Iowa Voices is running a new ad featuring an Iraq combat veteran named Dan, in which he speaks out against Sen. Joni Ernst’s continued votes to allow insurance companies to discriminate against people based on age and preexisting health conditions.
In addition to a long line of votes from Ernst, the ad, titled “Dan,” refers to Ernst’s recent vote to allow short-term, “junk insurance” plans to continue. The scaled-back coverage options allow insurance companies to charge more, or deny coverage altogether, for people over 50 or those with preexisting conditions.
“I know people who served with Joni Ernst; I really respect her military service. Unfortunately, since she’s gotten to Washington, she’s taken the special interest money. Joni Ernst voted to allow insurance companies to discriminate against people like me with preexisting conditions,” Dan, of Independence, said in the ad airing this week on digital platforms.
Ernst has repeatedly voted to tear down the Affordable Care Act, despite frequent pushback when she hosts town hall meetings. In Iowa, she sells a message about protecting people with preexisting conditions, while in Washington voting to take away those same protections. Her votes in Congress don’t match her rhetoric.
“She also voted to allow insurance companies to discriminate against people who are over 50 — people like me,” Dan said. “Look, I really respect Joni Ernst’s military service, but I’m very disappointed in what she’s done since she went to Washington.”
Ernst has backed tax cuts for the wealthy, taken pharmaceutical donations for her re-election campaign, voted to confirm special interest leaders to federal agencies, denied that climate change plays a roll in Iowa floods, and more.
“In light of Senator Ernst’s vote last week in favor of allowing health plans to discriminate against those with preexisting conditions, sharing Dan’s story and stories of other Iowans is crucial to holding her accountable for her votes,” said Emily Holley, Iowa Voices executive director, in a statement. “Elected officials have to know how their votes affect everyday Iowans, and this recent vote could hurt people with preexisting conditions, like Dan.”
Ernst has seen the biggest drop in approval rating among Republican senators up for re-election in 2020, according to Morning Consult’s latest quarterly Senator Approval Rankings.