U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner released a new ad highlighting his bill that guarantees healthcare coverage for individuals with pre-existing conditions.
The emotional ad features his mother Cindy Gardner, who is a cancer survivor.
People like my mother who battle chronic diseases are heroes. I authored the bill to guarantee coverage to people with pre-existing conditions—no matter what happens to Obamacare—because some things matter more than politics. pic.twitter.com/uosfsAPvbc
— Cory Gardner (@CoryGardner) September 15, 2020
Everything in Gardner’s bill that prohibits insurance companies from discriminating against individuals with pre-existing conditions is already written in current law, as former OMB Director Douglas Holtz-Eakin recently wrote.
Right now, everyone is covered even if they have a pre-existing condition. The only way that would change is if the lawsuits against the Affordable Care Act are successful. If so, there is existing legislation sponsored by Colorado Senator Cory Gardner that would guarantee coverage for people with a pre-existing condition and ensure that people are not charged more because of it.
So why are Democrats and their allies in the press having a complete meltdown over the ad?
The feigned outrage over Gardner’s bill is part of a larger Democrat misinformation campaign to scare voters into believing Republicans will not act to replace Obamacare should it be thrown out by the Supreme Court.
Every top official from President Trump, Health and Human Services Secretary Azar, to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and Gardner have said repeatedly they want to replace the unconstitutional law, not leave the healthcare system in a state of limbo if the law were thrown out as Democrats would have voters believe.
It’s telling that few of the analyses pointing to alleged loopholes in Gardner’s bill account for the fact that Congress would almost certainly take up another comprehensive bill should Obamacare be struck down and a stopgap measure like Gardner’s bill be passed into law.
As for what Republican protections for pre-existing conditions could actually look like in a comprehensive bill, it’s worth looking at what their previous proposals said.
Republicans’ most recent attempt at healthcare reform included solid protections for pre-existing conditions with a narrow waiver that states could apply for should their exchanges face massive problems with premium increases, a phenomenon that has been all too common under Obamacare. That waiver would have only applied to premiums for people with pre-existing conditions for one year who were previously uninsured.
As you might expect, there aren’t many people walking around with significant health problems who actively allow their health insurance to lapse. Indeed, Hickenlooper likes to brag whenever he has the opportunity that Colorado has relatively low rates of uninsured people.
And, most importantly, there’s no chance a state like Colorado would have ever applied for such a waiver.
So again, why are Democrats falsely alleging Gardner and Republicans would leave individuals with pre-existing conditions out in the cold?
The truth is they are embarrassed the fate of their sloppily written unconstitutional law now hinges on whether the Supreme Court deems the individual mandate tax, which Republicans repealed in their 2017 tax reform bill, “severable” from the rest of Obamacare. Democrats could have addressed this question when they were writing Obamacare, but incompetently declined to do so.
The fact Democrats created a legally dubious law is hardly a reflection of Gardner’s ironclad commitment to protect innocent people with pre-existing conditions.
Gardner’s bill proves that, and if the media wants to start being honest with voters they should give Gardner some credit for having the foresight to introduce legislation that proactively protects individuals with pre-existing conditions.