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Melania Thinks Seriously Ill Children Should Use the 'Gift of Nature' to Heal

The First Lady's recent comments are timed well with her husband's continued promise to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, threatening the health care coverage of more than 20 million people nationwide.

by Amanda Arnold
Mar 3 2017, 10:05pm

Below is what happened on Trump's 30th day in office. You can find out what damage was done every other day so far on the Saddest Calendar on the Internet.

While planting Morning Glory seeds with sick children and nurses at the a children's hospital this past week, Melania Trump waxed poetic about "how the gift of nature and the beauties of the outdoors can contribute to the healing process," according to the hospital.

"It is important to me that children can recognize, identify and express their feelings in order to promote their mental wellness and healing process," she later said to both the children and their families, according to the hospital's statement.

The visit itself isn't unprecedented: The hospital has a long tradition of welcoming First Ladies. Kurt Newman, the president of Children's National Health System, also said the hospital shares Trump's "belief in the power of nature's beauty to help kids heal and thrive," according to Think Progress.

Meanwhile, Melania's husband is working to dismantle Obamacare, which has the potential to cost millions of children their health insurance. President Trump has yet to reveal what exactly he intends to replace it with. A partial repeal of the Affordable Care Act could strip up to 13 million children of health care coverage.

According to CNBC, 15.7 million people have enrolled in Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program since Obama's 2013 healthcare expansion, and with the ACA's repeal, it's estimated that more than 20 million people nationwide could lose insurance. The funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program, which was created with strong bipartisan support in 1997 and gives states financial support to expand publicly-funded coverage to uninsured children who are not eligible for Medicaid, was strengthened and renewed by Obama, but is set to expire at the end of September 2017. Trump has yet to comment on whether or not he intends to keep this program.

What many fear is also on the chopping block is a whole slew of other health care regulations that would directly affect children. One of the most noteworthy policies, which was one of the first parts of the ACA to go into effect, was that children under the age of 19 could not be classified as having pre-existing conditions. Therefore, insurance companies at this time cannot deny coverage or charge more money to cover kids sick with anything from terminal cancer to asthma. This had potentially deadly long term implications: prior to Obamacare, children who had chronic illnesses without health insurance coverage could be denied future coverage.

Though Trump has stated that individuals should not be excluded from receiving coverage due to pre-existing conditions, how his healthcare reform would address the issue is unclear. Trump has previously said that he would replace the Affordable Care Act, "by following free market principles and working together to create sound public policy that will broaden healthcare access, make healthcare more affordable and improve the quality of the care available to all Americans."