May 10, 2017 /

Clearing up a couple misconceptions about the American Health Care Act

Dear Friend,

For the past several weeks, there has been a large amount of misinformation disseminated by the media, by left-wing interest groups, and over social media about the impact the American Health Care Act (AHCA) will have on the American people. I wanted to take a few minutes to provide you with some context to these claims, and pass along my view on the importance of this legislation.

Claim Number 1: The American Health Care Act would designate rape or sexual assault as a pre-existing condition.

Fact: This is not true. The Washington Post fact-checked these claims and ruled them false, or “Four Pinocchios.” In the article they say, “The notion that AHCA classifies rape or sexual assault as a preexisting condition, or that survivors would be denied coverage, is false,” and, “Both media coverage and hyperbole among advocates are at fault for creating a misleading representation of the House GOP health bill.” I encourage you to read the full article here.

In another piece, featured in the Washington Examiner, it’s explained that, “The bottom line is that we can all rest assured that the practice of denying insurance coverage to women simply because they are survivors of rape or abuse isn’t about to come into vogue, regardless of what type of health reform ultimately becomes law. There are serious debates to be had about risk, insurance, and how to pay for healthcare. Scare tactics – like pointing to rape and abuse survivors as potential victims of some boogeyman ‘war on women’ – don’t contribute anything to these debates but unnecessary fear and misinformation.”

Claim Number 2: The American Health Care Act will deny people with pre-existing conditions health care coverage.

Fact: This, too, is not true. The AHCA keeps all federal guarantees that those with pre-existing conditions cannot be denied coverage. I’ve long been passionate about ensuring those with pre-existing conditions have access to care, and are not denied coverage based on their health status. In National Review, editor Rich Lowry addressed this misconception as well, and took time to break down the full scope of bill when it comes to those with pre-existing conditions. In fact, he says, it takes very little time… “to understand the basic architecture of the House bill on pre-existing conditions, yet it has been subject to wildly ill-informed and deceptive attacks. Nancy Pelosi called the provisions on pre-existing conditions ‘deadly.'” Read more here.

Health care is a complicated issue, and it’s crucial that the facts of the bill are public and transparent. Over the past few days, I’ve done several interviews to both explain why I voted for the American Health Care Act, and to explain how the bill will help people in Eastern Washington gain access for affordable, quality care.

On Friday, I started off my day by joining KHQ Local News in studio to address these issues and answers some questions. You can watch my interview here:

In the afternoon, I talked to Michael Medved on his show and explained, “We maintain protections for those with pre-existing conditions. We made that clear from the very beginning.” Listen to my full interview here.

I also joined the Lars Larson show, where I said, “Obamacare has not fulfilled its promises. You’ve heard it, but it’s the premiums continuing to increase, the co-pays, the deductibles that are making health care unaccessible. One out of three counties only have one plan available, so we must do better, we have to do better for every person in this country.” Listen to the full interview here.

It’s important that we get this right, and I believe that the American Health Care Act is a step in the right direction. That’s why last week, I wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post to clarify why this legislation is so important for all Americans, and how it does protect those with pre-existing conditions so that we are always taking care of the most vulnerable in our communities. If you haven’t read it yet, you can find it here.

Warmly,

Cathy