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8 DAYS OUT, HEALTH CARE IN THE HEADLINES.

The focus is on pre-existing conditions and that’s bad news for GOP Senate candidates who have stumbled to explain their positions and have now resorted to lying.

NBC News: As Republicans run on pre-existing conditions, Dems say they’re running from their record

  • But so far it’s not clear the change in Republican politics has been matched by a shift in policy…A new Senate bill would require companies to provide coverage to all customers, but could open the door to charging more for their treatments. And right now, Republican officials in 20 states, including some running for higher office, are backing a lawsuit that would undo the ACA entirely.

Axios: Republicans hit with pre-existing conditions

  • Vulnerable Republican incumbents face an awkward question on health care: “You say in your campaign that you’re committed to protecting insurance coverage for people with pre-existing conditions; what do you make of the fact that the Trump Justice Department is currently arguing in court to strike down the law forcing insurers to cover people with pre-existing conditions?”

Wall Street Journal: Pre-Existing Condition Discord Shows Health Care Still a Hot-Button Issue

  • In Nevada, Democratic Senate candidate Jacky Rosen criticized the move toward skimpier insurance plans, calling it a “dangerous new policy” and saying Republican Sen. Dean Heller’s record of “rubber-stamping” Trump’s policies shows he can’t be trusted on health care.
  • That creates a challenge for Republicans who vocally opposed the ACA, particularly those in swing districts. The latest White House actions have done more to “put them on the spot,” said Lauren Passalacqua, a spokeswoman for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.”
  • In Montana, Insurance Commissioner Matt Rosendale, a Republican and self-proclaimed “Trump conservative,” is working to unseat Democratic Sen. Jon Tester. Mr. Rosendale praises Mr. Trump for having “taken important steps to dismantle this disastrous law,” meaning the ACA, while saying he wants to protect people with pre-existing conditions.

New York Times: To Rally Voters, Democrats Focus on Health Care as Their Closing Argument

  • Ms. McCaskill and her Republican opponent, the Missouri attorney general, Josh Hawley, clashed sharply over health care once again at their final debate on Thursday. She lambasted him for participating in a lawsuit that challenges the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act and would end its protections for those with pre-existing conditions.
  • The subject has lit up polls, monopolized advertising budgets and driven a national strategy for Democrats, who are defending 10 Senate seats in states Mr. Trump won and are relying heavily on health care as a defining issue in key states including Arizona, Florida, West Virginia and Nevada.
  • “This is the message coming straight from people in the red states,” said Senator Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, chairman of the Democrats’ Senate campaign committee.

Vox: Trump’s stunning hypocrisy on preexisting conditions

  • Here’s the thing Hawley’s ad doesn’t say: He is also party to the lawsuit aiming to overturn Obamacare’s preexisting condition protections. He is among 20 conservative attorneys general who brought that case to a federal court in Texas, the one the Trump administration has signed onto.
  • Hawley and the 19 other attorneys general could drop off that lawsuit at any moment. They could decide the threat to preexisting conditions is just too great. But nothing like that has happened. Instead, as Sam Stein at the Daily Beast notes, “no Republican candidates have explicitly dropped their support for that same lawsuit or disavowed it either.”

St. Louis Post-Dispatch Editorial: No, Republicans are not the party of pre-existing condition protection. Never have been.

  • Obamacare has fundamentally changed our national thinking on that, to the point that even Republican partisans now pretend they’ve embraced the concept of guaranteed coverage all along.
  • We say “pretend” because that’s what the GOP’s main proposed Obamacare replacement bill last year did. It required insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions at standard rates — but states could opt out, effectively returning customers to the bad old days. Somehow, that last part never made Republicans’ press releases.

Cronkite News: U.S. Senate race: Health Care is Top Issue for Sinema

  • “Whether Arizonans have health insurance or not, they are concerned with the rising cost of insurance,” Sinema said. She noted that many in the state are concerned with efforts in Washington, D.C., to curtail the benefits of the Affordable Care Act – specifically coverage of pre-existing conditions.
  • About 2.8 million Arizonans have pre-existing conditions, according to the Department of Health and Human Services. Sinema noted that without this protection under the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, many Arizonans would not be able to get insurance. In the Senate, she said, she would prevent attempts to strip away these benefits.

WDAY: “Health Care Proved to be The Hot Topic of The Night”

 

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