Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said on Tuesday that “everybody” in the Senate stands against the Trump administration on the issue of overturning protections for preexisting conditions.
Everybody I know in the Senate — everybody — is in favor of maintaining coverage for preexisting conditions. There is no difference in opinion about that whatsoever,” McConnell said at his weekly press conference.
Earlier in the week, President Trump has his Justice Department argue to a federal judge in Texas to throw out the Obamacare protections despite promising last year he was in favor of them.
Here’s Trump making the statement last May, saying he’d never get rid of the Obamacare rule:
“We will take care of our people or I’m not signing it. Let me just tell you, pre-existing conditions are in the bill and I said it has to be.”
McConnell’s position is that Trump is alone on this.
Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Spokesman David Bergstein says it’s simply not true – Republicans could care a less.
Senator McConnell is wrong and the contrast between Republicans and Democrats on health care could not be more clear,” says Bergstein.
“Republicans like Senator Heller, as well as every other GOP Senate candidate, want to slash coverage for pre-existing conditions — their latest plan would even make this coverage unconstitutional. Voters will hold every Republican Senate candidate accountable for spiking their costs and slashing their coverage.”
McConnell could just be covering his tracks here. Midterm elections are shortly around the corner with just a few months to go, and a majority of Republicans (around 59%) support the Obamacare provision, despite claiming they hate it in general.
Democratic Sen. Patty Murray of Washington played up on McConnell’s statement, and re-raised him:
“If it’s true that every Republican now supports protecting pre-existing conditions, that’s news to very sick patients across the country who fought back again and again as Republicans tried to go back to the days when a pre-existing condition meant you might not be eligible for insurance, or could be priced out completely — especially since many Republicans continue to want to pass harmful bills to do exactly that,” Murray said in a statement.
Even with McConnell’s statement, Republican leadership is on the record over the years of being against the protections.
Here’s former Speaker of the House Boehner being called out on Face The Nation for the “millions of Americans that have preexisting conditions.” He was asked: What are you going to replace it with?
“We believe the way it currently is in Obamacare (with the preexisting conditions coverage) is pushing the cost of healthcare insurance much too high.”