Earlier this month, the Trump Administration announced its support for a legal challenge arguing the Affordable Care Act’s protections for people with pre-existing conditions are “unconstitutional”—and Republican Sen. Dean Heller has been dodging questions about whether he supports the Trump Administration’s argument. Last year, Heller put his name on a Republican repeal plan that would have weakened coverage protections for pre-existing conditions.
Nearly a year ago—at the same press conference where he lied to Nevadans about protecting their health care—Heller blamed skyrocketing health insurance premiums on the Affordable Care Act’s coverage protections for pre-existing conditions. Then, he compared people with pre-existing conditions seeking affordable coverage to people crashing their cars and then wanting auto insurance. Watch here.
HELLER: “Pre-existing conditions is one of the biggest issues and topics that makes it very, very difficult for premiums. We’ve had a bipartisan discussion of what to do with pre-existing conditions, think about it, that’s a very, very difficult, very, very difficult issue. You’re talking about people with dementia, people with Parkinson’s, people with uh—you can go down the list. But, these are pre-existing conditions that prior to the ACA had a difficult time getting health care. Now they can, and we’ve seen the results of that, that’s the skyrocket of the premiums. We need to do something different, we need to do something different, but better—better for those who have pre-existing conditions. And the reason that they’re skyrocketing—it’s like crashing your car and then going to the insurance company and saying, “Hey, I’d like some insurance.” We’re finding it very, very difficult how to react to that.”
Nevada State Democratic Party spokesperson Sarah Abel released the following statement:
“Sen. Heller is so blinded by partisan politics that he doesn’t seem to understand how the ACA’s coverage rules for people with pre-existing conditions have transformed our health care system for the better and ensured protections more than 1 million Nevadans. Health care is a right, not a privilege. Sen. Heller and his party are the ones making health care more expensive for Nevada families through their agenda to sabotage the ACA and destabilize state health exchanges. Nevadans cannot trust Sen. Heller to protect our health care.”