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Voter Shuts Down Interruption From Trump During Healthcare Question At Town Hall

While politicians will almost certainly hold a vast array of press conferences throughout their careers, you may occasionally see them stand to questions from the public as well.

Although reporters are known to come with tough questions for elected officials, citizens are also no strangers to putting them in the hot seat. After all, they can often point to specific and clear ways that certain policies have affected their lives and their need for answers is clear.

That was certainly the case for an English professor who attended ABC's town hall event and asked President Donald Trump a pointed question. And from the looks of it, neither his answer nor the lead-up to that question left her satisfied.

After identifying herself, Elizabeth Blaque explained that she has had a disease called sarcoidosis since birth, which she said left her "uninsurable."

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According to the Mayo Clinic, this is characterized by the growth of tiny inflammatory cells that can appear anywhere in the body and can seriously affect internal organs if those cells are present in them.

In Blaque's case, sarcoidosis would eventually reach her brain by the time she enrolled in graduate school, which she said automatically made her eligible for disability for the rest of her life.

Nonetheless, she continued with her education until achieving her PhD and becoming a professor.

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To this, Trump said, "Great," and she agreed but told him that she is in a situation where it costs her $7,000 a year in addition to copays.

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She then implied that her situation would be critical had the Affordable Care Act not provided protections for citizens with pre-existing conditions.

She started to enumerate what would happen to her should this consideration for pre-existing conditions be removed along with the Affordable Care Act, but Trump interpreted this as a question and said, "No."

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Blaque immediately responded, "Please stop and let me finish my question, sir."

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She then informed the president that the removal of pre-existing condition protections could leave her in a situation where she goes without medication for a 36-72 hour period, which would kill her.

So she asked what he intended to do to ensure that she and others with pre-existing conditions stay insured.

As she put it, "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."

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In response, Trump initially said that he hopes she is taken seriously.

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He also said that his administration would not hurt anything having to do with pre-existing conditions before making the claim that instituting Medicare For All would somehow make people with pre-existing conditions more vulnerable.

The town hall was moderated by ABC's George Stephanopoulos, who reminded the president that Medicare For All was not included in Joe Biden's primary platform and that repealing Obamacare as Trump's administration seeks to do is not consistent with safeguarding protections for those with pre-existing conditions.

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To this, Trump replied that he intends to replace the Affordable Care Act with a different healthcare plan that also takes into account pre-existing conditions.

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As NPR reported, the years-long fight by the Trump Administration to repeal the Affordable Care Act is now the subject of a lawsuit filed with the U.S. Supreme Court.

Yet while Trump made promises to Blaque that her pre-existing condition would be addressed by his healthcare plan which he claims is already drafted, these statements aren't backed up by proposed legislation that would replace Obamacare.

That's because there's no evidence provided by Trump or congressional Republicans that any such legislation exists.

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And even when such legislation was attempted in 2017, it didn't appear to mirror Trump's statements to Blaque.

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As NBC News reported, proposed replacements failed to pass in the House of Representatives back when it was controlled by the GOP and would have rolled back Medicare coverage.

They also specifically would have weakened protections for those with pre-existing conditions by including waivers for states to allow insurers to charge people more on the basis of health status.

As NPR reported, over 20 million Americans will be left without medical insurance should the Affordable Care Act be struck down.

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As for Blaque, she came away from the town hall believing that Trump dodged her question because she asked how he would protect those with pre-existing conditions, not whether he would.

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As she told CNN Business, she was unsure whether she would vote at all in the 2020 Presidential Election before her encounter with Trump.

However, she now says she is going to vote for Biden and that Trump "reanimated" her to vote.

h/t: Twitter | @ABC, NPR

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