NBC News: Gardner Running False Ad on Pre-Existing Conditions, A Claim “At Odds With [His] Own Recent Votes and Policy Positions”

NBC News: Gardner Running False Ad on Pre-Existing Conditions, A Claim “At Odds With [His] Own Recent Votes and Policy Positions”

Kaiser Family Foundation: “Gardner’s bill ‘contains a giant loophole’ because insurance companies can simply ‘deny coverage altogether to people with pre-existing conditions’”

“Gardner campaign spokesman Meghan Graf didn’t respond when asked if Gardner still favors ACA repeal, or why his bill doesn’t include the guaranteed issue provision. She wouldn’t say whether Gardner supports a lawsuit backed by the Trump administration to invalidate the ACA.”

Denver, CO After Senator Cory Gardner launched an ad lying about his health care record today, a new report from NBC News slammed Gardner for desperately trying to “obscure” his record of crusading against the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and introducing an 11th-hour hollow bill that would not cover people with pre-existing conditions. Gardner is leaning on his “horse excrement” 117-word stunt health care bill in his latest ad, even though experts have shredded the bill as a “political document” since it still allows insurers to “deny coverage altogether to people with pre-existing conditions.” 

NBC News reports Gardner’s pre-existing condition claims are “at odds with [his] own recent votes and policy positions.”

To no surprise, Gardner’s team refused to own up to the stunt bill, and “didn’t respond” when pressed on the vulnerable senator’s shameful record trying to gut the ACA or his support for the Trump-administration’s lawsuit to repeal the health care law in the middle of the pandemic.

Gardner has voted at least 13 times to repeal, gut, or defund the ACA without a real plan to protect the 2.4 million Coloradans with pre-existing conditions. Before he was elected to the Senate in 2014, Gardner was asked if health care reform should require coverage for people with pre-existing conditions. He responded, “no.

Read the highlights below or full articles HERE.

NBC: Republican senators in tough races obscure their position on pre-existing conditions
Sens. Gardner, Perdue, McSally and Daines are all running ads proclaiming support for the protections despite voting to repeal Obamacare and weaken them.
By Sahil Kapurl | September 15, 2020

WASHINGTON — Republican senators facing tough re-election fights this fall are expressing support for insurance protections for people with pre-existing medical conditions, running ads at odds with their own recent votes and policy positions.

The latest example came Tuesday when Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., who has voted repeatedly to repeal the Obamacare law that established those federal protections, released an emotional ad in which he sits with his mother and discusses her successful battle with cancer.

“Cory wrote the bill to guarantee coverage to people with pre-existing conditions — forever,” she says, looking directly at the camera.

“No matter what happens to Obamacare,” the senator adds.

But experts say the bill he cites doesn’t do that.

Gardner is one of several Republicans to obscure their record on preexisting conditions as rising public support for Obamacare turns the issue into a liability for senators who have voted to repeal it.

Republican senators are fighting to maintain control of the chamber, and that has left many telling voters they favor the most popular provisions after they backed legislation that would have chipped away at the protections in the 2010 law. The replacement plans they’ve supported fall short of fully restoring those rules, say health policy experts.

“When you’re in retreat it’s best to do it slowly and not make it look like a complete spin around,” said Tom Miller, a health policy expert at the conservative American Enterprise Institute.

Gardner’s 117-word-long legislation would require insurers “not impose any pre-existing condition exclusion” or “factor health status into premiums or charges.” The bill was introduced in August and has never received a hearing or a vote.

Larry Levitt, the executive vice president for health policy at the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation, said Gardner’s bill “contains a giant loophole” because insurance companies can simply “deny coverage altogether to people with pre-existing conditions.”

The current rules, created through the Affordable Care Act, include “guaranteed issue,” meaning insurance companies have to sell policies to people regardless of health status, Levitt said in an email.

“The Gardner bill leaves out that requirement, meaning that insurers could deny coverage to people with pre-existing conditions, as they commonly did in the individual insurance market before the ACA,” he said.

Gardner campaign spokesman Meghan Graf didn’t respond when asked if Gardner still favors ACA repeal, or why his bill doesn’t include the guaranteed issue provision. She wouldn’t say whether Gardner supports a lawsuit backed by the Trump administration to invalidate the ACA.

Miller said GOP senators are running these ads because they can read polls that show pre-existing condition rules are popular and “don’t want to get crosswise” with voters. 

“I don’t think a lot of Republicans have thought deeply and consistently about how to do that because that takes work. It’s heavy lifting and it requires trade-offs,” Miller said.

Miller, of AEI, thinks Republicans are doing what in military terms is known as “advance to the rear,” suggesting they are retreating while claiming otherwise.

“A lot has changed since the rhetorical barking in opposition [to Obamacare] from 2009 to 2016, and even in the ambitions of what they’d do legislatively since 2017,” Miller said.

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