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Doug Ducey Archives — Protect Our Care

Arizonans Have Rejected Martha McSally Before, and They Will Reject Her Again

Washington, D.C. – This morning, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey announced that defeated Senate candidate and health repealer Martha McSally will be appointed to the Senate seat previously held by Sen. John McCain. Brad Woodhouse, executive director of Protect Our Care, released the following statement:

“No one fought harder to repeal and sabotage health care than Martha McSally, who has spent years on the front lines of taking away protections for pre-existing conditions. When her colleagues expressed reservations about supporting a bill which would have kicked 23 million Americans off of their coverage, gutted protections for people with pre-existing conditions, and imposed an ‘age tax’ on people over 50, she implored them to, “Get this $#$$ thing done!” When confronted about her positions, she lied. When she faced the voters, she was sent home by the people of Arizona. It’s outrageous that Governor Ducey would now appoint her to a post the voters said she didn’t deserve. Arizonans rejected Martha McSally because of her relentless war on health care, and when they have another chance, they will reject her again.”

BACKGROUND:

Health Care Was A Top Issue For Voters, Who Overwhelmingly Backed Kyrsten Sinema On It, Propelling Her To Victory. A Public Policy Polling election day survey of Arizona voters found that health care was a top issue for voters in the state and that they overwhelmingly favored Democrats on it, propelling Kyrsten Sinema to victory. 62% of voters said that health care was either a very important issue, or the most important issue to them. Those voters supported Sinema over Martha McSally 68-29. Although the final result was close overall, voters said they trusted Sinema over McSally on the issue of health care by 10 points, 49-39.” [PPP, 11/6]

  • Arizona Republic: Health Care Was A “Defining Issue” In McSally’s Loss. “Especially for women — who tend to be primary caregivers for children and aging parents — health care was a defining issue. Sinema made it the centerpiece of her campaign from the outset. Everywhere she went, she reminded people of her votes to maintain the Affordable Care Act, the eight-year-old federal law commonly referred to as Obamacare, which Republicans have tried to repeal or roll back… In the weeks before the election, McSally found herself racing to reposition herself on health care. She was on the defensive when trying to explain her votes to both fully repeal the ACA and repeal and replace. And, she insisted that she was leading the fight to ‘force insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions,’ a characterization rated ‘Mostly False’ by Politifact.” [Arizona Republic, 11/14]
  • KTAR: McSally Refused To Ask Mark Brnovich To Remove Arizona From Anti-Obamacare Lawsuit. “In February, Arizona became one of 19 Republican-led states to join Texas in the lawsuit. That was before Obamacare, and its protections for pre-existing medical conditions, became a key issue in the November elections. Across the nation, voters most concerned with health care supported Democrats overwhelmingly. In Arizona, Republican U.S. Rep. Martha McSally’s record of voting to repeal Obamacare is considered a major factor in her loss to Democrat Kyrsten Sinema in their Senate race.” [KTAR, 12/17/18]

McSally Backed The American Health Care Act, Encouraging Her GOP Colleagues To “Get This [Bleeping] Thing Done.” “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]

  • What Did The So-Called Affordable Health Care Act Mean for Arizona?
    • In 2026, 465,200 Arizonans would have lost coverage.
    • The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office found that the AHCA would have raised premiums 20 percent in 2018.
    • The negative economic impact of the AHCA would have caused 60,714 Arizonans to lose their jobs by 2022.

Martha McSally Lied About Voting To Support Protections For Pre-Existing Conditions, Repeatedly Voting To Repeal The Affordable Care Act.

  • When Confronted About Voting To Take Away Protections For Pre-Existing Conditions, McSally Lied To The Face Of A Voter. [Matt McDermott Twitter, 11/3]

  • Politifact: McSally’s Claims To Support Protections For Pre-Existing Conditions Were “Mostly False.” “McSally claimed she’s ‘leading the fight’ to ‘force insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions.’ It was the Obama-era Affordable Care Act that forced insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions. McSally in 2015 voted in favor of a full repeal of the law. The bill directed House committees to offer new proposals, including one that provided people with pre-existing conditions access to affordable health coverage. In 2017, McSally voted for the American Health Care Act, a Republican proposal that kept the Affordable Care Act’s pre-existing conditions coverage. Despite language in the bill to protect people with pre-existing conditions, it included provisions that undermined that coverage and increased premiums for certain people, making insurance unaffordable in some cases, experts said. McSally did support an amendment to help reduce over 5 years increased premiums and out-of-pocket expenses that people with pre-existing conditions might face due to a state waiver allowed in the bill. McSally’s statement contains an element of truth but ignores critical facts that would give a different impression. We rate it Mostly False.” [Politifcat Arizona, 10/30]
  • 2016:  McSally Attacked “The Failed Top-Down Approach Of Obamacare” And Claimed It Was “Only Getting Worse.” “The failed top-down approach of Obamacare is leaving patients with less choice, not more, and it’s only getting worse. Instead of a law that favors bureaucracy over doing what’s best for each family and individual, we need a better approach that actually ensures affordable, quality health care for all Americans.” [Martha McSally Facebook Post, 8/16/16]
  • 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]
  • 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]

John McCain’s Former Chief Of Staff Endorsed Kyrsten Sinema Over McSally. “Grant Woods, the former Republican attorney general of Arizona who also served as the first congressional chief of staff for the late Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), backed Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) in a new ad released Friday. ‘Kyrsten Sinema is a tremendous public servant,’ Woods says in the video backing her in the Senate race over Rep. Martha McSally (R-AZ).” [Daily Beast, 9/28]

Protect Our Care On PhRMA Lobbyist Jon Kyl Finishing Senator John McCain’s Term

“Now We Will Have Yet Another Senator Whose Priorities Lie with Big Insurance and Drug Companies,” says Brad Woodhouse

Washington, D.C. – Following the announcement that Arizona Governor Doug Ducey will name former Senator and current Big Pharma lobbyist Jon Kyl to fill the remainder of Sen. John McCain’s term, Brad Woodhouse, executive director of Protect Our Care, released the following statement:

“By naming a Big Pharma lobbyist who repeatedly voted against the Affordable Care Act and has continued to call for its repeal to serve the remainder of Sen. McCain’s term, Gov. Ducey has assured we will have yet another Senator whose priorities lie with insurance and drug companies, not the health and wellbeing of the American people.”

BACKGROUND:

Jon Kyl Infamously Opposed Requirements That Health Plans Cover Essential Benefits Like Maternity Care And Hospitalization — Saying “I Don’t Need Maternity Care.”

Jon Kyl Proposed An Amendment That Would Have Allowed Insurance Companies To Sell Plans Not Required To Cover Certain Benefits, Such As Prescription Drug Coverage, Hospitalization, And Maternity Care. “By a vote of 14 to 9, the committee rejected an amendment by Senator Jon Kyl, Republican of Arizona, that would have prohibited the federal government from defining the specific health benefits that insurers must offer. The government would prescribe a minimum package of benefits under all health bills pending in Congress.” [New York Times, 9/26/09]

Jon Kyl: “I Don’t Need Maternity Care.” “Mr. Kyl said that federal benefit mandates would increase the cost of insurance. Senator Debbie Stabenow, Democrat of Michigan, said such requirements were needed because many insurance policies did not cover important services like maternity care. Mr. Kyl insisted, ‘I don’t need maternity care.’ But Ms. Stabenow said, ‘Your mom probably did.’” [New York Times, 9/26/09]

The Affordable Care Act made comprehensive coverage more available by requiring insurance companies to include “essential health benefits” in their plans, such as maternity care, hospitalization, substance abuse care and prescription drug coverage. Before the ACA, people had to pay extra for separate coverage for these benefits. For example, in 2013, 75 percent of non-group plans did not cover maternity care, 45 percent did not cover substance abuse disorder services, and 38 percent did not cover mental health services. Six percent did not even cover generic drugs. If Jon Kyl had his way, insurance companies would once again be able to refuse coverage for these key health services.

Kyl Strongly Opposed The Affordable Care Act And Called For Its Repeal

HEADLINE:  “Kyl: Health Bill A ‘Stunning Assault On Liberty.’” [The Hill, 9/22/09]

Following The Supreme Court’s Decision Finding The Affordable Care Act Constitutional, Kyl Called On The American People To “Overturn The Law By The Choices They Make In November’s Election.” “Because the Supreme Court did not strike down the most onerous provisions, it appears that the American people themselves will have to overturn the law by the choices they make in November’s election.” [Arizona Daily Star, 6/29/12]

Without the ACA, what would disappear?

    • Protections for 130 million Americans 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
    • Rules to hold insurance companies accountable
    • Small business tax credits
    • Marketplace tax credits and coverage for up to 8.7 million people nationally, including 121,000 Arizonans.

Jon Kyl Is A Major Pharmaceutical Lobbyist

PhRMA Has Paid Jon Kyl’s Lobbying Firm, Covington & Burling, More Than Any Other Lobby Shop. “Since 1998, pharmaceutical companies have paid Covington & Burling roughly $19 million to lobby on their behalf, making the industry Covington & Burling’s second-largest customer, according to a Tarbell analysis of data from the Center for Responsive Politics. Pharmaceutical companies have paid the firm more than oil and gas, finance and insurance companies combined. And since Kyl arrived, the pharmaceutical industry has accounted for a greater share of Covington & Burling’s lobbying, Tarbell’s analysis shows. In the past three years, PhRMA itself has paid Covington & Burling nearly $3 million — more than it has paid any other lobby shop.” [Tarbell, 11/14/17]

Major pharmaceutical companies have reaped benefits from Republican policy. Here’s how:

Pharmaceutical Companies Have The Highest Profits In The Health Industry. With earnings from only 85 of 118 health care companies announced, profit is already higher for Q2 than it has been for any quarter in the past year. So far, health companies have announced $47 billion in global profit, with pharmaceutical companies making the highest profit margins. Why the sudden growth? In large part, because of Republican corporate tax breaks.

Republican Tax Cut Fueling Pharmaceutical Profits. As Axios reports: “But the larger earnings also stemmed from Republicans’ massive cut in corporate taxes. The income tax expense for drug giant AbbVie, for example, was 93% lower in the second quarter of this year compared to the same period last year.”

At The Same Time, Pharmaceutical Companies Also Reaping Profits By Charging Higher Prices. Between February 1st and July 15th, drug companies raised prices on 255 drugs. As Bloomberg notes, “For all..categories of drugs, list prices rose far faster than inflation. Prices for 10 commonly used diabetes drugs rose 25.6 percent, on average, while average prices for rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune treatments rose 40.1 percent.” To learn more the high costs of drug prices, check out a handy explainer video from the Center for American Progress.