Ohio Democrats blast Pres. Trump on health care

MARIETTA, Oh.-(WTAP) Ohio Democrats say, since Donald Trump became president, more Ohioans are without health insurance.

And they say, in just the past two years, prescription drug prices have gone up 20 times.

"More recently, he has said something he was called out on rather loudly," David Pepper, Chairman, Ohio Democratic Party, said in a visit to Marietta Wednesday, "when he said he was the person who has saved pre-existing conditions. We know that's not true."

Pepper said 58,000 more Ohioans are uninsured than in 2017, and 30,000 more children are without coverage.

Democrat Shawna Roberts, who this year is challenging Republican Congressman Bill Johnson in Johnson's re-election bid, had a personal story about a man she met recently, whose son had trouble paying his medical bills.

"He had been talking to his son the day before, and he said he had been having chest pains," Roberts recalls. "The father said, 'you should go to a doctor', and the son said, 'I'm still paying on the last time I had to go to the doctor, and I don't think I will'. The next day, he was dead."

We reached out to area Republicans, including Johnson.

The 6th District congressman said, ""I am willing to work with anyone who comes to the table to reform America’s healthcare system with common sense solutions that actually work...but right now, national and state Democrats aren’t offering anything but more big government through their massively expensive proposals like Medicare For All."

Washington County Republican Party Chairman Michael Webber also defended the president.

"The President is using his executive authority to reduce barriers to more affordable options for Americans and U.S. businesses," Webber said in a statement Wednesday. "President Trump is taking steps to make lower cost temporary health insurance more available and affordable, and is working on improving our opportunities to reach mental healthcare goals."

Democrats are also bracing for a ruling on a suit challenging the Affordable Care Act, by a U.S. Supreme Court with two Trump appointees.

"When it is decided, either this year or next," Pepper says, "if Donald Trump gets his way, that will gut the Affordable Care Act, and get rid of pre-existing conditions."

Pepper is skeptical of a plan recently announced by West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, one Morrisey says will preserve pre-existing conditions it the suit is upheld.

Pepper and other Democrats also made stops in Chillicothe and Ironton.