The Cedar Rapids Gazette has independently fact checked Progress Iowa’s claims that Senator Joni Ernst voted to take health coverage away from 8,295 Iowa veterans with her four votes to repeal the Affordable Care Act. The Gazette’s fact check rated Progress Iowa’s video an A, the highest grade possible. Click here to watch the video, Joni Ernst Votes Against Veterans’ Health Care.
“When Joni Ernst said she wanted to ‘make ’em squeal’ Iowans didn’t realize she meant our veterans and families who need health coverage,” said Matt Sinovic, executive director of Progress Iowa. “The moment we released this video we were attacked by Ernst’s henchmen, but we will not sit quietly by while Ernst votes time after time against the interests of Iowans and for her corporate donors with deep pockets. The independent fact check confirms what we already knew: Joni Ernst has voted repeatedly to take health care away from Iowans.”
Iowa GOP Chair Jeff Kaufmann attacked Progress Iowa for releasing this video highlighting Ernst’s votes and their impact on Iowa veterans. However, Kaufmann did not dispute the accuracy of Progress Iowa’s claims.
Click here to watch: https://youtu.be/rUn8LnvwpBc
The Gazette investigated two claims, and confirmed both based on their independent research as well as information provided to them by Progress Iowa:
Claim: “Ernst has voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act four times.”
Sources: New York Times, Senate voting records
Link: New York Times: How each Senator voted on Obamacare repeal proposals (tracks three key votes from 2017)
Summary: In 2017, Senator Ernst voted for the Better Care Reconciliation Act, the Obamacare Repeal and Reconciliation Act, and the Health Care Freedom Act, three proposals to repeal the Affordable Care Act, as linked above in the New York Times. And in 2015, Senator Ernst voted for cloture on McConnell Amendment number 2328, whose purpose was to “repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 entirely.” The vote and purpose of the amendment is linked above. And while this was a cloture vote, Senator Ernst characterized it as a vote on policy, as her official statement linked above describes.
Claim: “Those votes would cost 8,295 Iowa veterans their health coverage.”
Source: Families USA Analysis, citing the nonpartisan RAND corporation
Summary: The Families USA analysis was written in response to the pending lawsuit that threatens to overturn the Affordable Care Act, but the figures presented are directly related to the impact of ACA repeal on veterans. The table referenced lists every state and how many veterans would lose coverage by the year 2026. In Iowa, that number is 8,295.