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ICYMI: Politicians Try to Distance Themselves From Opposition to the Affordable Care Act — After 10-Year Effort to Destroy It

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, April 28, 2020
CONTACT: Planned Parenthood Votes Media Office; 212-261-4433; [email protected]
Planned Parenthood Votes Pressroom

Washington, DC  New analysis from the Washington Post details the decade-long effort by Trump and his political allies to gut the Affordable Care Act — and how many of those same politicians are trying to distance themselves from their records ahead of the 2020 election, as the law proves a crucial health care pillar during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the midst of a pandemic, the ACA's protections for people with pre-existing conditions and expanded health care coverage are more critical than ever. Yet even as the COVID-19 outbreak grew worse, Trump doubled down on his attacks, refusing to open a special enrollment period for the ACA and continuing to back a lawsuit that would overturn the law. Politicians on the ballot this November — from Donald Trump to incumbents like Sens. Cory Gardner (R-CO), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Joni Ernst (R-IA), Steve Daines (R-MT), Susan Collins (R-ME), and Martha McSally (R-AZ) — have attacked the Affordable Care Act, jeopardizing essential health services and protections for millions of people.

Washington Post: Republicans are relying on the Affordable Care Act to respond to the pandemic
By Lawrence R. Jacobs, Suzanne Mettler and Ling Zhu
April 27, 2020

  • "For more than a decade, the Affordable Care Act has been the Republican Party’s nemesis. As it was first debated in Congress in 2009, when it was enacted in 2010 and through the next six years of implementation, Republican leaders rallied supporters by vociferously opposing it and calling for repeal. The Trump administration and states controlled by Republicans remain hostile to the ACA."
  • "But the coronavirus pandemic’s fast-moving destruction has pushed Republicans to rely on Barack Obama’s signature law to respond to the crisis[.]"
  • "Our research shows that this about-face cannot be explained by the pandemic alone. The party’s rank-and-file — and many other Americans — have shifted to supporting the ACA and expanded government payments for health care. The pandemic is giving Republicans cover to follow changing public opinion."
  • "In 2017, after Republicans won the White House and controlled both chambers of Congress, they came within one Senate vote of killing the law. Since then, the Trump administration has worked to weaken or potentially destabilize the law by approving state waivers from ACA Medicaid rules, shortening the annual enrollment period and certifying cheaper health plans with less adequate coverage than had been possible under the Obama administration. It has also joined legal challenges that would overturn the law outright."
  • "After the ACA became law in 2010, Republican lawmakers were in sync with their rank-and-file in resisting it."
  • "More respondents reported appreciation for how the ACA had given them more access to health care and how it was covering seniors’ prescription drugs, subsidizing private health insurance and allowing parents’ plans to cover their children until they were 26 years old. Partisanship is giving way to pragmatism."

As the pressure on our public health infrastructure mounts, Planned Parenthood Votes will continue to call attention to attacks on the ACA from politicians who have put our health at risk:


Planned Parenthood Votes is an independent expenditure political committee registered with the Federal Election Commission.