Senate Republicans Own “Biggest Lie” in SOTU Speech: They’ve All Put Pre-Existing Conditions Protections At Risk

GOP Incumbents Applauded Trump’s Pants-on-Fire False Claims That Republicans “Will Always Protect Patients With Pre-Existing Conditions” — Their Records Show the Opposite

Last night, Senate Republicans applauded the “biggest lie” in President Trump’s State of the Union speech — that the GOP “will always protect patients with pre-existing conditions.” Vulnerable Senate Republicans are certain to repeat this egregiously false claim between now and the 2020 election, just like they did in 2018, but that won’t make their desperate attempts to rewrite their Washington records any more true.

After voting against health care reform when it was enacted and then voting for years to try to repeal and undermine the law and gut its key protections, all Senate Republicans voted for the 2017 tax bill that “sparked” the GOP’s harmful lawsuit that could overturn the Affordable Care Act. Americans could lose guaranteed coverage for pre-existing conditions and other key benefits like maternity care coverage and children staying on their parents’ insurance until age 26. The GOP-controlled Senate has also defended the Trump administration’s plan to expand ‘junk’ insurance that isn’t required to cover pre-existing conditions.

“Every Republican incumbent has voted to repeal and sabotage the health care law, supported the reckless corporate tax giveaway that set this dangerous lawsuit in motion, and refused to take meaningful action to stop their party’s plan to end protections for pre-existing conditions through the courts,” said DSCC spokesperson Izzi Levy. “Senators will not be able to escape explaining to voters in 2020 why it was more important to side with their special interest donors and party leaders in Washington than protect access to quality, affordable health care for their constituents.”

Here’s the truth about Senate Republicans’ health care records:

AZ – Senator McSally said “it’s not my role” to oppose the GOP health care lawsuit and has voted repeatedly to gut pre-existing conditions protections.

CO – Senator Gardner endorsed the GOP’s argument that the health care law is unconstitutional and has voted at least five times to gut or strip away pre-existing conditions protections.

GA – Senator Perdue said all along that he “of course” wants the lawsuit to succeed and has voted repeatedly to gut pre-existing conditions protections.

IA – Senator Ernst has refused to oppose the GOP health care lawsuit, saying “I am not an attorney” while voting repeatedly to gut the health care law and pre-existing conditions protections.

ME – Senator Collins helped pass the tax law that sparked her party’s health care lawsuit and said she “would support it again” — and even cast the deciding vote last year to block a study of how the GOP’s lawsuit would hurt Mainers. Collins voted eight times against enacting health care reform and pre-existing conditions protections and has since voted seven times to undermine the health care law or gut those protections.

NC – Senator Tillis has embraced the GOP health care lawsuit, saying “I support anything that ultimately takes [the ACA] off the table” — he’s also voted repeatedly to gut pre-existing conditions protections and defended that vote as “courageous.”

TX – Senator Cornyn has been his party’s “top salesman” for repeal and said, “I support having the courts make the decision” that could overturn the health care law and end pre-existing conditions protections. Cornyn voted eight times against enacting health care reform and pre-existing conditions protections and has since voted at least seven times to gut or undermine those protections.

Read more about Senate Republicans’ “biggest lie” going into the 2020 election:

  • Axios Vitals: “Pre-existing conditions protections are popular, and both parties are trying to claim credit for them. But only one of the parties has a track record of defending those protections, and it’s not the GOP. Reality check: Republicans’ repeal and replace efforts in 2017 wouldn’t have preserved the same level of protections the Affordable Care Act provides, nor would any of the plans they’ve put forward since.”
  • MSNBC: “congressional Republicans applauded the line last night, as if Trump were telling the truth. But he wasn’t, and reality on this point is unambiguous”
  • Vox: The biggest lie in Trump’s State of the Union speech
  • Bloomberg: Health Insurance That Doesn’t Cover the Bills Has Flooded the Market Under Trump
  • HuffPost: GOP Lies About Pre-Existing Conditions May Have Reached Peak Absurdity
  • New York Times: Republicans Say They Will Protect Pre-existing Conditions. Their Records Say Something Else.
  • Washington Post: Trump’s false claim on health care ignores years-long GOP effort to repeal Obamacare
  • CNN: Republicans’ health care strategy for the midterms: Fear and misdirection
  • The Hill: GOP takes heavy fire over pre-existing conditions
  • POLITICO: Republicans ‘duck and cover’ on pre-existing conditions
  • Iowa Starting Line: “Vitally Important”? Joni Ernst’s ACA Votes Contradict Pre-Existing Conditions Message
  • Texas Observer: We Support Pre-Existing Condition Protections, Say Republicans Who’ve Repeatedly Tried to Eliminate Them
  • San Antonio Current: John Cornyn Makes the False Claim that Democrats Won’t ‘Join Republicans in Guaranteeing Coverage for Pre-Existing Conditions’
  • Colorado Times Recorder: FACT CHECK: Judging From His Votes, Gardner Is Against Protecting People With Pre-Existing Conditions


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