Sen. Martha McSally: Liar, liar, pants on fire.
Just as the Trump administration was asking the Supreme Court to toss out Obamacare, Politifact was out yesterday with a new assessment of appointed Sen. Martha McSally's claim in a recent ad that she "will always protect people with preexisting conditions. Always."
Yesterday, PolitiFact rated that claim, based on McSally's own voting record, as "false."
You can read the details here
, but here's the central takeaway:
In her new TV ad, McSally claims she will "always protect those with preexisting conditions."
But nothing in her voting record, which tracks closely with the Republican repeal-and-replace philosophy, supports this claim. And she has continually declined opportunities to oppose a pending legal threat to the ACA, including its provisions related to preexisting conditions, by a group of GOP governors and supported by the Trump administration.
Meanwhile, the legislation her campaign cited to justify her stance falls short in terms of meaningfully protecting Americans with preexisting medical conditions.
McSally has not in the past or present taken actions that back up her statement. We rate it False.
McSally has been trying to rewrite her history on Obamacare for years now. In 2018, she admitted that she was getting killed on the healthcare issue, mainly because of her voting record: She has repeatedly voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which protects people with pre-existing conditions. In fact, she urged her fellow House members to repeal it in 2017 with the cry of "Let's get this fucking thing done"—a quote she celebrated in her Senate campaign ads in 2018.
As much as McSally likes to point to bills that haven't gone anywhere as examples of how she supports preventing insurance companies from discriminating against people with pre-existing conditions, her efforts to get rid of the one thing that prevents said discrimination flies in the face of her claim that she's committed to "always" protecting those with pre-existing conditions.
The PolitiFact "false" rating comes the same week as the Trump administration's filing of legal arguments asking the Supreme Court to toss Obamacare—based on that big ol' deficit-doubling tax cut bill supported by McSally that eliminated the penalty for not having health insurance. McSally has repeatedly declined to oppose the lawsuit to toss Obamacare, saying it's none of her business. Again, her actions doesn't sound like she will "always" protect those with pre-existing conditions.
In fact, the Trump administration said in legal filing that McSally, along with the other Republicans who voted in favor of the bill, knew that they were also repealing the Affordable Care Act. As the Washington Post reports:
The Trump team’s core argument is that every Republican who voted for the tax cuts three years ago knowingly voted to destroy the 2010 law in its entirely, not just to get rid of the mandate that individuals buy health insurance. And, because the Supreme Court previously upheld the constitutionality of the law on the grounds that the individual mandate is a tax, Trump’s lawyers say that the whole system became invalid once Congress got rid of the penalty for not carrying health insurance.
“Nothing the 2017 Congress did demonstrates it would have intended the rest of the ACA to continue to operate in the absence of these ... integral provisions,” Francisco writes in his brief, which is co-signed by four other Trump appointees at the Justice Department. “The entire ACA thus must fall with the individual mandate.”
Democrat Mark Kelly, the former astronaut who has been leading McSally in the polls, said today that stripping protections from people with pre-existing conditions is a terrible idea, especially in a pandemic.
“Arizona is battling the coronavirus and the last thing we need is for millions of Arizonans with pre-existing conditions to lose their health care protections,” said Kelly in a prepared statement. “As more Arizonans are getting sick and many more lose their jobs and health insurance, we have to make sure all Arizonans can get the testing and health care they need to protect public health and slow the spread of the virus. That’s what our leaders should be working on, not this partisan effort that would throw hundreds of thousands of Arizonans off of their health plans, harm Arizonans with pre-existing conditions, and make our fight against this virus more difficult.”