WASHINGTON — If you’ve covered American politics over the last eight years, one of the more stunning developments of the 2018 midterms is how Republicans who have attempted to demolish Obamacare are touting its protections for those with pre-existing conditions. Of course, that’s come as Democrats have made pre-existing conditions the centerpiece of their campaigns.
Here’s GOP Senate candidate Josh Hawley in Missouri: “We've got two perfect little boys. Earlier this year, we learned that our oldest has a rare chronic disease. Pre-existing condition — we know what that means,” he says to camera in a TV ad. “I support forcing insurance companies to cover ALL pre-existing conditions. And Claire McCaskill knows it. You deserve a senator who’s driven to fix this mess — not one just trying to hang on to her office.”
But as attorney general of Missouri, Hawley signed on to a conservative lawsuit in February 2018 arguing that Obamacare — and everything in it, including protections for pre-existing conditions — is unconstitutional. “Once the heart of the ACA — the individual mandate — is declared unconstitutional, the remainder of the ACA must also fall,” the lawsuit states.
(On “Meet the Press” last Sunday, Hawley said that Congress should “mandate” coverage for those with pre-existing conditions — a surprising demand given the GOP argument that Congress, under the Commerce clause, couldn’t force individuals to buy health insurance.)
Here’s Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who’s facing arguably the biggest challenge of his political career in his re-election contest: “My wife Tonette is a Type 1 diabetic. My mother is a survivor of breast cancer. And my brother has a heart condition. You see, covering pre-existing conditions is personal to me. Plus, it’s just the right thing to do. As long as I’m governor, I will always cover pre-existing conditions,” he says in a video.
But during Walker’s tenure as governor, Wisconsin joined the same lawsuit arguing that Obamacare is unconstitutional. And Walker has argued to repeal and replace Obamacare.
And here’s Republican Martha McSally at her recent Arizona Senate debate with Democrat Kyrsten Sinema: “I voted to protect people with pre-existing conditions,” McSally said. “We cannot go back to where we were before Obamacare, where people were one diagnosis away from going bankrupt, because they could not get access to health care.”
But McSally voted for the House legislation to repeal and replace Obamacare. According to the Congressional Budget Office, that House repeal-and-replace bill would have raised premiums for those with pre-existing conditions — or make it impossible for them to have insurance.
“Community-rated premiums would rise over time, and people who are less healthy (including those with preexisting or newly acquired medical conditions) would ultimately be unable to purchase comprehensive nongroup health insurance at premiums comparable to those under current law, if they could purchase it at all — despite the additional funding that would be available under H.R. 1628 to help reduce premiums,” the CBO said.
McConnell: Senate Republicans could revisit Obamacare repeal
And GOP candidates touting Obamacare’s protections for those with pre-existing conditions comes as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told Reuters that he could revisit Obamacare repeal — depending on what happens in the midterms.
From the interview:
On Republicans possibly revisiting their failed attempt of 2017 to repeal the Affordable Care Act, the healthcare law dubbed Obamacare: “I think whether that is possible would depend on the outcome of the election.”
“If we had the votes to completely start over, we’d do it," McConnell said. "But that depends on what happens in a couple weeks.”
The Washington Post publishes Jamal Khashoggi’s final column
“Arab governments have been given free rein to continue silencing the media at an increasing rate. There was a time when journalists believed the Internet would liberate information from the censorship and control associated with print media. But these governments, whose very existence relies on the control of information, have aggressively blocked the Internet. They have also arrested local reporters and pressured advertisers to harm the revenue of specific publications,” Khashoggi wrote in a Washington Post piece that his translator gave to the Washington Post the day after he was reported missing.
He added, “The Arab world needs a modern version of the old transnational media so citizens can be informed about global events. More important, we need to provide a platform for Arab voices.”
Trump heads to Montana
President Donald Trump, meanwhile, travels to Montana, where he’ll participate in a rally in Missoula at 8:30 p.m. ET. Montana, of course, is home to Senate race between Jon Tester, the incumbent Democrat, versus Republican challenger Matt Rosendale.
And here’s what’s on Trump’s mind as he heads to Montana: “Ever since his vicious and totally false statements about Admiral Ron Jackson, the highly respected White House Doctor for Obama, Bush & me, Senator John [sic] Tester looks to be in big trouble in the Great State of Montana! He behaved worse than the Democrat Mob did with Justice K!” Trump tweeted last night.
Sinema declines to say she’s a 'proud' Democrat
Per NBC’s Vaughn Hillyard, Democrat Kyrsten Sinema did this radio interview with KTAR:
KTAR: Are you a Democrat?
Sinema: I am.
KTAR: Proud Democrat?
Sinema: My gosh, it’s hard to say proud. I’m not sure that people are even proud of parties anymore because I feel like the parties are, ick, not doing a good job. So I would say that I’m a proud Arizonan.
In the same interview, Sinema wouldn’t say if she voted for Democratic gubernatorial nominee David Garcia.
KTAR: You’ve not endorsed Democrat for governor, David Garcia. Are you voting for Ducey?
Sinema: I already voted, but I’m not going to tell you who I voted for.
KTAR: Well I tried—give it a shot.
Sinema: I will tell you, you know, David and I have real differences on substantive policy issues. But I do respect that he works hard to share his vision with the community.
How Democrats’ fundraising advantage translates into their superiority over the airwaves
We’ve told you just how much Democratic candidates, especially in House races, raised in the third quarter. And here’s how that fundraising advantage is playing over the airwaves.
In Democrats’ Top 25 targets identified by First Read, Dems have the ad-spending advantage (TV, radio) in 20 of the 25 races, according to data from Advertising Analytics as of Oct. 17. And in their Next 25 targets, they have the edge in 16 out of 25 races.
Also, just think where GOP spending would be WITHOUT the Congressional Leadership Fund Super PAC … (Remember, campaigns get advertising discounts that Super PACs and outside groups don’t, so a campaign’s advertising dollars go a longer way.) The largest advertiser in each race is in parenthesis.
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Dems Top 25 Targets (alphabetical order)
AZ-2: Dem $1.7 million, GOP $1.1 million ($960K by DCCC)
CA-25: Dem $5.3 million, GOP $3.5 million ($2.4M by Congressional Leadership Fund)
CA-39: GOP $3.2 million, Dem $2.9 million ($2.6M by Congressional Leadership Fund)
CA-45: Dem $4.7 million, GOP $3.8 million ($2.3M by Congressional Leadership Fund)
CA-48: Dem $4.4 million, GOP $2.7 million ($2.4M by Congressional Leadership Fund)
CA-49: Dem $2.1 million, GOP $354,000 ($1.3M by Levin campaign)
CO-6: Dem $8.1 million, GOP $5.9 million ($2.3M by Crow campaign)
FL-26: Dem $5.9 million, GOP $4.3 million ($2.4M by NRCC)
FL-27: Dem $774,000, GOP $292,000 ($413K by Shalala/DCCC)
IA-1: Dem $2.4 million, GOP $765,000 ($1.3M by Finkenauer campaign)
IL-6: GOP $4.9 million, Dem $4.8million($1.7M by Congressional Leadership Fund)
ME-2: Dem $5.8 million, GOP $4.6 million ($2.1M by Congressional Leadership Fund)
MI-11: Dem $3.0 million, GOP $966,000 ($879K by Stevens campaign)
MN-2: Dem $4.6 million, GOP $2.2 million ($1.9M by DCCC)
MN-3: GOP $6.6 million, Dem $3.2 million ($2.4M by Congressional Leadership Fund)
NJ-2: Dem $98,000, GOP $9,505 ($98K by Van Drew campaign)
NJ-11: Dem $3.1 million, GOP $416,000 ($2.5M by Sherrill campaign)
NY-19: Dem $5.1 million, GOP $4.0 million ($2.1M by Delgado campaign)
NY-22: Dem $4.9 million, GOP $4.5 million ($1.9M by Brindisi campaign)
PA-5: GOP $150,000, Dem $43,000 ($150K by Kim campaign)
PA-6: Dem $306,000, GOP N/A ($306K by Houlahan campaign)
PA-7: Dem $1.5 million, GOP $3,500 ($650K by Wild campaign)
PA-17: Dem $1.3 million, GOP $1.2 million ($1.3M by Lamb campaign)
TX-7: GOP $5.3 million, Dem $4.1 million ($2.0M by Congressional Leadership Fund)
VA-10: Dem $5.7 million, GOP $4.8 million ($3.2M by NRCC)
Dems’ Next 25 targets (alphabetical order)
CA-10: Dem $5.2 million, GOP $4.3 million ($2.9M by Harder campaign)
IA-3: Dem $4.0 million, GOP $2.8 million ($1.8M by Congressional Leadership Fund)
IL-12: GOP $3.1 million, Dem $2.7 million ($2.1M by Congressional Leadership Fund)
IL-13: Dem $2.4 million, GOP $1.3 million ($1.3M by Dirksen Londrigan campaign)
IL-14: Dem $1.4 million, GOP $391,000 ($987K by Underwood campaign)
KS-2: Dem $3.2 million, GOP $2.9 million ($2.5M by Congressional Leadership Fund)
KS-3: GOP $4.1 million, Dem $3.6 million ($2.6M by Congressional Leadership Fund)
KY-6: GOP $5.0 million, Dem $3.2 million ($2M by Barr campaign)
MI-8: Dem $6.7 million, GOP $4.3 million ($3.1M by Slotkin campaign)
NE-2: GOP $1.5 million Dem $381,000 ($804K by Congressional Leadership Fund)
NJ-3: Dem $5.8 million, GOP $4.2 million ($2M by House Majority PAC)
NJ-7: Dem $3.5 million, GOP $2.1 million ($1.4M by Congressional Leadership Fund)
NC-9: Dem $2.9 million, GOP $1.5 million ($1.7M by McCready campaign)
OH-1: GOP $3.7 million, Dem $3.4 million ($2.2M by Congressional Leadership Fund)
PA-1: Dem $6.3 million, GOP $6.0 million ($4.8M by Wallace campaign)
TX-23: GOP $5.2 million, Dem $3.0 million ($2.1M by Ortiz Jones campaign)
TX-32: Dem $3.8 million, GOP $2.9 million ($1.6M by Allred campaign)
UT-4: GOP $1.3 million, Dem $1.2 million ($1.1M by McAdams campaign)
VA-2: Dem $2.8 million, GOP $1.6 million ($1.2M by Luria campaign)
VA-5: Dem $366,000, GOP $306,000 ($306K by Cockburn campaign)
VA-7: Dem $2.8 million, GOP $2.3 million ($1.6M by Spanberger campaign)
WA-5: Dem $1.2 million, GOP $916,000 ($1M by Brown campaign)
WA-8: Dem $5.6 million, GOP $4.3 million ($2.9M by DCCC)
WV-3: Dem $1.0 million, GOP $431,000 ($517K by DCCC)
WI-1: GOP $2.3 million, Dem $1.0 million ($1.6M by Congressional Leadership Fund)
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