Washington, DC — President Trump is traveling to West Des Moines, Iowa this evening for a Republican Party fundraiser, all while his administration and GOP allies in Congress, like Senator Joni Ernst, work to strip away health care from millions of Americans through the Texas lawsuit and repeated acts of health care sabotage. If the Trump-Texas lawsuit is successful, it will raise premiums, end protections for people with pre-existing conditions, put insurance companies back in charge, and force Iowa seniors to pay more for prescription drugs. Brad Woodhouse, executive director of Protect Our Care, issued the following statement in response:

“President Trump’s Texas lawsuit would decimate the health care of tens of thousands of Iowans who have gained coverage through Medicaid expansion, and once again put people with pre-existing conditions at risk. The president and his Republican allies like Joni Ernst have worked non-stop to undermine and sabotage health care, and instead of hobnobbing at fundraisers, President Trump and Senator Ernst should explain why they want to take away health care from hardworking Iowa families. Access to quality, affordable health care is a top priority for Iowans and they won’t be fooled by President Trump, Senator Ernst, and the GOP’s ongoing repeal and sabotage agenda.”

Background:

If Trump Gets His Way With His Lawsuit, 187,000 Iowans Would Lose Their Coverage

  • 187,000 Iowans could lose coverage. According to the Urban Institute, 187,000 Iowans would lose coverage by repealing the Affordable Care Act, leading to a 126 percent increase in the uninsured rate.
  • 24,000 Iowa young adults with their parents’ coverage could lose care. Because of the Affordable Care Act, millions of young adults are able to stay on their parents’ care until age 26.
  • 1,530,502 Iowans Could Once Again Have To Pay For Preventive Care. Because of the ACA, health plans must cover preventive services — like flu shots, cancer screenings, contraception, and mammograms – at no cost to consumers. This includes nearly 1,530,502 Iowans, most of whom have employer coverage.
  • 39,039 Iowans in the Marketplaces Would Pay More for Coverage. If the Trump-GOP lawsuit is successful, consumers would no longer have access to tax credits that help them pay their marketplace premiums, meaning roughly nine million people who receive these tax credits to pay for coverage will have to pay more, including 39,039 in Iowa.
  • 51,596 Iowa Seniors Could Have to Pay More for Prescription Drugs. If the Trump-GOP lawsuit is successful, seniors could have to pay more for prescription drugs because the Medicare “donut” hole would be reopened. From 2010 to 2016, “More than 11.8 million Medicare beneficiaries have received discounts over $26.8 billion on prescription drugs – an average of $2,272 per beneficiary,” according to a January 2017 CMS report. In Iowa, 51,596 seniors each saved an average of $1,058.

 

Five Ways Sen. Ernst Has Propped Up The Trump Administration’s Assault On Health Care

  1. 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. The narrator of the ad says Ernst, a state senator and lieutenant colonel in the Iowa Army National Guard, ‘carries more than just lipstick in her purse.’ The commercial portrays her riding a motorcycle to a shooting range where she takes target practice. ‘Joni Ernst will take aim at wasteful spending. And once she sets her sights on Obamacare, Joni’s gonna unload,’ the narrator continues. Next, Ernst starts firing a handgun at a target. ‘Oh, and one more thing,’ adds the narrator as the dispersal of her shots on the target come into view. ‘Joni doesn’t miss much.’” [Washington Post, 5/4/14]
  2. 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. Even as the lawsuit makes its way through the federal court system, Ernst refuses to acknowledge the threat it poses to Americans’ health care. In response to the suit, Ernst cosponsored legislation that he claimed would protect Americans with pre-existing conditions if the ACA were struck down, but in reality would not bar insurers from denying coverage for individual medical conditions, meaning a cancer patient might be able to buy a health plan, but not one that covered treatment for cancer.  Leading health care experts called the coverage offered by Tillis’s bill a “mirage” and “insultingly stupid.”
  3. Ernst  Voted To Confirm The Attorney General Leading The DOJ Assault On The ACA. Ernst voted to confirm Attorney General Bill Barr.  Six weeks after Barr’s confirmation he led the DOJ to back a full invalidation of the Affordable Care Act in Texas v. Azar, a sharp escalation of the Trump administration’s ongoing war on the law.  
  4. Ernst Refused To Support Authorizing The Senate Legal Counsel To Intervene In The Trump-Republican Lawsuit And Defend The ACA. Ernst refused to sponsor a resolution (S. Res. 581), which would authorize Senate legal counsel to defend the Affordable Care Act against attack in Texas v. Azar.
  5. Ernst Voted To Confirm Brett Kavanaugh — A Potential Pivotal Vote To Overturn The ACA.  Ernst was a key vote to confirm Brett Kavanaugh.  Kavanaugh authored rulings expressing skepticism about the Affordable Care Act and could be the pivotal vote to overturn the law if Texas v. Azar were to reach the Supreme Court.