Ahead of the Republican Senator’s RNC Speech, Protect Our Care Sets the Record Straight on Her Health Care Sabotage

Tonight, Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) will take the stage at the Republican National Convention to spread lies about what Trump and Senate Republicans have accomplished in the last four years, but what she won’t talk about is her continuous attacks on Americans’ health care coverage. 

Sen. Ernst refuses to condemn Trump’s lawsuit to completely dismantle the Affordable Care Act, even if it means more than 185,000 Iowans will lose health care coverage as the country is still reeling from the coronavirus pandemic. Sen. Ernst has continually downplayed the threat of coronavirus and praised Trump for his failed response to the pandemic. Time and again, she has voted to repeal the ACA with no viable plan to replace it, a disastrous move for her constituents. Repealing the ACA would mean removing protections for 1.3 million Iowans with pre-existing conditions, kicking 150,000 Iowans off Medicaid and eliminating marketplace tax credits that help nearly 40,000 Iowans afford coverage. Joni Ernst is wrong on health care and wrong for Iowa. 

BACKGROUND:

Read More About Sen. Joni Ernst’s Health Care Record Here

Ernst Supports Repealing The ACA And Its Protections For 1.2 Million Iowans with Pre-Existing Conditions

2014: Ernst Campaigned For The Senate With An Ad Where She “Unloads” On Obamacare By Shooting It With A Handgun. “Republican U.S. Senate candidate Joni Ernst of Iowa has released a new TV ad vowing to ‘unload’ on Obamacare, in which she takes target practice at a shooting range with a handgun. [Washington Post, 5/4/14

2015: Ernst Voted To Repeal Most Of The ACA. Ernst voted for legislation that gutted the Affordable Care Act by eliminating the insurance exchanges and subsidies, and repealing the Medicaid expansion accepted by 30 states, including Nevada. [HR 3762, Roll Call Vote #114, 12/3/15

2017: Ernst Voted For The Senate “Repeal And Delay” Plan. Ernst voted for Obamacare Repeal and Replacement Act was a Republican effort to repeal the ACA without a replacement. Known as “repeal and delay,” the bill repealed major sections of the ACA, including the Medicaid expansion and premium tax credits, in 2020. [HR 1628, Roll Call Vote #169, 7/26/17

2017: Ernst Voted For “Skinny Repeal” Of The ACA. Ernst voted for “Skinny Repeal” of the ACA, which repealed the individual mandate and delayed the employer mandate while leaving most of the rest of the law in place. [HR 1628, Roll Call Vote #179, 7/28/17

2017: Ernst Refused To Give Up On Repealing The Affordable Care Act After The Failure Of The Senate Bills. “Ernst said Friday she’s also not ready to give up on repealing the Affordable Care Act. ‘We don’t have the option to sit back and do nothing; Iowans are demanding relief from Obamacare,’ she wrote in a statement released by her staff.” [Des Moines Register, 7/28/17

Ernst Claims To Support Coverage For People With Pre-Existing Conditions But Sponsors Legislation That Would Gut Those Protections 

In Response To The Court Ruling Striking Down All Of The ACA, Ernst Said It Was “Important That We Protect People With Preexisting Conditions, As We Repeal And Replace Obamacare.” “Republicans are facing a moment of reckoning on health care after a federal judge struck down the Affordable Care Act, imperiling the landmark law the GOP has struggled against for eight years. […] One of the Republican senators facing a potentially competitive reelection campaign is Joni Ernst of Iowa. Ernst issued a statement Saturday saying that it was ‘important that we protect people with preexisting conditions, as we repeal and replace Obamacare.’” [Washington Post, 12/15/18

2018: Ernst Co-Sponsored Legislation That She Claimed Would “Guarantee Americans Have Equal Health Care Coverage, Regardless Of Their Health Status Or Pre-Existing Condition.” “Yesterday, Senators Thom Tillis (R-NC), Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Dean Heller (R-NV), Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Joni Ernst (R-IA), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), John Barrasso (R-WY), and Roger Wicker (R-MS) introduced the Ensuring Coverage for Patients with Pre-Existing Conditions Act, legislation that would guarantee Americans have equal health care coverage, regardless of their health status or pre-existing conditions. Oral arguments in Texas v. United States will begin on September 5th, and if the judge rules in favor of the plaintiffs, protections for patients with pre-existing conditions could be eliminated. This legislation amends the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) to guarantees the availability of coverage in the individual or group market, for all Americans, including those with pre-existing conditions, regardless of the outcome in Texas v. United States. The legislation prohibits discrimination against beneficiaries based on health status, including the prohibition against increased premiums for beneficiaries due to pre-existing conditions.” [Sen. Thom Tillis Press Release, 8/24/18

2019: Ernst Co-Sponsored The Protect Act That She Claimed Would Protect Americans With Pre-Existing Conditions. “Senate Republicans believe in patient-centered health care that delivers the choices they want, the affordability and protections they need, and the quality they deserve. That is why Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) and his colleagues today introduced the Protect Act, legislation that protects Americans with pre-existing conditions, ensuring that Americans have the peace of mind knowing that they and their loved ones will never be denied health care coverage or be charged more because of a pre-existing condition. Joining Senator Tillis as co-sponsors of the Protect Act are Senators Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA), Rob Portman (R-OH), David Perdue (R-GA), Joni Ernst (R-IA), John Cornyn (R-TX), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Roger Wicker (R-MS), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), John Barrasso (R-WY), Rick Scott (R-FL), John Kennedy (R-LA), Todd Young (R-IN), Tom Cotton (R-AR), and Richard Burr (R-NC).’” [Sen. Thom Tillis Press Release, 4/10/19]

Ernst Refuses To Condemn The Texas Lawsuit That Would Rip Coverage Away From More Than 185,000 Iowans

2019: Ernst On The Texas Lawsuit: “I Am Not Going To Make A Determination On That.” Joni Ernst: In today’s day and age, we do see a lawsuit moving forward that could potentially dismantle the ACA. If that happens, we need to make sure that we are reiterating that preexisting conditions will be covered in any future insurance actions. […] Anchor: Do you support that lawsuit that is going forward that would dismantle the Affordable Care Act all together? Ernst: I am not going to make a determination on that. I am not an attorney. But I would say that, yes, I would like to see different forms of health care coverage that exist out there that will bring costs down. I do want to see that addressed” [WHBF, 4/28/19

2018: Ernst Refused To Discuss The Texas Lawsuit Threatening The ACA. “Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), who faces a potentially tough reelection bid in 2020, declined to discuss the ruling with a reporter in a Senate hallway on Monday, instead referring to her written statement.” [The Hill, 12/17/18]

Ernst Voted For The Tax Bill Which Forms The Basis For The Trump-Republican Lawsuit. Ernst was a key vote for the Republican tax bill, which repealed a key provision of the Affordable Care Act that required most people to have health coverage and which is the basis of the Trump-Republican lawsuit seeking to overturn the Affordable Care Act.