A central benefit of Obamacare, say its backers, is the national health care law’s requirement that insurance companies cannot deny coverage to people with pre-existing conditions.
That’s particularly important now, they say, because COVID-19 is especially dangerous for people with underlying conditions, like respiratory or heart issues.
The problem, says an advertisement unveiled today, is that U.S. Sen. Cory Garnder (R-CO) and Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky have yet to back off their longstanding crusade to kill Obamacare, a move that would eliminate federal protections for people with pre-existing conditions.
“Despite the coronavirus pandemic, Cory Gardner and Mitch McConnell have refused to protect coverage for pre-existing conditions,” states the 30-second online ad, produced by Rocky Mountain Values, a progressive advocacy group.
“Mitch McConnell and Cory Gardner still side with the drug and insurance industries during this pandemic,” concludes the ad, which depicts Gardner and McConnell against a black background. “Tell Cory Gardner: Cut the strings with Mitch McConnell and stop attacking our health care.”
As the pandemic has worsened, health advocates have called on Gardner to cease his efforts to kill Obamacare, but Gardner hasn’t answered questions on the topic. Trump re-stated his ongoing opposition in a recent news conference.
Gardner’s office did not respond to another call for comment today asking if he was concerned about the impact of the loss of Obamacare on people with pre-existing conditions during a pandemic.
But in the past, Gardner has insisted that he wants to protect people with pre-existing conditions, even though he’s put no plan on the table showing how he would do this as well or better than Obamacare.
Legislation to repeal Obamacare, which was supported by Gardner but killed in the U.S. Senate in 2017, did not retain the ACA’s protections for people with pre-existing conditions.
“We need to have Republicans and [laughs] Democrats recognize that the Affordable Care Act failed,” said Gardner, last year on conservative radio.
“Let’s find a way to bring down the cost of health care, increase the quality of health care,” said Gardner on air. “We can do that by expanding the risk pools, by expanding access to different policies of insurance. We allowing insurance to be sold across state lines. We can do it by creating association health plans. There’s so many different things that could be done–and not in a command-control kind of environment.”