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debate Archives — Protect Our Care

Fact-checking Mike Braun’s Two Big Health Care Lies Last Night

In his debate against Senator Joe Donnelly last night, Mike Braun doubled down on two big health care lies in an act of total political desperation because of the overwhelming unpopularity of his health care positions, including the junk insurance plan he offered his employees.

 

Last night, Braun Said, “I would never be for any replacement that doesn’t cover pre-existing conditions.”

 

BUT THE TRUTH IS BRAUN HAS PLEDGED TO “REPEAL AND REPLACE EVERY WORD” OF ACA, INCLUDING PROTECTIONS FOR PRE-EXISTING CONDITIONS

Braun, June 2018: I Will “Fully Repeal” Obamacare. “In the Senate, I will use my business experience and work with President Trump to fully repeal Obamacare and implement free-market solutions that will provide better healthcare for Hoosiers.” [City-County Observer, 7/26/18]

On the subject of the ACA, his website reads, “There is no repairing this broken law; the only option is to repeal and replace every word and regulation.” [Braun For Indiana, Accessed 8/14/18]

 

Last night Braun Said, “As a Republican, you get swept into the fact that you would support that lawsuit, that’s not the case.”

 

BUT THE TRUTH IS MIKE BRAUN SUPPORTS THE TRUMP-GOP LAWSUIT THAT WOULD GUT THE ACA ENTIRELY, INCLUDING PRE-EXISTING CONDITIONS PROTECTIONS.

“‘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.” [Politico, 8/17/18].

 

WHO’S AT RISK IF MIKE BRAUN IS ELECTED TO THE SENATE?

  • 2,745,700 Hoosiers Living With A Pre-Existing Condition. About one in two Hoosiers, 50 percent, lives with a pre-existing condition. [CAP, 4/5/17]
  • 1,382,000 Indiana Women And Girls With A Pre-Existing Condition. Approximately 1,382,000 women and girls in Indiana live with a pre-existing condition. [CAP & National Partnership For Women and Families, June 2018]
  • 377,100 Indiana Children With A Pre-Existing Condition. Roughly 377,000 Hoosiers below age 18 live with a pre-existing condition. [CAP, 4/5/17]
  • 643,800 Older Hoosiers Living With A Pre-Existing Condition. 643,800 Indiana adults between the ages of 55 and 64 live with at least one pre-existing condition, meaning attacks on these protections significantly threaten Hoosiers approaching Medicare age. [CAP, 4/5/17]

NEW POLL: Nevadans Strongly Oppose Senator Dean Heller’s Attacks On Health Care

Rosen Up 2 points —  48-46 — in Head-to-head With New Poll Finding Health Care a Top Issue for Majority of Voters, and Strong Opposition to Senator Heller’s Efforts to Repeal the ACA and Pre-existing Conditions Protections

 

Washington DC — Ahead of tonight’s Senate debate between Congresswoman Jacky Rosen and Senator Dean Heller, a new poll from Public Policy Polling (PPP) for Protect Our Care shows Nevadans are deeply motivated by health care this election cycle and have major concerns with Senator Dean Heller’s anti-health care record. Heller voted to cut health care while giving giant tax breaks to wealthy drug and insurance corporations, is a strong supporter of health care repeal and was the architect behind the GOP plan to gut health care for millions of Americans. Brad Woodhouse, executive director of Protect Our Care issued the following statement ahead of the debate:

 

“From authoring repeal legislation that would have jacked up premiums and gutted Medicaid to standing alongside Trump and other Republicans as they work to rip away health care from those of us who need it, Dean Heller won’t stop until he eliminates all protections for millions of Americans. Don’t believe us? Just look at his promise to work to repeal health care again if Nevadans send him back to Washington. Dean Heller has shown his hand and Nevadans are ready to cash out.”

 

Key Findings from the Protect Our Care-PPP Poll of Nevada Voters:

  • A majority of voters (58 percent) say health care is a top issue when casting their vote this November
  • By 23 points, Nevada wants to keep what works and fix what doesn’t in the Affordable Care Act, rather than scrap it and start over.
  • Nevada voters oppose the Trump administration’s lawsuit to eliminate protections for people with pre-existing conditions by a 37 point margin, 59 percent to 22 percent.
  • The survey finds Rosen with a two-point lead over Heller (48-46) and more than half (52 percent) of voters disapprove of Sen. Dean Heller’s job performance
  • More than half of Nevadans (51 percent) have a major concern with Sen. Heller’s efforts to repeal funding for the Medicaid Expansion

 

PPP surveyed 648 Nevada voters from October 15-16, 2018.  The margin of error is +/- 3.85%. This poll was conducted by automated telephone interviews.

 

ADDITIONAL BACKGROUND:

What would full repeal of the Affordable Care Act eliminate?

  • Protections for 1,215,300 Nevadans with pre-existing conditions, if they buy coverage on their own
  • Improvements to Medicare, including reduced costs for prescription drugs
  • Allowing kids to stay on their parents’ insurance until age 26
  • Ban on annual and lifetime limits
  • Ban on insurance discrimination against women
  • Limit on out-of-pocket costs
  • Medicaid expansion currently covering 15 million people, including more than 200,000 Nevadans

2010:  Heller Voted Against Passage Of The ACA. [HR 3590, Roll Call Vote #165, 3/21/10]

2015:  Heller Voted To Repeal Most Of The ACA. [HR 3762, Roll Call Vote #114, 12/3/15]

Heller Authored Repeal Legislation That Would Have Jacked Up Premiums, Gutted Medicaid And Eliminated Protections For People With Pre-Existing Conditions

  • Graham-Cassidy-Heller Would Raise Costs For People With Pre-Existing Conditions.
  • 200,583 Nevadans Enrolled Through Medicaid Expansion At Risk of Losing Coverage.
  • 63,968 Nevadans Who Receive Marketplace Tax Credits Could Pay More For the Coverage.

North Dakotans: Get Ready for More Health Care Lies From Kevin Cramer Tonight

Washington DC — Ahead of tonight’s Senate debate between Kevin Cramer and health care champion Heidi Heitkamp, Brad Woodhouse issued the following statement:

 

“Facing mounting pressure from North Dakota voters demanding protections for pre-existing conditions, Kevin Cramer has done a 180 on health care issues in recent weeks. Kevin Cramer joins a long list of Republicans who are collecting pinocchios for flat-out lying about protecting people with pre-existing conditions from discrimination by insurance companies. Today, the very same day Mitch McConnell has admitted that the Senate’s goal will be repeal if folks like Kevin Cramer win in November, will Kevin Cramer finally tell the people of North Dakota the truth? I wouldn’t bet on it.”

 

The Truth About Kevin Cramer’s Record:


Rep. Kevin Cramer Voted Multiple Time to Eliminate Protections for People with Pre-existing conditions.

 

  • 2013:  Cramer Voted For A Total Repeal Of The ACA.  Cramer voted for HR 45, an act “to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and health care-related provisions in the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010.” [HR 45, Roll Call Vote #154, 5/16/13]

 

  • 2015:  Cramer Voted For A Total Repeal Of The ACA. Cramer voted for HR 596, an act “to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and health care-related provisions in the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010.”  The bill also ordered House committees to develop a replacement that would “provide people with pre-existing conditions access to affordable health coverage,” but provided no specifics. [HR 596, Roll Call Vote #58, 2/3/15]

  • In fact, Cramer’s own campaign website acknowledged his vote would “repeal the affordable care act in its entirety.” “Today Congressman Kevin Cramer voted with the U.S. House of Representatives to repeal the Affordable Care Act in its entirety.” [Cramer Website, 2/3/15]

Why The Truth Matters:

  • Roughly 275,000 North Dakotans Live With A Pre-Existing Condition. [CAP, 4/5/17]
  • Women no longer charged more than men. Because of the ACA, insurers can no longer charge women more than men for the same care.
  • Ended annual and lifetime limits. Because of the ACA, insurers can no longer put annual or lifetime limits on the care you receive.
  • Young adults can stay on their parent’s plan until age 26. Because of the ACA, roughly 7,000 young adults in North Dakota have coverage because they can stay on their parent’s coverage until age 26.
  • Allowed states to expand Medicaid. Because of the ACA, states can get additional federal money to expand Medicaid. 18,000 North Dakotans have gained coverage because of this program.

 

She Lied: Rep. Martha McSally Voted to Gut Protections for People with Pre-Existing Conditions

“McSally is the latest in a long line of Republicans telling shameful, outright lies out of desperation to conceal their votes to strip the pre-existing conditions protections millions of Americans depend upon,” said Brad Woodhouse, executive Director  of Protect Our Care.

 

SHOT: At last night’s Senate debate, Congresswoman Martha McSally stated, “I voted to protect people with pre-existing conditions.”

 

Chaser:  McSally lied to Arizonans last night. She voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act, including its protections for people with pre-existing conditions. In its place, she tried to pass “the American Health Care Act,” (AHCA) which would have gutted protections for pre-existing conditions and forced people to spend thousands more for the care they need: an estimated $4,270 extra for asthma, $17,060 extra for pregnancy, $26,180 extra for rheumatoid arthritis and $140,510 for metastatic cancer.

 

That’s not all: The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office found that the ACHA would have raised premiums 20 percent in 2018 and the negative economic impact of the American Health Care Act would cause 60,714 Arizonans to lose their jobs by 2022.

 

NEW POLL: Health Care Is A Top Issue in Arizona Senate Race

In A New Poll Released Ahead of Reps. Kyrsten Sinema and Martha McSally’s Senate Debate Tonight Finds Health Care a Top Issue for Majority of Voters, and Strong Opposition to Repeal of ACA and Pre-existing Conditions Protections

 

Washington, DC – Ahead of tonight’s debate between U.S. Representatives Kyrsten Sinema (D) and Martha McSally (R) in Phoenix, Arizona, a new poll from Public Policy Polling (PPP) for Protect Our Care is the latest to show health care is a top issue for voters. Building upon today’s bombshell AP story about the heat McSally is getting on the campaign trail for her votes to repeal health care and gut pre-existing conditions protections, the poll also shows that Arizonans strongly oppose Republican health care agenda across the board. Brad Woodhouse, executive director of Protect Our Care, issued the following statement ahead of the debate:

 

“Martha McSally has had a bull’s eye on Arizonans’ health care her whole career, and a promotion to the Senate could make her the deciding vote to rip away protections for millions of Americans with pre-existing conditions like diabetes, heart disease or cancer. But as this poll shows, the more Arizonans learn about her repeal-and-sabotage record, the more likely they will be to vote for her opponent and a real health care champion, Kyrsten Sinema.”

 

Key Findings from the Protect Our Care Public Policy Polling survey of Arizona Voters:

  • Forty percent of voters say health care is very important when deciding who to vote for in the US Senate election
  • Sixty-six percent of voters have a “major concern” with efforts to eliminate protections for people who have pre-existing medical conditions.
  • Forty-seven percent of women say health care is very important when deciding who to vote for in the US Senate election
  • Sixty-four percent of women and fifty-four percent of men say they want to keep what works and fix what doesn’t in the health care law
  • Fifty percent of voters oppose Republican efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act
  • Sixty-three percent of voters have a “major concern” with Martha McSally’s support for repealing the Affordable Care Act
  • Fifty-nine percent of voters oppose the Trump’s Administration’s lawsuit strike down the healthcare law’s protections for people with pre-existing conditions


Public Policy Polling surveyed 726 Arizona voters on October 12-13, 2018.  The margin of error for the poll is +/- 3.6%. This poll was conducted using automated telephone interviews on behalf of Protect Our Care.

 

What would full repeal of the Affordable Care Act eliminate?

  • Protections for 2,763,200 Arizonans with pre-existing conditions, if they buy coverage on their own
  • Improvements to Medicare, including reduced costs for prescription drugs
  • Allowing kids to stay on their parents’ insurance until age 26
  • Ban on annual and lifetime limits
  • Ban on insurance discrimination against women
  • Limit on out-of-pocket costs
  • Medicaid expansion currently covering 425,800 Arizonans

 

2012:  McSally Supported Repealing The ACA: “A Vote For Obamacare Is A Vote Against Small Business And A Vote Against Fiscal Responsibility.”  “The United States House of Representatives today passed the Repeal of Obamacare Act, 244-185, with bi-partisan support.  Arizona’s 8th Congressional District Representative and candidate in the newly drawn 2nd District, Ron Barber, voted against the Act and in support of Obamacare.   ‘Mr. Barber’s vote to save Obamacare is example number 1 of why he needs to be replaced in Congress. Obamacare is costing Americans jobs and driving up our debt. Ron Barber has only been in Washington for 3 weeks and has already become part of the problem. A vote for Obamacare is a vote against small businesses and a vote against fiscal responsibility.'” [Martha McSally for Congress Press Release, 7/11/12]

 

2015:  McSally Voted For A Total Repeal Of The ACA.  McSally voted for HR 596, an act “to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and health care-related provisions in the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010.”  The bill also ordered House committees to develop a replacement that would “provide people with pre-existing conditions access to affordable health coverage,” but provided no specifics. [HR 596, Roll Call Vote #58, 2/3/15]

 

2017: McSally Voted For AHCA, Which Was a Vote AGAINST Pre-existing Conditions Protections.   [HR 1628, Roll Call Vote #256, 5/4/17]

 

The American Health Care Act weakens key protections of the Affordable Care Act by allowing states to let insurers charge people with pre-existing conditions more, among other provisions. The bill would also make it more likely insurers would cherrypick young and healthier people, causing costs to skyrocket for older, sicker people.

 

The American Health Care Act allowed states to eliminate community rating, meaning insurers would be able to charge people with pre-existing conditions more. This surcharge could be in the tens of thousands of dollars and even six figures: up to $4,270 for asthma, $17,060 for pregnancy, $26,180 for rheumatoid arthritis and $140,510 for metastatic cancer.

 

  • McSally Encouraged Her GOP Colleagues To “Get This F——g Thing Done” And Repeal The ACA.  “Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and his GOP leadership team held what amounted to a pep rally for rank-and-file members in the Capitol basement Thursday morning as they predicted victory in their push to repeal and replace ObamaCare. Leaders played the ‘Rocky’ theme song as lawmakers walked into the meeting. Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) put an image of George S. Patton on the screen and read inspirational quotes from the general. ‘Let’s get this f–king thing done!’ Rep. Martha McSally (R-Ariz.) told her colleagues, according to sources in the room.” [The Hill, 5/4/17]

 

 

Take Two: ACA Defender Senator Tammy Baldwin Debates Health Care Extremist Leah Vukmir

Washington DC — Tonight in Wausau, health care champion, Senator Tammy Baldwin will debate Leah Vukmir, a repeal crusader who supports ending protections for people with pre-existing conditions for the second time. Tonight’s debate will confirm what Wisconsinites already know, Leah Vukmir’s career as a nurse cannot conceal her extreme positions on health care and multiple attempts to block Medicaid expansion in Wisconsin. Ahead of the debate, Brad Woodhouse, executive director of Protect Our Care, issued the following statement:

 

“Let’s be clear, Leah Vukmir will not defend Wisconsinites’ health care. Although Vukmir claims she supports keeping protections for people with pre-existing conditions, she has turned her back on Wisconsinites at every opportunity to do so. Whether it’s supporting the Trump-GOP lead lawsuit to gut protections for pre-existing conditions, refusing to take action at the state level against the Trump administration’s junk plan rule or opposing Medicaid expansion, Leah Vukmir’s extreme views would be a disaster for the health care of Wisconsinites.”

 

Vukmir Supports Repealing The ACA And Its Protections For 2.4 Million Wisconsinites with Pre-Existing Conditions

 

Vukmir “Supports Full Repeal Of Obamacare. Period.” “Leah understands why people are upset with Republicans who promised to repeal Obamacare and didn’t deliver. She supports full repeal of Obamacare. Period. And she won’t stop pushing for full repeal in Congress.” [LeahVukmir.com, accessed 6/12/18]

 

Though Leah Vukmir claims she supports protections for people with pre-existing conditions, saying “patients with pre-existing conditions should be covered,” she has turned her back on Wisconsinites at every opportunity to do so.

 

  • Vukmir refuses to stand against a lawsuit designed to end protections for people with pre-existing conditions. This summer, the Trump Administration refused to defend against a lawsuit brought by twenty conservative states aimed at overturning the Affordable Care Act and its protections for people with pre-existing conditions. Leah Vukmir refuses to speak against this lawsuit, instead calling it a “necessary step.”

 

  • Vukmir refuses to take action at the state level against the Trump administration’s junk plan and association plan rules that let insurance companies discriminate against people with pre-existing conditions. This summer, the Trump Administration finalized a junk plan rule and an association plan rule that allow insurance companies to discriminate against people with pre-existing conditions. Experts warn that these moves will only increase the cost of comprehensive care, ultimately making it even harder for people with pre-existing conditions to get the care they need. Twenty-one states have taken or are taking action to limit the harmful effects of these junk plans, but Vukmir refuses to do the same for Wisconsin.

 

Vukmir Supported Scott Walker’s Plan To Convert All Health Care Programs To Block Grants: “A Successful Repeal Of Obamacare Begins With The Federal Government Handing Over The Reins To The States.” “State Sen. Leah Vukmir, R–Brookfield, Tuesday endorsed Gov. Scott Walker’s request of the White House and Congress to send states block grants, giving them full responsibility for health care programs. ‘Healthcare is very personal,’ said Vukmir, chairman of the Senate Health & Human Services Committee. ‘That’s why those closest to our constituents, not Washington bureaucrats, should be responsible for tailoring our programs to fit Wisconsin’s needs. A successful repeal of Obamacare begins with the federal government handing over the reins to the states.’” [State Senator Leah Vukmir Press Release, 8/22/17]

  • Converting health care programs to block grants was the core of what the Graham-Cassidy repeal bill would have done. Multiple independent analyses agreed that the Graham-Cassidy repeal bill would have cut federal funding to states including a $29 billion cut over two decades to Wisconsin.

Vukmir Is Hostile Towards Medicaid

Vukmir “Would Support Efforts To Send Medicaid Dollars To States In The Form Of A Block Grant.” “Finally, Leah knows from her experience dealing with Wisconsin’s Medicaid program that states truly are laboratories of innovation, which is what our founders intended. Leah supports more flexibility for states when it comes to Medicaid spending, and would support efforts to send Medicaid dollars to states in the form of a block grant – allowing states more flexibility to design their own plans and save taxpayers billions of dollars.” [LeahVukmir.com, accessed 6/12/18]

  • The Graham-Cassidy bill would have enacted Vukmir’s plan to convert Medicaid into a block grant, meaning the 1,037,795 Wisconsinites who are enrolled on Medicaid would have their care jeopardized. Medicaid disproportionately helps children, seniors in nursing home care and people with disabilities. A study by Avalere found that a Graham-Cassidy-style plan would cut funding for people with disabilities by 15-percent and 31-percent for children by 2036.

Vukmir Opposed Medicaid Expansion In Wisconsin. “State Sen. Leah Vukmir, R–Brookfield, issued the following statement Friday after seeing recent news reports from states that accepted Medicaid expansion dollars and are now facing major problems with their budgets: ‘Recent reports from states across the U.S. are confirming our prior expectations, proving what we’ve known all along: Increased expansion is not financially feasible.” [State Senator Leah Vukmir Press Release, 4/22/16]

  • Medicaid is not only a lifeline for over one million Wisconsinites, it strengthens our communities and is supported by 74 percent of Americans. By not fully expanding Medicaid, Wisconsin has restricted its Medicaid program such that only Residents earning up to 100 percent of the federal poverty line are eligible to enroll in Medicaid. If Wisconsin expanded its program, 119,000 more adults could gain coverage through Medicaid.

Vukmir Supports Drug Testing For Medicaid Recipients.  “Gov. Scott Walker wants to make Wisconsin the first state in the country to require able-bodied, childless adults applying for Medicaid health benefits to undergo drug screening, a move that could serve as a national model.  […] Republican backer, Sen. Leah Vukmir, defended the approach, saying: ‘We know what to do. We know how to take care of our own.’” [Associated Press, 5/25/17]

It’s Time to Come Clean: Blackburn Lies About Her Record On Pre-Existing Conditions During Senate Debate

Washington DC – In response to last night’s Senate debate between Marsha Blackburn and Phil Bredesen, Protect Our Care issued the following statement from Dr. Thomas Phelps:

“Representative Marsha Blackburn wants to have it both ways: she says she supports protections for Tennesseans with pre-existing conditions, but her voting record shows otherwise. Rep. Blackburn’s vote for the American Health Care Act (AHCA) last May was a vote to weaken protections for at least 2.7 million Tennesseans with pre-existing conditions, and no amount of backtracking she does now can make up for that.”

In fact, when Marsha Blackburn couldn’t even defend her own health care voting record, she turned to calling the ACA “HillaryCare” to distract from the real threat at hand – the gutting of protections for Tennesseans for pre-existing conditions.

A current lawsuit filed by 20 Republican state officials threatens to gut the provision of the ACA that protects people with pre-existing conditions from discrimination by insurers. Rep. Blackburn has still not signed on to Rep. Jacky Rosen’s resolution that would authorize the House’s legal counsel to go to court and defend these provisions.

 

A Deeper Dive Into Blackburn’s Record on Pre-Existing Conditions

 

Although Blackburn Claims To Support Coverage For People With Pre-Existing Conditions She Voted For Legislation That Would Have Gutted Those Protections

 

Blackburn Claimed That AHCA Would Protect People With Pre-Existing Conditions And That Laws Preventing Discrimination Against Pre-Existing Conditions Were A Republican Idea.  “Yes, they are expecting to still be in there, pre-existing conditions and older children, young adults up to the age of 26. Actually, pre-existing conditions and 26-year-olds were two Republican provisions which made it into the [Obamacare] bill.” [Marsha Blackburn, Town Hall, 2/21/17]

  • The Washington Post Fact Checker Rated Blackburn’s Claim “Four Pinocchios.”  “There is no evidence that either of these popular elements of the ACA ‘were Republican provisions,’ as Blackburn claims. In fact, Blackburn is on record as promoting the concept of federally funded ‘high-risk pools’ even on the eve of the House vote for the Democratic bill that included a robust provision to bar insurance companies from refusing to cover preexisting conditions. Similarly, the Obama White House and House Democrats were the prime movers of the under-26 provision. Blackburn earns Four Pinocchios.” [Washington Post, 2/28/17]

What Did AHCA Mean For Pre-Existing Conditions?

  • The American Health Care Act weakens key protections of the Affordable Care Act by allowing states to let insurers charge people with pre-existing conditions more, among other provisions. The bill would also make it more likely insurers would cherrypick young and healthier people, causing costs to skyrocket for older, sicker people.

 

 

  • Politifact found that AHCA “would weaken protections” for those with pre-existing conditions and “would allow states to give insurers the power to charge people significantly more.”

 

Here We Go Again: Mike Braun Rewriting His Own History During Senate Debate

Washington, DC – Last night, Mike Braun continued his desperate attempt to convince Hoosiers that he would defend protections for people with pre-existing during his debate against Senator Joe Donnelly, a true leader who has worked tirelessly to protect health care for all Americans. Brad Woodhouse, executive director of Protect Our Care, issued the following statement in response to Bruan’s claims, which were called out by AP factcheckers during debate:

 

“Once again, Mike Braun isn’t being honest with the people of Indiana, who want their leaders to protect health care. Braun ought to get four-pinocchios everytime he mentions keeping protections for people with pre-existing conditions since he has consistently tried to gut protections for people with conditions like cancer, diabetes or heart disease. Let’s be clear, the facts are the facts. Braun has one goal and one goal only — to end health care for all Hoosiers, no matter the cost.”

 

ADDITIONAL BACKGROUND:

 

What Braun Said:

“I would never be for any replacement of the Affordable Care Act unless it covered pre-existing conditions.” [AP, 10/9/2018]

 

What Braun Has Done:

Braun Is Campaigning On The Repeal Of The Affordable Care Act. On the subject of the ACA, his website reads, “There is no repairing this broken law; the only option is to repeal and replace every word and regulation.” [Braun For Indiana, Accessed 8/14/18]

 

  • Braun: “We Must Repeal Obamacare, Not Repair It.”  “Government is not the driver of new job creation or economic prosperity. And too often it gets in the way with onerous regulations and sky-high taxes. President Trump’s work to remove burdensome red tape and lower taxes for families and businesses are a start, but now is the time to double down on empowering the private sector and job creators. We need a tax code that is simple and fair. We must repeal Obamacare, not repair it, to rein in costs and expand healthcare options.” [Braun for Indiana, accessed 5/15/18]

 

Braun, June 2018: I Will “Fully Repeal” Obamacare. “In the Senate, I will use my business experience and work with President Trump to fully repeal Obamacare and implement free-market solutions that will provide better healthcare for Hoosiers.” [City-County Observer, 7/26/18]

 

May 2018: The Tea Party Has Endorsed Braun, In Part Because He Supports “Repealing Obamacare.” “Our supporters were proud to endorse Mike, because he is a strong supporter of the Penny Plan, term limits, repealing Obamacare.” [Tea Party, 5/9/18]

 

Mike Braun Supports The GOP Lawsuit to Eliminate Pre-existing Conditions Protections:  “Sure, Anything That’s Going To Actually Get Rid Of It, Yes.” “‘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.'” [Politico, 8/17/18]

  • 2,745,700 Hoosiers Live With A Pre-Existing Condition. About one in two Hoosiers, 50 percent, lives with a pre-existing condition. [CAP, 4/5/17]

 

  • 1,382,000 Indiana Women And Girls Have A Pre-Existing Condition. Approximately 1,382,000 women and girls in Indiana live with a pre-existing condition. [CAP & National Partnership For Women and Families, June 2018]

 

  • 377,100 Indiana Children Already Have A Pre-Existing Condition. Roughly 377,000 Hoosiers below age 18 live with a pre-existing condition. [CAP, 4/5/17]

 

  • 643,800 Older Hoosiers Live With A Pre-Existing Condition. 643,800 Indiana adults between the ages of 55 and 64 live with at least one pre-existing condition, meaning attacks on these protections significantly threaten Hoosiers approaching Medicare age. [CAP, 4/5/17]

 

 

FACT-CHECK:  Leah Vukmir Can’t Rewrite History

 

Prior to ACA Insurance Companies Routinely Denied Coverage for Pre-Existing Conditions

During last night’s debate between Senator Tammy Baldwin and Leah Vukmir,, Vukmir, a long time, rabid proponent of repealing the Affordable Care Act, including its protections for people with pre-existing conditions, claimed that people with pre-existing conditions would continue to have coverage even if the Affordable Care Act were repealed. This is false.  

 

The facts:  Prior to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), insurance companies had the ability to deny or drop coverage based on a pre-existing condition for anyone purchasing coverage in the individual market. That included women and people with any health issue like cancer, diabetes, or asthma.

Senator Baldwin is standing up for people with pre-existing conditions. She stood up against Republican efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act last year. She is a leader trying to stop the expansion of “short-term” plans, or junk plans that allow insurance companies to deny coverage because of a pre-existing condition and has introduced a resolution to do just that.

 

Here’s what really took place before the ACA:

 

  • Before The ACA, Insurance Companies Could Retroactively Deny Someone Coverage Once They Got SIck. This foul-play impacted Robin Beaton, whose insurance company denied her coverage for a double mastectomy because she had previously received acne treatment. “Robin Beaton found out last June she had an aggressive form of breast cancer and needed surgery — immediately. Her insurance carrier precertified her for a double mastectomy and hospital stay. But three days before the operation, the insurance company called and told her they had red-flagged her chart and she would not be able to have her surgery. The reason? In May 2008, Beaton had visited a dermatologist for acne.

 

    • Before The ACA, 18 Percent Of Individual Market Applications Were Denied Because Of A Pre-Existing Condition.

 

  • Prior To The Affordable Care Act, Insurance Companies Charged Women An Estimated $1 Billion More Than Men For The Same Health Care Plans.

 

Thanks To The Affordable Care Act, Insurance Companies Can No Longer Drop Coverage Because You Get Sick. Because of the ACA, insurance companies can no longer rescind or cancel someone’s coverage arbitrarily or because they get sick.

  • Because Of The Affordable Care Act, Insurance Companies Can No Longer Impose Annual And Lifetime Limits On Coverage. Before the ACA, insurance companies could restrict the amount of dollar amount of benefits someone could use per year or over a lifetime. At the time the ACA was passed, 91 million Americans had health care through their employers that imposed lifetime limits. Many such plans capped benefits at $1 million annually, functionally locking people with complex medical needs out of coverage.

Pro-Repeal, Anti-Health Care Extremist Leah Vukmir To Debate Health Care Champion Senator Tammy Baldwin Tonight

Washington DC — Tonight in Milwaukee, Leah Vukmir, a pro-repeal Republican who supports ending protections for people with pre-existing conditions will debate Senator Tammy Baldwin. Vukmir has earned the nickname ‘Nurse Ratched’ by fellow Republicans due to her extreme positions on health care and multiple attempts to block Medicaid expansion in Wisconsin. Ahead of the debate, Brad Woodhouse, executive director of Protect Our Care, issued the following statement:

“After years of attempting roll back protections for millions of Wisconsinites, Leah Vukmir is touting her experience as a nurse to try to convince us that her record on health care isn’t as bad as it is. But the truth is, in addition to supporting a full repeal the ACA, Vukmir wants to dismantle Medicaid and even voted against protections for Wisconsin kids who need cochlear implants. Vukmir’s record on health care is as extreme – far too extreme for Wisconsin – as it is cruel.”

 

Vukmir Supports Repealing The ACA And Its Protections For 2.4 Million Wisconsinites with Pre-Existing Conditions

Vukmir “Supports Full Repeal Of Obamacare. Period.” “Leah understands why people are upset with Republicans who promised to repeal Obamacare and didn’t deliver. She supports full repeal of Obamacare. Period. And she won’t stop pushing for full repeal in Congress.” [LeahVukmir.com, accessed 6/12/18]

What would full repeal of the Affordable Care Act mean for Wisconsin? ?

    • Elimination of protections for 2.4 million Wisconsinites with pre-existing conditions, if they buy coverage on their own
    • Elimination of improvements to Medicare, including reduced costs for prescription drugs
    • Ending allowing kids to stay on their parents’ insurance until age 26
    • Elimination of ban on annual and lifetime limits
    • Elimination of ban on insurance discrimination against women
    • Elimination of a limit on out-of-pocket costs
    • Elimination of the Medicaid expansion, currently covering 15 million people
    • Elimination of rules to hold insurance companies accountable
    • Elimination of small business tax credits
    • Elimination of marketplace tax credits and coverage for up to 215,000 Wisconsinites

Vukmir Supported Scott Walker’s Plan To Convert All Health Care Programs To Block Grants: “A Successful Repeal Of Obamacare Begins With The Federal Government Handing Over The Reins To The States.” “State Sen. Leah Vukmir, R–Brookfield, Tuesday endorsed Gov. Scott Walker’s request of the White House and Congress to send states block grants, giving them full responsibility for health care programs. ‘Healthcare is very personal,’ said Vukmir, chairman of the Senate Health & Human Services Committee. ‘That’s why those closest to our constituents, not Washington bureaucrats, should be responsible for tailoring our programs to fit Wisconsin’s needs. A successful repeal of Obamacare begins with the federal government handing over the reins to the states.’” [State Senator Leah Vukmir Press Release, 8/22/17]

  • Converting health care programs to block grants was the core of what the Graham-Cassidy repeal bill would have done. Multiple independent analyses agreed that the Graham-Cassidy repeal bill would have cut federal funding to states including a $29 billion cut over two decades to Wisconsin.

Vukmir Is Hostile Towards Medicaid

Vukmir “Would Support Efforts To Send Medicaid Dollars To States In The Form Of A Block Grant.” “Finally, Leah knows from her experience dealing with Wisconsin’s Medicaid program that states truly are laboratories of innovation, which is what our founders intended. Leah supports more flexibility for states when it comes to Medicaid spending, and would support efforts to send Medicaid dollars to states in the form of a block grant – allowing states more flexibility to design their own plans and save taxpayers billions of dollars.” [LeahVukmir.com, accessed 6/12/18]

  • The Graham-Cassidy bill would have enacted Vukmir’s plan to convert Medicaid into a block grant, meaning the 1,037,795 Wisconsinites who are enrolled on Medicaid would have their care jeopardized. Medicaid disproportionately helps children, seniors in nursing home care and people with disabilities. A study by Avalere found that a Graham-Cassidy-style plan would cut funding for people with disabilities by 15-percent and 31-percent for children by 2036.

Vukmir Opposed Medicaid Expansion In Wisconsin. “State Sen. Leah Vukmir, R–Brookfield, issued the following statement Friday after seeing recent news reports from states that accepted Medicaid expansion dollars and are now facing major problems with their budgets: ‘Recent reports from states across the U.S. are confirming our prior expectations, proving what we’ve known all along: Increased expansion is not financially feasible.” [State Senator Leah Vukmir Press Release, 4/22/16]

  • Medicaid is not only a lifeline for over one million Wisconsinites, it strengthens our communities and is supported by 74 percent of Americans. By not fully expanding Medicaid, Wisconsin has restricted its Medicaid program such that only Residents earning up to 100 percent of the federal poverty line are eligible to enroll in Medicaid. If Wisconsin expanded its program, 119,000 more adults could gain coverage through Medicaid.

Vukmir Supports Drug Testing For Medicaid Recipients.  “Gov. Scott Walker wants to make Wisconsin the first state in the country to require able-bodied, childless adults applying for Medicaid health benefits to undergo drug screening, a move that could serve as a national model.  […] Republican backer, Sen. Leah Vukmir, defended the approach, saying: ‘We know what to do. We know how to take care of our own.’” [Associated Press, 5/25/17]

  • Drug-testing Medicaid recipients hurts the people who need help the most.  People with substance abuse disorders will be reluctant to disclose that they use drugs for fear of legal or medical retribution. Making it easier, rather than harder, for those who need substance abuse treatment to access that coverage through Medicaid will help combat the opioid crisis and halt the spread of conditions like HIV and Hepatitis which are spread via intravenous drug use.  Drug tests are also a waste of state resources. One study from Florida found that of 4,086 applicants tested over four months, only 2.6 percent failed a drug test. Over four months, this testing regime cost the state $45,780.