FACT CHECK: New Heller Ad Lies About Rosen’s Record in Congress and His Own Radical Health Care Agenda

Senator Spineless has been backed into a corner on health care, and now he’s hitting the panic button with a desperate and false new television ad

Rosen for Nevada spokesperson Molly Forgey released the following statement in response to the Heller campaign’s new ad:

“Dean Heller can’t defend his broken promises and failed record on health care, so he’s running a new TV ad filled with outright lies about his own record and false attacks on Jacky Rosen. The reality is that Senator Heller has made it his mission to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, he’s introduced multiple partisan bills that slash coverage protections for people with pre-existing conditions, and the radical repeal legislation he’s championed would gut federal health care funding for Nevada. While Dean Heller plays partisan games, Jacky Rosen is doing real work in Congress to fix our health care system, bring down the cost of premiums and prescription drugs, and expand access to affordable coverage.”

BACKGROUND

HELLER HAS REPEATEDLY WORKED TO UNDERMINE COVERAGE PROTECTIONS FOR PEOPLE WITH PRE-EXISTING CONDITIONS

2011: Heller Voted To Eliminate The Affordable Care Act’s Protections For Pre-Existing Conditions

Heller Voted To Repeal The Affordable Care Act. In January 2011, Heller voted for: “Passage of the bill that would repeal the 2010 health care overhaul law, which requires most individuals to buy health insurance by 2014, makes changes to government health care programs and sets new requirements for health insurers. The bill would restore the provisions of law amended or repealed by the health care overhaul, and repeal certain provisions of the health care reconciliation law.” The bill passed, 245-189. [CQ, 1/19/11; H.R. 2, Vote 14, 1/19/11]

2017: Heller Voted To Advance A Republican Bill That Could Have Meant People With Pre-Existing Conditions Being Ultimately Unable To Purchase Health Insurance

  • The Text Of The Bill Specifies That The Affordable Care Act Is Repealed In Its Entirety, Without Exception For Protections For Pre-Existing Conditions. “(a) Job-Killing Health Care Law.—Effective as of the enactment of Public Law 111–148, such Act is repealed, and the provisions of law amended or repealed by such Act are restored or revived as if such Act had not been enacted. (b) Health Care-Related Provisions In The Health Care And Education Reconciliation Act Of 2010.—Effective as of the enactment of the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 (Public Law 111–152), title I and subtitle B of title II of such Act are repealed, and the provisions of law amended or repealed by such title or subtitle, respectively, are restored or revived as if such title and subtitle had not been enacted.” [H.R. 2, 1/05/11]

Heller Voted In Favor Of The Senate Motion To Proceed With The American Health Care Act. On July 25, 2017 Heller Voted In Favor Of The Motion To Proceed With The American Health Care Act. “On the Motion to Proceed (Motion to Proceed to H.R. 1628) A bill to provide for reconciliation pursuant to title II of the concurrent resolution on the budget for fiscal year 2017.” The motion vote tied 50-50, the Vice President voted yea to break the tie. [CQ, 7/25/17, Senate Roll Call Vote, Vote 167, 7/25/17]

2017: Heller Helped Introduce A Republican Bill That Weakens Protections For Pre-Existing Conditions

  • The Congressional Budget Office Predicted That Under AHCA, People With Pre-Existing Conditions Would Ultimately Be Unable To Purchase Health Insurance. According to the Congressional Budget Office analysis of the American Health Care Act, “CBO and JCT expect that, as a consequence, the waivers in those states would have another effect: 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.” [CBO Analysis of the American Health Care Act, 5/24/17]

PolitiFact: “Graham-Cassidy, The GOP Alternative To Obamacare, Weakens Protections For Pre-Existing Conditions.” [PolitiFact, 9/22/17]

2018: Heller Tried To Cover His Bases By Cosponsoring A Bill To Protect Pre-Existing Conditions – But That’s Not What The Bill Actually Does

Heller Cosponsored A Bill That Claimed To Restore Protections For People With Pre-Existing Conditions. “U.S. Sen. Dean Heller and nine of his Republican colleagues have introduced legislation to bring back the Affordable Care Act’s protections for patients with pre-existing conditions in the event that a federal court strikes them down next week, though health-care policy experts are cautioning that the bill may still leave sick patients without the care they need. The bill, which was introduced in the Senate on Thursday, would preserve two key portions of the 2010 health-care law that prevent insurance companies from denying coverage and charging higher premiums to patients with pre-existing conditions. Both provisions are currently in limbo pending the outcome of Texas v. United States, a Republican-led lawsuit brought by 20 states challenging the Affordable Care Act’s constitutionality after Congress removed the tax penalty associated with the law’s individual mandate to buy health insurance.” [Nevada Independent, 8/29/18; CQ, 8/23/18; S.3388, Introduced 8/23/18, Cosponsored 8/23/18]

Analysts Found Heller’s Bill Allowed Exclusions For Coverage Of Pre-Existing Conditions, A Loophole That Was Described As, “Throwing A 10-Foot Rope To Somebody In A 20-Foot Hole.” “But the Republican-sponsored legislation doesn’t include a third portion of the federal law in jeopardy that prohibits insurance companies from excluding coverage of the pre-existing condition itself, an omission that one health-care expert described as ‘throwing a 10-foot rope to somebody in a 20-foot hole.’ In short, a person with diabetes couldn’t be denied insurance or charged more for their coverage under the legislation, but an insurance company could decide not to cover any doctor’s visits, medication or other treatment associated with the diabetes diagnosis.” [Nevada Independent, 8/29/18]

Las Vegas Sun: “Health Exchange Head Says Heller Bill Gives Illusion Of Protecting Pre-Existing Conditions.” [Las Vegas Sun, 8/30/18]

HuffPost: “The GOP’s New Pre-Existing Conditions Promise Is A Fraud.” [HuffPost, 8/24/18]

GRAHAM-CASSIDY-HELLER-JOHNSON WOULD HAVE GUTTED FEDERAL HEALTH CARE FUNDING FOR NEVADA

Governor Sandoval Criticized Heller’s Plan, Saying That “Flexibility With Reduced Funding Is A False Choice.” “Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval (R) on Thursday amped up his criticism of the new plan to repeal and replace ObamaCare, saying the GOP bill would ‘pit Nevadans against each other.’ ‘Flexibility with reduced funding is a false choice,’ Sandoval said in a statement to The Nevada Independent. ‘I will not pit seniors, children, families, the mentally ill, the critically ill, hospitals, care providers, or any other Nevadan against each other because of cuts to Nevada’s healthcare delivery system proposed by the Graham-Cassidy amendment.’” [The Hill, 9/21/17]

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities: Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson “Eliminates Or Weakens Protections For People With Pre-Existing Conditions.” “The latest version of the bill makes changes to the formula for allocating block grant funding among the states, thereby increasing allotments for some states at the expense of others. It also adds new funding provisions that benefit specific states. But the bill’s core features remain unchanged: it still eliminates the ACA’s Medicaid expansion and marketplace subsidies and replaces them with an inadequate block grant; still ends block grant funding after 2026, creating a massive federal funding cliff that would result in huge coverage losses; still imposes a Medicaid per capita cap that results in large and growing cuts to Medicaid funding for seniors, people with disabilities, and families with children; still eliminates or weakens protections for people with pre-existing conditions; and still imposes a highly unrealistic implementation timeline that would likely leave many or most states’ insurance markets and coverage programs in chaos.” [Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 9/25/17]

Under Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson, Nevada Would See $4 Billion Less In Federal Funding Between 2020 And 2027. According to an analysis by Avalere, under Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson, the state of Nevada would see $4 billion less in federal funding compared to current law between 2020 and 2027. [Avalere, 9/26/17]

ROSEN HAS PUT FORWARD SOLUTIONS TO FIX THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT AND HAS PASSED BILLS IN THE HOUSE TO IMPROVE HEALTH CARE FOR NEVADANS

Rosen Has Cosponsored Major Health Care Bills That Have Passed The House

Rosen Cosponsored The Protecting Seniors Access To Medicare Act, To Repeal The Independent Payment Advisory Board. On March 26, 2017 Rosen Co-Sponsored “This bill amends the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) to terminate the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB). Under PPACA, the IPAB is tasked with developing proposals to reduce the per capita rate of growth in Medicare spending.” The bill has 225 Republican and 45 Democratic cosponsors. The bill passed the House on November 2, 2017. [H.R.849, Introduced 2/3/17; Cosponsored 3/16/17]

Rosen Cosponsored H.R. 918, The Veteran Urgent Access To Mental Healthcare Act, A Bill Helps Veterans Access Mental Health Services, Regardless of Whether Or Not The Individual Has An “Other Than Honorable” Discharge. April 26th, 2017, Rosen Cosponsored H.R. 918. “(Sec. 2) This bill directs the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to furnish to former members of the Armed Forces: (1) an initial mental health assessment; and (2) the mental health care services required to treat the member’s urgent mental health care needs, including risk of suicide or harming others.” The bill passed the house and has been referred to the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs. The bill had 40 cosponsors in the House, 25 Democratic and 15 Republican. [CQ, 2/7/17; H.R. 918 Cosponsored 4/26/17, Introduced, 2/7/17]

Rosen Cosponsored The Protect Medical Innovation Act Of 2018, To Repeal The Medical Device Tax. On March 2, 2017 Rosen Co-Sponsored “(Sec. 2) This bill amends the Internal Revenue Code to repeal the excise tax on the sale of a medical device by the manufacturer, producer, or importer.” The bill had 46 Democratic and 233 Republican cosponsors. The bill passed the House on July 24, 2018. [H.R. 184, Introduced 1/3/17; Cosponsored, 3/2/17]

Rosen Voted To Expand Health Savings Accounts, Lowering the Cost of Health Care For Nevada Families

Rosen Broke With Democratic Leadership To Vote In Favor Of The Restoring Access To Medication And Modernizing Health Savings Accounts Act Of 2018 To Repeal A Health Care Tax That Would Have Raised Costs. Rosen voted in favor of HR 6199: “This bill repeals provisions of the Internal Revenue Code, as added by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, that limit payments for medications from health savings accounts, medical savings accounts, health flexible spending arrangements, and health reimbursement arrangements to only prescription drugs or insulin (thus allowing distributions from such accounts for over-the-counter drugs). The bill also allows the accounts to be used for menstrual care products.” The measure passed 277-142, with Pelosi and Hoyer voting against. [H.R. 6199, Introduced 6/22/18, Roll Call 377, 7/25/18]

Rosen Broke With Democratic Leadership To Vote In Favor Of The Increasing Access To Lower Premium Plans And Expanding Health Savings Account Act Of 2018. Rosen voted in favor of HR 6311: “To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to modify the definition of qualified health plan for purposes of the health insurance premium tax credit and to allow individuals purchasing health insurance in the individual market to purchase a lower premium copper plan.” The final vote was 342-176, with Pelosi and Hoyer voting against. [HR 6311, Introduced 7/6/18, Vote 376, 7/25/18]

Rosen Introduced Legislation to Lower Prescription Drug Costs

July 2018: Rosen Introduced The Capping Prescription Costs Act Of 2018, Which Would Cap Monthly Costs For Prescription Medication. On July 11, 2018, Rosen introduced a bill that would, “tackle the problem of high drug costs that families face by placing a monthly cap on their out-of-pocket drug costs. These caps would apply to individuals and families covered by ACA exchange plans or any group health plan, including employer-sponsored plans. [...] The Capping Prescription Costs Act of 2018 takes meaningful steps to address the problem of high drug costs by placing a monthly limit on what consumers pay in out of-pocket drug costs. The legislation caps prescription drug copays at $250 per month for individuals and $500 per month for families. The bill, which applies to all group health plans and individual market plans, also ensures that individuals and families with high prescription drug costs are protected and can access necessary medications.” [CQ, 7/11/18; H.R. 6340, Introduced 7/11/18]

Rosen Helped Introduce Legislation to Create A Public Health Insurance Option

Rosen Was An Original Cosponsor Of The State Public Option Act. October 25, 2017, Rosen was an original cosponsor of the State Public Option Act, “To establish a State public option through Medicaid to provide Americans with the choice of a high-quality, low-cost health insurance plan.” The bill has 25 democratic cosponsors, and Bernie Sanders is an original cosponsor of the senate version. [S. 2001, 10/24/17; HR 4129, Original Cosponsor, 10/25/17]

Rosen Is A Cosponsor Of The CHOICE Act To Direct The Department of Health and Human Services To Offer A Competitive Public Insurance Option. Congresswoman Rosen cosponsored H.R. 635, the CHOICE Act, which directs the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to offer a nationwide public health insurance option that provides value, choice, competition, and the stability of affordable, high-quality coverage financed through premiums, rather than taxpayer dollars. [H.R. 635, Introduced 1/24/17, Cosponsored 7/24/17]