Democrats Hammer Health Care Message As Republicans Focus On Discord Over ‘Medicare For All’
Even Democratic candidates on the campaign trail in traditionally deep red states are using the threat to the health law's preexisting conditions in ways that would have been unthinkable a few years ago, while Republicans target progressives' support of universal health care. Meanwhile, The New York Times fact checks President Donald Trump's promises to protect preexisting conditions coverage.
2018 Democrats Candidates Embrace Obamacare
Democrats used to run away from President Obama’s signature health care law. This year, defending Obamacare from Republican attempts to overturn it is central to the party’s efforts to take back Congress. Democratic candidates are running ads and campaigning on shoring up the Affordable Care Act, not just in reliably blue states, but in traditionally Republican strongholds. Though they might not use the word “Obamacare” itself, Democrats warn against GOP legislation and lawsuits that seek repeal or would block the law’s most popular elements.It’s a far cry from 2010, where fury over Obamacare fueled a Tea Party wave that cost Democrats the House and, four years later, the Senate as well. (Sullivan, 9/20)
It's Baaaccck! Health Care Law Again Front And Center In Midterms
For months, polls have shown that health care is a top issue for Democratic voters and candidates are leaning into that. A poll conducted in August by the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation, which has closely tracked how health care is playing into the 2018 campaign, found that 27 percent of registered voters said health care was the most important issue for candidates to talk about, trailing only corruption in Washington. In recent campaign cycles, Democrats were on defense on the issue, facing protests and criticism for enacting the 2010 health law as voters blamed them for all of their health care concerns, says Ian Russell, a congressional strategist at Beacon Media who previously worked for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. (McIntire, 9/24)
The New York Times Fact Checker:
Trump Claims To Protect Pre-Existing Health Conditions. That’s Not What The Government Says.
The Justice Department told a federal court in June that it would no longer defend provisions in the Affordable Care Act that protect patients with pre-existing medical conditions. In a brief responding to a lawsuit filed by Texas and 19 other states, the Justice Department called the individual mandate — which requires most Americans to buy insurance or face financial penalties — unconstitutional. Government lawyers argued that protections for pre-existing conditions and other medical issues cannot be separated from the individual mandate, and should also be overturned. (Qiu, 9/21)
And this month a judge handed what could be an expensive defeat to the government over cost-sharing subsidies —
The New York Times:
Ruling On Health Care Subsidies Could Prove Costly For Government
A federal court ruled this month that a Montana insurer is entitled to federal compensation for subsidy payments under the Affordable Care Act that President Trump abruptly ended last October, a ruling that could reverberate through insurance markets and cost the government hundreds of millions of dollars. At issue are payments for so-called cost-sharing reductions, discounts that enhance the value of health insurance policies purchased from the Affordable Care Act’s marketplaces by reducing deductibles, co-payments and other out-of-pocket costs for low-income consumers. President Trump ended the payments in October, one of a series of executive actions intended to undo President Barack Obama’s signature domestic achievement. (Pear, 9/22)