In a recent television interview with WHBF, Senator Joni Ernst was pressed to take a position on the Texas v. United States lawsuit, which could overturn the entirety of the Affordable Care Act, including its protections for 1,288,400 Iowans who live with a pre-existing condition. Ernst evaded the question, and refused to stand up for Iowans’ health care, while admitting that the Republican-led lawsuit could cost Iowans with pre-existing conditions their access to quality, affordable health care.
HOST: “Do you support that lawsuit that is going forward that would dismantle the Affordable Care Act altogether?”
ERNST: “Um, I am not going to make a determination on that, I am not an attorney, but I would say that yes, I would like to see different forms of health care coverage that exist out there that would bring costs down. I do want to see that addressed.”
It’s not the first time Sen. Ernst has evaded questions about her position on the lawsuit and refused to stand up for Iowans with pre-existing conditions:
December 2018: Ernst Refused To Discuss The Texas Lawsuit Threatening The ACA. “Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), who faces a potentially tough reelection bid in 2020, declined to discuss the ruling with a reporter in a Senate hallway on Monday, instead referring to her written statement.” [The Hill, 12/17/18]
December 2018: In Response To The Court Ruling Striking Down All Of The ACA, Ernst Said Only That It Was “Important that we Protect People With Preexisting Conditions, As We Repeal And Replace Obamacare.” “Republicans are facing a moment of reckoning on health care after a federal judge struck down the Affordable Care Act, imperiling the landmark law the GOP has struggled against for eight years. […] One of the Republican senators facing a potentially competitive reelection campaign is Joni Ernst of Iowa. Ernst issued a statement Saturday saying that it was ‘important that we protect people with preexisting conditions, as we repeal and replace Obamacare.’” [Washington Post, 12/15/18]
If the Affordable Care Act is struck down:
- GONE: Protections for 130 million Americans with pre-existing conditions. The uninsured rate will increase by 65 percent.
- GONE: Medicaid expansion, which covers 17 million people.
- GONE: Nearly 12 million seniors will have to pay more for prescription drugs because the Medicare ‘donut hole’ will be reopened.
- GONE: 2.3 million adult children will no longer be able to stay on their parents’ insurance.
- GONE: Insurance companies will be able to charge women 50 percent more than men.
- GONE: Financial assistance that helps 9 million people purchase health care in the marketplace.
- GONE: Key support for rural hospitals. As Americans lose coverage, already struggling hospitals will be hit even harder as their costs increase.
- GONE: Ban on insurance companies having lifetime caps on coverage.
- GONE: Requirements that insurance companies cover prescription drugs and maternity care.
You can watch Senator Ernst’s full interview with WHBF here.