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Three Years Later, Senators Must Answer for Their Vote to Repeal the ACA and Defund Planned Parenthood 

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

Washington, DC  Three years ago todaybecause of the advocacy of millions of people across the country, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and President Donald Trump fell one vote short of their attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA). In the early hours of that morning, Senator John McCain gave his iconic ‘thumbs down’ vote on the Senate floor, preventing the repeal of the ACA. However, Senators Cory Gardner (R-CO), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Steve Daines (R-MT), Joni Ernst (R-IA), David Perdue (R-GA), John Cornyn (R-TX) and McCain’s eventual successor, Martha McSally (R-AZ) while serving in the House, all voted in favor of stripping insurance coverage from 16 million people. Today, they still refuse to disavow the Trump administration’s efforts to repeal this lifesaving program.

Had they succeeded, these senators would have been responsible for blocking millions of people from accessing reproductive care at Planned Parenthood through Medicaid, increasing insurance premiums by at least 20%, and taking health insurance away coverage from 16 million people. The ACA was created to address the very real gap in health care access that exists for people with low incomes — many of whom are Black and Latinx, due to centuries of discriminatory economic policies, red-lining, and institutional and structural racism. COVID-19 poses even greater danger to the health of the Black community, which has endured generations of medical abuse and mistreatment.

Now, these politicians are trying to distance themselves from their records ahead of the 2020 election, as the ACA has been crucial to health care for so many during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Jenny Lawson, executive director, Planned Parenthood Votes:

“A lot has happened over these past three years, but we haven’t forgotten the cruel vote these senators took to take health care away from millions of people. And we’ll make sure that voters don’t either. Had Steve Daines, Cory Gardner, Martha McSally and others had their way, people across the country would have lost their coverage, their protections for preexisting conditions, and their ability to get care at Planned Parenthood. Imagine what this would mean right now, as the country is facing a global pandemic? Many rely on the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid coverage for the care they need, especially Black and Latinx communities that are already more vulnerable to COVID-19 because  systemic racism is embedded into our public health system. The overwhelming majority of people in this country don’t want to repeal the Affordable Care Act, and don't want people being blocked from going to Planned Parenthood for reproductive and preventive care. We’ll ensure these senators don’t get another chance to take away our health care.”

Trump and his Senate allies’ war on access to health care has not stopped even as the nation faces a global pandemic. Last month, the Trump administration filed a brief urging the Supreme Court to strike down the Affordable Care Act — even as the country grapples with the staggering consequences of Trump's failure to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. He continues to double down on backing this dangerous lawsuit to "terminate health care," a legal battle that could result in millions of people, disproportionately women,  losing their health insurance — as well as eliminate protections for people with preexisting conditions, and do away with Medicaid expansion and important guarantees of birth control without copay, maternity coverage, and much more. The administration and the senate majority have made no plans to replace it.


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