Put Up, or Shut Up Time for Senate Republicans on Most Popular Provision of Health Care Law

In June, President Trump’s Department of Justice announced that it would go to court in support of a lawsuit to repeal the Affordable Care Act and the ACA’s protections for people with pre-existing conditions. Yesterday, Senate Democrats, including Joe Manchin (WV), Claire McCaskill (MO), Bob Casey (PA), Joe Donnelly (IN), Heidi Heitkamp (ND), Jon Tester (MT), Sherrod Brown (OH) and Catherine Cortez Masto (NV), fought back by introducing a resolution that would authorize the Senate to step up to defend protections for pre-existing conditions in court.  While all 49 Senate Democrats sponsored the resolution, not a single Republican has signed on despite many paying lip service to the importance of protections for people with pre-existing conditions.

Here’s how it was covered:

The Hill: Dems Pressure GOP To Take Legal Action Supporting Pre-Existing Conditions. “Senate Democrats are targeting Republicans on health care, urging them to sign on to a resolution that would allow the Senate to intervene in a lawsuit challenging the legality of ObamaCare. The resolution, introduced Thursday, would allow the Office of Senate Legal Counsel to intervene in a case brought by Republican attorneys general that argues ObamaCare is now unconstitutional since Congress repealed the 2010 law’s individual mandate last year.” [The Hill, 7/19/18]

WV MetroNews: Manchin Leads Democrats On Resolution Protecting Pre-Existing Conditions Coverage. “Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., introduced a resolution Thursday asking for the Senate Legal Counsel to represent the legislative chamber in Texas v. United States — a lawsuit involving West Virginia and 19 other states — in defense of “Obamacare” and its provisions, specifically the guarantee of health insurance for people with pre-existing conditions…Manchin said 800,000 West Virginians would be at risk of losing insurance coverage if protections for pre-existing conditions were eliminated.” [WV MetroNews, 7/19/18]

St. Louis Post-Dispatch: McCaskill Co-Sponsors Senate Move To Oppose Hawley Backed Lawsuit Challenging Obamacare. “Sen. Claire McCaskill is co-sponsoring a resolution that would direct Senate lawyers to defend against a lawsuit trying to kill the Affordable Care Act, a move that has virtually no chance of passing but highlights the great divide between her and Attorney General Josh Hawley on a key issue in Missouri’s nationally watched Senate race. McCaskill, D-Mo., along with Sens. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., Bob Casey, D-Pa., and Patty Murray, D-Wash., said Thursday they would introduce the resolution.” [St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 7/19/18]

WBIW: Donnelly Continues To Fight To Protect Hoosiers with Pre-Existing Conditions. “U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly continued his fight for quality, affordable health care coverage for Hoosiers with pre-existing conditions by joining a resolution that would allow the Senate’s Legal Counsel to represent the Senate in Texas v. United States. This would enable the Senate to defend protections for Americans with pre-existing condition against the current lawsuit seeking to make this provision unconstitutional.” [WBIW, 7/20/18]

Newsmax: “Florida Sen. Bill Nelson and a cadre of Democrats are taking steps to protect the healthcare coverage of millions of Americans with preexisting conditions.” “Florida Sen. Bill Nelson and a cadre of Democrats are taking steps to protect the healthcare coverage of millions of Americans with preexisting conditions. Nelson et al filed a resolution Thursday authorizing the Senate Legal Counsel to take up defense of a federal lawsuit, Texas v. United States, which would undo protections for those with preexisting conditions.” [Newsmax, 7/20/18]

Roll Call: Democrats Push Senate To Take Legal Action Backing Pre-existing Condition Protections. “Democratic senators want the chamber to go to court to defend health insurance protections for people with pre-existing conditions…Manchin and Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., are among those leading the introduction of a Senate resolution that would authorize the Senate to take legal action to intervene in litigation led by Texas that could undercut the protections on the health insurance exchanges and in the broader market. Morrisey and Hawley have signed on to the lawsuit, so it is no surprise that the Democratic Senate incumbents they’re challenging in 2018 would take the lead on the new legislative effort.” [Roll Call, 7/19/18]

Washington Examiner: “Senate Democrats Want To Intervene In A Lawsuit That Would End Obamacare’s Protections For Pre-existing Conditions.” “Senate Democrats want to intervene in a lawsuit that would end Obamacare’s protections for pre-existing conditions after the Trump administration declined to defend the healthcare law. A group of Democratic senators introduced a resolution on Thursday that would have the Senate intervene in a lawsuit brought by Texas and 19 other states against Obamacare. The lawsuit would gut the law’s protections for pre-existing conditions.” [Washington Examiner, 7/19/18]

Washington Times: Senate Democrats Offer Resolution To Protect Obamacare. “All 49 members of the Democratic caucus signed onto a resolution that would compel the Senate’s Office of Legal Counsel to intervene in the case, effectively daring the GOP to choose between President Trump’s hands-off position or a spirited defense of the most popular parts of the 2010 health care law, as the midterm campaign season heats up.” [Washington Times, 7/19/18]