Senate Brief: Healthcare Looms Large for GOP Senate Candidates

Week of Monday, September 10.

IN BRIEF: After nearly a decade of thwarted efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, Republicans are showing no signs of letting up — even as voters say healthcare is top of mind this election cycle. Let’s break it down:

  • Kaiser Health Tracking Poll shows strong support for key elements of the Affordable Care Act, specifically the law’s guaranteed protections for pre-existing conditions coverage. A whopping 75% of the public polled say it is “very important” that the ACA’s pre-existing conditions protections remain law.

  • Meanwhile, 20 Republican state Attorneys General are engaged in a lawsuit against the federal government, the outcome of which could invalidate the ACA, including the protections for pre-existing conditions coverage. State Attorneys General Josh Hawley and Patrick Morrisey are co-counsels on the suit and many other GOP candidates have expressed support for the litigation.

  • And yet, on the campaign trail, GOP Senate candidates invariably employ warped logic when it comes to healthcare. From Florida to North Dakota, candidates profess a desire to protect the millions of Americans with pre-existing conditions, despite their vocal support for multiple measures that would invalidate those protections.

  • We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: You can’t have it both ways. Come November, voters will be well aware that Republican Senate candidates want to strip them of their healthcare and have been shamelessly lying about it for months.

THREE TO WATCH:

  • Rick Scott came under fire this weekend after he ditched a campaign stop with supporters at a local donut shop, apparently to avoid a group of protesters. The Tampa Bay Times reports about a dozen protesters had assembled to slam Scott for signing a controversial beach access law. Do or do-nut, Governor. There are no points for running from constituents.

  • Matt Rosendale was called out way back in May for touting phony ranching experience. A new report from Talking Points Memo examines how in the months since, Rosendale has slowly scrubbed “rancher” from most of  his public campaign profiles. We’re betting voters know the difference between a Montana rancher and a load of bull.

  • Martha McSally left no doubt in voters’ minds when she told Fox News last week that she’s absolutely committed to repealing the Affordable Care Act, “after the elections.” To which we say, “See the poll above.”

THREE NUMBERS:

  • 75. Percent of the public who say it is “very important” that the ACA’s protections for people with pre-existing conditions ensuring guaranteed coverage remain law.

  • 52. Percent of the public “very worried” that they or someone in their family will have to pay more for health insurance.

  • 41. Percent of the public “very worried” they will lose their coverage if the Supreme Court overturns these protections.

    *Numbers from the Kaiser Family Foundation’s Health Tracking Poll.

ONE FOR THE ROAD: “This Must Be The Place,” Talking Heads (1983)

AND HAPPY MONDAY from American Bridge. Follow us at @JoshuaKarp @AmeliaPenniman@EmmaBeckerman1