The Cruelest Lie: Kelly's Efforts to Eliminate Coverage for Pre-existing Conditions

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     The latest was May 4, 2017, when he backed the American Health Care Act, which would have allowed states to seek federal waivers to permit insurance companies to charge people more because of pre-existing conditions if they don’t maintain continuous health coverage.

 

     That bill, which was memorialized by a photograph in the Rose Garden of President Donald Trump and Republican House members celebrating its passage, would have caused 23 million more people to be without insurance, cut Medicaid spending by about $700 billion, and provide $800 billion in tax cuts, the majority of which would benefit the wealthy. It failed to pass in the Senate by one vote.

 

     This was far from Kelly and the Republicans’ first try to strip away protections for pre-existing conditions provided in the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. Here are seven times Kelly voted to approve measures that would have killed the ACA:

 

     Jan. 19, 2011: The Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act would have repealed all of the ACA. It passed 245 to 189, with three Democrats voting for it but was never considered by the Senate.

 

     April 15, 2011: The House passed its version of the fiscal 2012 budget that would have repealed and defunded the law. It passed 235 to 193 on a party-line vote.

 

     March 29, 2012: The House passed its version of the fiscal 2013 budget that included language repealing and defunding the law. It passed 228 to 191 along party lines.

 

     July 11, 2012: In the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to uphold most of the law, the House voted once again to repeal the law in its entirety. The bill passed 244 to 185, with five Democrats in support.

 

     March 21, 2013: The House passed its version of the fiscal 2014 budget that repealed and defunded the law. It passed 221 to 207, with 10 Republicans opposed to the spending measure.

 

     May 16, 2013: The House voted to repeal the entire law. It passed 229 to 195, with two Democrats voting with Republicans.

 

     Feb. 3, 2015: The House voted to repeal the ACA by a 239-186 vote, with no House Democrat supporting the measure and three House GOP freshmen opposing it.

 

     In addition, the GOP has tried dozens of other times to modify or curb the law short of full repeal.

 

     Kelly and the Republicans might get their wish – actually a death wish for some Americans who will lose their health care – without passing any legislation.

 

     A group of Republican-controlled states, with the backing of the Trump administration, is in court now trying to have the entire law declared unconstitutional, thus eliminating all its features, including protections for pre-existing conditions.

 

     It bears repeating: In his career (2009-2020) Kelly has received a total of $1.4 million in donations from the insurance industry ($650,000), health professionals ($390,000) and the pharmaceutical/health products industry ($350,000), according to the Open Secrets website.

 

     Sources:

 

    Individual votes:

 

     Jan. 19, 2011

 

     April 15, 2011

 

     March 29, 2012

 

     July 11, 2012

 

     March 21, 2013

 

     May 16, 2013

 

     Feb. 3, 2015

 

     May 4, 2017 (American Health Care Act)

 

     The House has voted 54 times in four years on Obamacare. Here’s the full list. Washington Post, March 21, 2014.

 

     House votes – again – to repeal Obamacare. CNN, Feb. 3, 2015.

 

     The American Health Care Act: the Obamacare repeal bill the House just passed, explained. Vox, May 4, 2017.

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