GOP LAWSUIT TO CUT PRE-EXISTING CONDITIONS COVERAGE GOES TO COURT. The Republican-led lawsuit to end pre-existing condition coverage faced a federal judge in Texas and reports highlighted just how high the stakes are — and why it’s a major problem for GOP Senate candidates. Here’s what you need to know:
Vox: “If the Trump administration’s argument were to prevail, insurers could once again be able to flat-out deny Americans insurance based on their health status. No amount of federal subsidies would protect them. Medicaid expansion would remain, but the private insurance market would no longer guarantee coverage to every American.”
New York Times: “A new Trump administration court challenge is explicitly aiming to remove a central promise of Obamacare — its protections for people with pre-existing health conditions. But it could also make it much harder for any individual to obtain health insurance on the open market.”
Wall Street Journal: “The administration asked the court to halt the ACA’s guarantee of coverage for people with pre-existing health conditions and to relax limits on how much insurers can charge older people and women.”
Axios: “The big picture: Most on-the-ground accounts of the hearing say Judge Reed O’Connor seemed open to red states’ latest challenge to the health care law, raising the prospect that what was once seen as a long-shot lawsuit could be a more serious threat than many experts had anticipated.”
WHAT IT MEANS FOR SENATE CAMPAIGNS: BLOOMBERG SAYS “LAWSUIT PUTS GOP ON DEFENSIVE BEFORE ELECTIONS.” Republicans have spent years pushing a toxic health care agenda that spikes costs and slashes coverage — but now their lawsuit has put their unpopular policies “in the spotlight” during the most significant months of the campaign. See for yourself:
Bloomberg: Anti-Obamacare Lawsuit Puts GOP on Defensive Before Elections. “A Republican-led lawsuit seeking to nullify Obamacare will be spotlighted in court in the final months of congressional election campaigns, giving Democrats political fodder and sending GOP candidates in competitive races looking for cover.”
The Hill: “The midterm fight over pre-existing conditions will be in the spotlight.” “Democrats have made the case an issue in the midterm elections, blasting Republicans over the lawsuit and warning that it threatens to abolish popular protections for pre-existing conditions”
POLITICO: Lawsuit puts “Republicans on the defensive ahead of the midterm elections.” “Republicans have mounted multiple unsuccessful repeal attempts, and public opinion has swung in the law’s favor. That’s put Republicans on the defensive ahead of the midterm elections, with pre-existing condition protections being dragged into court and the future of the law again in doubt.”
TPM: Anti-Obamacare Lawsuit Threatens to Drag Down GOP In the Midterm. “A lawsuit filed by 20 GOP-controlled states and supported by the Trump administration could end up becoming a serious liability for Republican candidates this November.”
Axios: “If you’re a Republican trying to dodge attacks that say you would let insurers once again deny coverage for pre-existing conditions, a pre-midterms ruling doing exactly that, in a lawsuit backed by the Trump administration, is not your ideal outcome.”
POLITICO: “DEMOCRATS WENT ON THE OFFENSIVE.” From POLITICO’S Morning Score: “Democrats rolled out their latest broadside in the midterms, hitting Republicans across the country on protections for pre-existing medical conditions… The DSCC targeted every battleground Republican, saying not one has come out opposing the lawsuit and several have explicitly backed it, while some Democrats, like Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill, are launching a monthlong campaign on pre-existing conditions.”
OUR TAKE: “By pushing a lawsuit that would make coverage for pre-existing conditions unconstitutional, Josh Hawley has given Missourians a clear and powerful reason to vote against him in November. Health care is the top issue for voters and they want a senator who will put their interests first – by backing a toxic agenda that raises costs and cuts coverage Hawley has failed that test and proven he can’t be trusted in the Senate.”
*NEW POLLING* CONFIRMS AMERICANS OPPOSE THE GOP’S LAWSUIT.A new poll from Kaiser Health Tracking confirms that Americans of every political persuasion are opposed to the GOP’s plans to cut coverage for pre-existing conditions. Key points:
NO WONDER “GOP SENATE CANDIDATES ARE SCRAMBLING TO REWRITE THEIR RECORD ON PRE-EXISTING CONDITIONS.” As the GOP’s lawsuit keeps health care front and center, HuffPost took a deep dive into the latest trend for Republican Senate candidates: lying about their records. From the report:
“Josh Hawley, the Republican Senate candidate in Missouri, says he is all about making sure anybody can get health insurance…But Hawley, who is currently Missouri’s attorney general, is one of the 20 state officials who has signed onto a new lawsuit seeking to eliminate the Affordable Care Act’s guarantee of coverage, which they argue is unconstitutional. Hawley is also a longtime supporter of Congress repealing the law outright.”
“Hawley is hardly the only Republican Senate candidate making statements so inconsistent with his record. Mike Braun in Indiana, Martha McSally in Arizona, Patrick Morrisey in West Virginia, Rick Scott in Florida ― the list goes on. All across the country, Republicans running for Congress are promising voters they will look out for people with pre-existing conditions while supporting some combination of legislation, litigation and regulation that would undermine those very protections.”
THANKS FOR THE TAPE: MCSALLY VOWS TO VOTE THE SAME WAY ON HEALTH CARE. CARE. Congresswoman Martha McSally touted to Fox News that Republicans have to “get this thing done” on gutting pre-existing conditions, promising to vote the same way she always has if she gets elected to the Senate. Her record jeopardizes coverage for 2.8 million Arizonans with pre-existing conditions. Here’s our response:
“Congresswoman McSally told Arizonans exactly why she can’t be trusted in the Senate — she’s going to keep voting for higher health care premiums and to cut coverage for pre-existing conditions. It’s the same damaging and expensive health care agenda she’s pushed for years, and it’s one of the most important reasons voters will hold her accountable in November.”
SPINELESS HELLER WON’T ANSWER QUESTIONS ON TOXIC HEALTH CARE RECORD. Spineless Senator Heller tried to deflect when held accountable for his role in the GOP’s ongoing health care sabotage but the Hill reports that his new ad claiming that he’s “fighting to protect pre-existing conditions” is a farce.
Remember: he wrote and voted for the bill that would strip Nevadans of their pre-existing conditions coverage and cosponsored the GOP bill that only “gives illusion of protecting pre-existing conditions.” When asked about his record by a Nevada Independent reporter, Heller turned and walked away:
FLORIDA JOURNALISM ICON LUCY MORGAN: “NO GOVERNOR IN MODERN TIMES HAS BEEN MORE SECRETIVE THAN RICK SCOTT.” This morning, Florida journalism icon Lucy Morgan is out with a new column highlighting Rick Scott’s misuse of public office, which has allowed him to enrich himself at Floridians’ expense. Morgan writes “no governor has been as secretive as Scott” and highlights the recent reporting exposing his “serious conflicts of interest.” This is another reminder that Rick Scott just can’t be trusted and adds to the more than 370 bad stories he’s suffered in the first 150 days of his campaign.
IN #MTSEN: #ROSENFAIL. Fox News reports on one of the most embarrassing GOP flubs of the week — in Montana fake-rancher-with-no-cattle-who’s-really-a-rich-east-coast-developer Matt Rosendale confused the Second Amendment. Read more from Fox News: “Montana Senate candidate faces backlash after misattributing Constitution in pro-gun ad.”
AND THEN HE TRIED TO SCRUB HIS FAKE RANCHER TITLE FROM CAMPAIGN BIOS. Talking Points Memo reports that Maryland Matt Rosendale, whose claims to be a rancher have been debunked, has now scrubbed all of his campaign bios “Twitter, his campaign website, and press releases.” Learn more about Rosendale’s dangerous record.
TENNESSEAN REVEALS “BLACKBURN HAS FREQUENTLY FAILED TO PAY PROPERTY TAXES.” This week, the Tennessean released a new, damaging report outlining U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn’s property tax evasion saying that she “did not disclose taking out a $100,000 line of credit from a bank last year to cover the costs to repair a house she co-owns in South Carolina and has frequently failed to pay property taxes for the home on time, resulting in thousands of dollars in penalties, according to South Carolina property records.”
WATCH MCCASKILL’S 30 FOR 30 FEATURE. Senator McCaskill continues to feature stories from some of the 2.5 million Missourians with pre-existing conditions whose coverage is in jeopardy thanks to the lawsuit Josh Hawley is leading to eliminate protections for their care. Michele Dunaway shares her story of living with a pre-existing condition and how she would be impacted by Josh Hawley’s toxic lawsuit to strip away protections for the coverage she needs:
TEXAS SENATE RACE HEATS UP. Sabato’s Crystal Ball moved the rating for the Texas Senate race from “Likely Republican to Leans Republican” as the race continues to gather national attention.
DEM AD WATCH.
NV – The Nevada Independent reportson Jacky Rosen’s new Spanish language ad attacking Heller on health care.
AZ – Kyrsten Sinema’s new ad, “Whatever it Takes,” highlights her record of putting our military and veterans first.
FL – In “Math,” Sen. Bill Nelson highlights Rick Scott’s record on gutting funding from public schools.
IN – Sen. Joe Donnelly pledges to stand with Hoosiers and their health care in his new ad, “RV.”
ND – A truck driver attests Heitkamp has “fought like hell” for thousands of retirees in Heitkamp’s new ad, “Truck Driver.”
NE – Jane Raybould contrasts her record of supporting Nebraskans with opponent Deb Fischer’s record of enriching herself through holding office in the ad, “Common Sense.”
VA – Sen. Tim Kaine outlines his dedication to national security and contrasts it with Corey Stewart’s efforts to jeopardize Americans’ safety in his ad, “Safe.”
VA – Sen. Tim Kaine’s new ad “Served” features Republican veterans who pledge their support to him.
TN – Phil Bredesen’s new ad, “Complicated,” highlights his record of fighting for better healthcare for Tennesseans.
WV – Joe Manchin says he’s fighting for affordable health care and keeping promises to veterans and miners in his ad, “Fighting For.”
IN THE STATES.
MORE FL — Miami Herald: Judge rules that governor’s travel plans, meeting schedule aren’t security secrets
IN-FW Business Weekly: Donnelly, Young seek national museum designation