REPUBLICANS TRY HEALTH CARE DODGE, GET “MIDTERM PERIL.” Politico detailed cynical attempts from Republican candidates  to “have it both ways” on pre-existing conditions. On one hand, the GOP is actively sabotaging affordable health care through a lawsuit which would axe protections for pre-existing condition coverage and on the other, they’re telling voters they support the protections See more:

  • On one hand, Republicans are still campaigning against the law, arguing a strong election result will allow them one more shot at repealing the Affordable Care Act with GOP majorities in both chambers. And many high-profile Senate GOP candidates support a lawsuit that would scuttle Obamacare if successful in the nation’s courts, a case that will be heard by a federal judge in September.
  • Yet at the same time Republicans are still touting the law’s most popular provisions, arguing that after it is struck down they will be able to preserve protections for pre-existing conditions by passing a new bill.
  • “Sure, anything that’s going to actually get rid of it, yes,” said Indiana GOP Senate nominee Mike Braun of the GOP lawsuit to gut the law in an interview in Mishawaka. “And then be ready to come back and talk about what you’re ready to do about pre-existing conditions and no limits on coverage. That’s where you don’t hear much conservative talk.”
  • The problem? Congress has shown no ability to pass new healthcare legislation under Republican rule or work across party lines, raising severe doubts that the GOP would be able to fulfill its promises to both kill the law and maintain its popular provisions.
  • The lawsuit is animating Democratic campaigns, with vulnerable incumbent senators calling out Republicans as defending pieces of Obamacare while effectively rooting for its failure. Braun’s opponent, Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.), says there’s a “big difference on healthcare” between the two candidates and is running much of his campaign behind his defense of Obamacare’s most popular provisions.
  • But in Senate races in deeply conservative states, it’s impossible for Republicans to avoid the topic of Obamacare given the Senate’s high-profile failure to repeal the law last year. And some Republicans contend that there may be another repeal opportunity if Republicans beef up the party’s 51-seat majority this fall. Plus two high-profile GOP candidates, Hawley and West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey of West Virginia have signed onto the lawsuit.

Bottom line, you can’t have your cake and eat it too. Especially when your cake of choice is an effort to strip affordable health care from millions of hard-working Americans.

But the lawsuit is just one of the many ways Republicans have attempted to sabotage our health care system. Here are some other efforts the GOP has pushed in trying to gut affordable health care and make it more expensive and less accessible at the expense of American families:

And Republican candidates have taken specific policy vulnerabilities that they’re being held accountable for as well.  From Axios:

  • In Missouri and West Virginia, Democrats are attacking the the GOP candidates – Attorneys General Josh Hawley and Patrick Morrisey – for signing onto a lawsuit against the ACA.
  • In Florida, they’re hitting Gov. Rick Scott for not expanding Medicaid and for his tenure as CEO of hospital chain Columbia/HCA when it was fined $1.7 billion for Medicare fraud.
  • Montana Senate candidate Matt Rosendale is the state insurance commissioner and is getting hit for approving premium hikes.
  • And in New Jersey, GOP candidate and former Celgene CEO Bob Hugin is getting hammered for the company’s drug price hikes.

Through both their words and their actions, Republicans have made their priorities clear.  Protecting Americans with pre-existing conditions is not one of them.

MEANWHILE: DEMOCRATS CHAMPION HEALTHCARE. Senate Democrats hit the road during their shortened August recess to talk with voters about the issue that matter most to them in this election: health care. While Republicans continue to find new ways to sabotage our healthcare system the Washington Post reports that Senate Democrats across the country are holding them accountable both on the streets and over the airwaves.

Axios highlighted our message, which is “not just against the GOP’s Affordable Care Act repeal agenda” but goes deeper to the specific ways that Republican Senate candidates have worked to undermine affordable health care.

And we’re showing no signs of stopping. Just this week:

  • Bob Casey visited senior citizens in Pennsylvania to highlight Republican efforts to gut funding for Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.
  • Heidi Heitkamp attended a forum in North Dakota on Monday, where concerns about GOP threats to health care protections and coverage dominated discussion despite the meeting’s original intent to cover rural development.
  • Kyrsten Sinema met with nonprofits and the Tucson Medical Center to discuss future health care legislation following talks with seniors.
  • Debbie Stabenow joined a roundtable discussion with Glenn Close to talk about stigmas and solutions surrounding mental health.

ICYMI: DONNELLY IS “HUSTLING ACROSS INDIANA.” Joe Donnelly continued his RV tour across Indiana where he talked to voters about his ability to work across the aisle to get results for Hoosiers and his support of affordable health care.

The Washington Examiner reported that while Donnelly is “hustling across Indiana” his message is laser focused on health care and is “centered around promises to preserve government protections for pre-existing conditions.”

The Daily Beast highlighted Senator Donnelly’s praise for expansion of affordable health care and his mission to remind voters that “moderation—in both temperament and ideology—is precisely what the country needs in these very immoderate times.”

Politico also keyed in on Donnelly’s support for protecting  coverage for people with pre-existing conditions, which his Republican opponent, Mike Braun claims to support when its politically expedient but in reality “has also endorsed a Republican lawsuit that would rescind the health care law along with that popular provision.”

CRAMER CAN’T DEFEND HEALTH CARE RECORD. Congressman Kevin Cramer finally broke his silence on the destructive health care lawsuit that would strip pre-existing conditions coverage. But in typical Kevin Cramer fashion, when held accountable by Heidi Heitkamp for his vote in the House to axe protections for pre-existing condition coverage, the Congressman couldn’t defend his actions. The proof is in his record. More from the Axios report:

  • Sen. Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, one of the most vulnerable Democrats up for re-election this year, is out with a new ad that claims her opponent, Rep. Kevin Cramer, voted to gut protections on pre-existing conditions.
  • The party pointed out that the House repeal-and-replace bill, which Cramer voted for, included what was referred to as the “MacArthur amendment,” which preserved the ACA’s prohibition on insurers denying coverage based on someone’s health status.
  • Fact check: Yes, the MacArthur amendment technically protected sick people’s ability to get coverage. But it allowed for states, in limited circumstances, to waive the ACA provisions that prevent insurers from charging people a higher premium because of their health status and require plans to cover a set of minimum benefits.
  • That means that while people with pre-existing conditions couldn’t be denied coverage outright, they could be offered coverage that was too expensive to be attainable or that excluded health benefits that they needed — making the remaining coverage guarantee relatively worthless.
  • The bottom line: Republicans, as a whole, have never figured out how to reconcile their desire to lower premiums and reduce federal mandates with the fact that protections for pre-existing conditions are extremely popular. And that’s how they opened themselves up to the kind of attacks Heitkamp is running.

#WISEN PRIMARY TAKEAWAY. Not a great press week for Leah Vukmir. Although she managed to squeeze through the Wisconsin Republican primary on Tuesday, she did so with less than 50% of the vote following “a costly, divisive,” and “vicious” primary battle. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that she only won one of Wisconsin’s media markets and “lost each of the state’s six other media markets. She won only 15 counties and lost 57.”

After spending a bitter primary attacking her opponent Kevin Nicholson for being backed by billionaire Dick Uihlein, the Washington Post reports that she’s now “hoping to persuade the same Illinois businessman to open his wallet for her campaign.”

To add insult to injury, Wisconsinites are holding her accountable for her record on health care. As her campaign limps through the general, she’s facing heat from Wisconsin nurses for her support of the GOP’s ongoing health care sabotage. Watch the clips:

Channel 3000: Democratic nurses protest Leah Vukmir’s health care agenda, Republicans fight back

WKOW: Nurses call out Leah Vukmir’s views on health care

#AZSEN PRIMARY BECOMES “SLUGFEST. As Politico reports, with just under 2 weeks to go the GOP is becoming increasingly fearful as the battle between Kelli Ward, Martha McSally, and Joe Arpaio devolves into a “total muddle, prolonging the GOP slugfest.”

This comes on the heels of an earlier Politico report that the Arizona GOP is “jittery” ahead of their primary “out of fear” that party favorite Congresswoman McSally is floundering and losing support.

As if that wasn’t enough drama, McSally was called out by Meghan McCain and an Arizona Republic column said “we should expect better of McSally” after her snub of Senator John McCain during the signing of a defense spending bill named after him.

SELF-SERVING SCOTT’S SCANDALS CONTINUE. After more than 300 bad news stories self-serving Scott has earned since launching his campaign, he is now embroiled in another financial scandal.

This time a Miami Herald report put a spotlight on Scott’s eagerness to kill “$2.4 billion federally funded and shovel-ready bullet train from Orlando to Tampa” then revive it after he and his wife invested “$3 million in a credit fund for All Aboard Florida’s parent company.” See more of the recent headlines on Scott’s shady financial dealings:

Tampa Bay Times: Rick Scott and wife invested in parent company bidding on Tampa high-speed rail; Politico: Scott’s wife gave loan to accountant at firm housing Scott’s blind trust; U.S. News & World: US Sen. Nelson Rails at Gov. Scott Over His Finances; FOX35: Scott’s family makes loan to “blind trust” accountant; WCTV: Loan given by Ann Scott raises questions about governor’s blind trust; Politico: Nelson, Scott spar over Ann Scott’s loan to blind trust accountant; WTSP: Scott invested in companies he impacts as governor; Tampa Bay Times: Rick Scott told Florida not to invest in companies linked to Venezuela, but he did; Capitol News Service: Case seeking to open Governor’s blind trust continues; Miami Herald:Has Gov. Scott disclosed all his personal finances or not? Court could decide; Miami Herald:In disclosure Q and A, Scott campaign provides its own questions, then avoids some answers; Miami Herald:Rick Scott and family made $550M in one transaction. How ‘blind’ is his blind trust?; Florida Bulldog: Rick Scott paid $200,000 in tax incentives to company in which he had financial interest; Tampa Bay Times: Rick and Ann Scott had stake in shipping giant linked to Putin; GateHouse Media: Gov. Rick Scott profits from Hep C drug tied to state prisons, opioid crisis; Florida Politics: Rick Scott’s blind trust connected to controversial Chinese company ZTE; Orlando Sentinel: Gov. Rick Scott’s net worth soars 56 percent to $232 million, report shows; Tampa Bay Times, Ruth: Is Rick Scott’s blind trust that blind?; News Service of Florida: Rick Scott fights lawsuit demanding he disclose financial assets; Esquire: How ‘Blind’ Is Governor Rick Scott’s Blind Trust, Really?; Florida Bulldog: What did Gov. Rick Scott do with mysterious $120 million in cash?  



OH – The ad, “Dignity,” shines the spotlight on Senator Brown’s top priority – investing in hard-working American workers through fair wages and health care.

MO – The ad, “Worse,” details how Josh Hawley is in the pockets of insurance companies and preys upon protections for pre-existing conditions.

MT – Senator Tester fights for greater transparency and accountability in government contracts in his ad, “Open Contracts.”

ND – In Senator Heitkamp’s new ad, “Denise,” she hits Kevin Cramer for voting to eliminate coverage for preexisting conditions. She also talks bipartisanship and her loyalty to North Dakota in “Voice.”

PA – Senator Casey criticizes Lou Barletta’s plan to gut health care by handing it over to greedy private insurance companies in his ad, “Lou is Not For You.”

TN – In his ad, “What We Want,” Phil Bredesen outlines his approach to Washington: telling DC politicians what’s best for Tennessee, and not the other way around.

WV – Senator Manchin pledges his commitment to stimulating job growth and stemming the opioid crisis in his ad, “Disappeared.”

WV – West Virginians are devastated Patrick Morrisey co-authored legislation to remove coverage for pre-existing conditions in the ad, “Natalie.”


TN-News Channel 5: Tariffs Front And Center Of U.S. Senate Race

MO – Ozarks First: McCaskill on Pre-Existing Conditions

MI – Click On Detroit: Actress Glenn Close, Sen. Debbie Stabenow join Local 4 discussion about mental health

PA – The Times: Health care ‘a major issue,’ Casey tells senior citizens


AZ – Tucson Sun: Senate candidate Sinema talks health care, regulatory reform, senior issues in Tucson visit

WV – WCBC Radio: Wv Sen. Manchin Talks About ACA

MT – KPAX: Pearl Jam bassist Ament joins Sen. Tester for Missoula rally


NV – POLITIFACT: Did Nevada’s Jacky Rosen skip a key veterans vote for a photo op? Not so fast

NV – Las Vegas Review Journal: Jacky Rosen roundtable discusses push to raise minimum wage


Lauren Passalacqua


Ben Ray


David Bergstein


Jordun Lawrence


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