After repeatedly promising she would preserve protections for pre-existing conditions, Rep. Martha McSally voted for the 2017 Republican plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act that would take away the guarantee prohibiting price discrimination for individuals with pre-existing conditions.
A review of statements by the American Ledger found that McSally made sweeping promises and repeatedly pledged to defend access to medical insurance coverage and prevent price discrimination for people with pre-existing conditions, a promise belied by her vote for the GOP’s American Health Care Act — and her consistent votes to repeal the ACA, better known as Obamacare.
The Washington Post reported this month that Republican claims that the AHCA included safeguards against price discrimination for people with pre-existing conditions were false, as the bill would have given states the ability to seek waivers from such provisions.
In 2014, McSally promised to keep ACA protections like “banning discrimination of people with pre-existing conditions” and pledged at a forum last year that “people with pre-existing conditions [should] get access to health care. They should never be denied. You should never be one diagnosis away from bankruptcy.”
McSally said she was “absolutely committed to this” and that rejecting people based on pre-existing conditions is a flaw in the healthcare system. McSally’s spokesperson even said that she would “ensure the House reform package includes these protections” for pre-existing conditions.
Before the AHCA, Republicans tried repeatedly to repeal the ACA in whole or in part. Between 2015 and 2016, McSally voted for those efforts repeatedly, putting pre-existing conditions in jeopardy while she was promising to protect them.
The Post reported that the GOP claim that the AHCA contained “safeguards to make sure that there’s not price discrimination as a result of preexisting conditions” was nullified by giving states the option to seek waivers.
American Ledger identified eight times McSally or her office promised to support protections for those with pre-existing conditions before she voted for the AHCA, which essentially took them away:
- May 1, 2014: “While she has committed to repeal of the ACA, she has yet to put forward a plan for replacement, other than to say that the popular parts of the Affordable Care Act (such as protections for people with pre-existing conditions.”
- August 10, 2014: “McSally said that while the U.S. healthcare system was broken, the Affordable Care Act was the ‘wrong diagnosis.’ Though she supported the main legs of the law, including forcing insurers to cover preexisting conditions…”
- October 22, 2014, McSally stated: “I support patient-centered reform that keeps the law’s few positives, such as allowing kids to stay on their parents’ plan until 26 and banning discrimination of people with pre-existing conditions…”
- February 7, 2017: McSally said she was “absolutely committed to” preserving the ban against insurance companies rejecting people based on pre-existing conditions and that rejecting people based on pre-existing conditions is a flaw in the healthcare system. “We should not have people in our communities who are one diagnosis away from bankruptcy.”
- February 23, 2017: McSally stated: “I support that we’ve got to make sure that people with pre-existing conditions get access to health care. They should never be denied. You should never be one diagnosis away from bankruptcy.”
- March 1, 2017: McSally spokesman Patrick Ptak said: “Rep. McSally is committed to ensuring that individuals with pre-existing conditions have access to affordable coverage options and cannot be denied health insurance. She will work to ensure the House reform package includes these protections.”
- March 14, 2017: McSally spokesperson said: “Congresswoman McSally is encouraged that the American Health Care Act includes provisions she fought for: It keeps in place coverage of pre-existing conditions …
- March 24, 2017: McSally said, “By giving the states support to implement a smooth and stable transition, this amendment will prevent individuals who need healthcare the most from slipping through the cracks.”