GOP plays defense on ObamaCare’s pre-existing conditions
Republicans in tough reelection races are scrambling to show that they support protections for people with pre-existing conditions in the face of a wave of Democratic attacks on the issue.
But the argument they are making has been complicated by their party’s repeated efforts to repeal ObamaCare, as well as a lawsuit supported by the Trump administration that seeks to overturn protections under the law for people with pre-existing health conditions.
Rep. David Young (R-Iowa), whose race the Cook Political Report rates as a toss-up, last week introduced a resolution, co-sponsored by several other vulnerable GOP lawmakers, expressing the opinion of the House that pre-existing condition protections should be maintained.
In the Senate, Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.), the most endangered GOP Senate incumbent, added his name last month to a bill aiming to preserve pre-existing condition protections.
President Trump himself sought to make the same argument at a rally for Heller in Nevada on Thursday night, saying, “Donald Trump and Republicans will protect patients with pre-existing conditions.”
Republicans are fighting back as Democrats have gone on offense over the issue.
An ad from Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) this month shows him using a shotgun to blow holes through a copy of the lawsuit seeking to overturn ObamaCare’s pre-existing condition protections that is supported by the Trump administration.
“If you’ve got Joe Manchin in one of the most Republican states in the country … shooting a lawsuit trying to get rid of protections for pre-existing conditions, I think that’s pretty telling about how much potential Democrats think this has as an issue,” said Geoffrey Skelley, a political analyst at the University of Virginia Center for Politics.
A Morning Consult/Politico poll this month found that a large majority of voters, 71 percent, including 66 percent of Republicans, said insurers should be barred from charging people with pre-existing conditions more, a key provision of ObamaCare.