Rep. Lou Barletta is claiming that Sen. Casey distorted his record on gutting protections for 5.3 million Pennsylvanians with pre-existing conditions using a Washington Post fact check as evidence.

However, Sen. Casey is correct. The American Health Care Act Barletta voted for would have gutted the protections for people with pre-existing conditions. And he repeatedly voted to repeal the entire Affordable Care Act.

The Washington Post fact check leaves out some important context.

  • Sen. Casey said all 5.3 million Pennsylvanians with pre-existing conditions could be “at risk” of losing protections. He was right. While the Washington Post correctly claims the changes to protections for people with pre-existing conditions would mostly impact people in the individual market, it fails to measure who would be “at risk.” The Department of Health and Human Services releases a report citing up to 130 million Americans had a pre-existing condition. That includes as many as 5.3 million Pennsylvanians. The Fact Checker has cited these numbers before. If someone in the employer market were to lose their job, or decide to start a business, or had their employer drop their coverage, they would most likely find insurance on the individual market and would be subject to gutted protections under the AHCA.
  • The AHCA impacted the employer market too. Another provision of the AHCA would have allowed states to allow insurers to waive the “essential health benefits” under the Affordable Care Act like maternity care, hospitalizations and prescription drugs, which apply to small business plans. Additionally, it would have allowed insurers to impose lifetime and annual limits on this coverage even for people in the employer based market, including for people with pre-existing conditions.
  • Rep. Barletta has voted to repeal the entire Affordable Care Act. Rep. Barletta voted at least two times to repeal the entire Affordable Care Act which would have repealed protections for people with pre-existing conditions. In other words, he voted to allow insurance companies to deny coverage to people with pre-existing conditions.
  • Rep. Barletta voted for the tax bill that is the basis of a lawsuit to take away protections for people with pre-existing conditions. He has refused to renounce the lawsuit. In addition, Barletta voted for the tax bill that essentially eliminated the penalty for the individual mandate. Republicans in 20 states have used this as a basis to ask the courts to overturn the entire Affordable Care Act, including the protections for people with pre-existing conditions. Barletta has refused to denounce the lawsuit.

Rep. Barletta can try to rewrite his record all he wants but it doesn’t change the fact that his vote to gut protections for people with pre-existing conditions put everyone at risk.