “total setup.”
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