You can tell that Republican Congressmen Rod Blum and David Young are worried about their votes to kill healthcare reform. All three Iowa Republican Congressman – Blum, King and Young – voted for the Republican health care replacement plan, the American Health Care Act. The GOP plan would have eliminated protections of those with pre-existing conditions making insurance unaffordable or entirely unavailable to the most vulnerable Americans.
Both Blum and Young are claiming they now support protecting folks with preexisting conditions after voting to eliminate these protections. Votes don’t lie so these two Congressman are attempting to rewrite their voting history. King’s approach is to simply push the costs of pre-existing conditions off on the states to handle.
The Republican Congress likes to brag to their base that they have voted more than 60 times to eliminate the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that guarantees protections to those with preexisting conditions. Now Blum and Young are claiming they actually are sympathetic to Iowans with preexisting conditions after they voted to throw them under the bus multiple times.
This week the group Protect Our Care brought their national bus tour to Des Moines to expose the Republicans’ actions that put Iowans’ health care at risk. They were joined by a local Iowa business owner, a Democratic legislator, health care stakeholders, advocates and a cancer survivor.
Protect Our Care conducted a press conference at Raygun, a well-known Iowa retail business. In May, Raygun owner Mike Draper co-wrote an op-ed in the Des Moines Register about the proposed Republican repeal plan.
“One year ago this week, a majority of the House of Representatives, including representatives Rod Blum, David Young and Steve King, voted for and passed the so-called American Health Care Act, or AHCA, an ACA repeal bill that would have cut coverage, increased costs and eliminated protections for more than 100,000 Iowans,” Draper wrote.
This week Draper said, “I’m not sure what exactly David Young is working for. You may think he’s working for his big donors but this is an issue to large corporations, too, I would like to see not only the ACA stay in place, but be improved upon, and improved upon thoughtfully.”
Representative Bruce Hunter said Reynolds’ continued privatization of Medicaid hurt thousands of Iowans.
“It’s estimated that over 40,000 people in the state of Iowa alone have had their benefits drastically cut… To say that it is a disaster is not hyperbole,” said Hunter.
Representative Hunter and Representative Marti Anderson introduced a “Medicare for All” proposal in the Iowa legislature last session but Republicans refused to hold any hearings or allow debate. Two other Iowa Democratic legislators, Senator Matt McCoy and Representative John Forbes, proposed a legislative solution to adapt Medicaid to help Iowans whose income is above the subsidy levels of the ACA. Again, Republicans basically ignored their proposal.
Cancer survivor Laura Packard explained that Republican attempts at ACA repeal are truly life and death decisions.
“I’m alive because of the Affordable Care Act,” said Packard. “I’m a stage four cancer survivor and I’m on this tour to defend our attacks against the GOP. President Trump may have blocked me on Twitter, but he can’t stop me and the American people from fighting to protect our care.”
Sue Dinsdale, Executive Director of Iowa Citizen Action Network, called on Republicans to work across the aisle, noting that “health care is not a blue issue or a red issue but a personal one.”
Matt Sinovic, Executive Director of Progress Iowa, focused on the need to protect the 1.3 million Iowans with pre-existing conditions.
Congressmen Blum, King and Young voted for the Republican health care repeal bill that would cause 23 million people to lose coverage and eliminate protections for people with pre-existing conditions. Now Blum and Young are pretending they didn’t mean it, and King is content to dump the cost off on the states.
These Republican Congressman are running away from their voting records as the public questions their votes. Iowans deserve representatives willing to keep their word, honestly run on their records and be accountable for their votes.
by Rick Smith