FARMFEST: Jason Lewis Supports Efforts to Rip Health Care From Millions During Global Pandemic

For Immediate Release:
August 4, 2020

Republican U.S. Senate candidate for Minnesota Jason Lewis sides with big corporations and drug companies time and time again, proving that he won’t put the needs of Minnesota families before special interests. What’s more, he stands by the Trump Administrations’ efforts to take away thousands of Minnesotans’ health care, even during a global pandemic.

As a one-term Congressman, Lewis voted for the American Health Care Act (AHCA), which would have repealed the Affordable Care Act, gutting protections for millions of people with pre-existing conditions, and making insurance unaffordable for older Americans.

He voted for the GOP tax bill, which gave massive handouts to big corporations and the wealthiest Americans—including billions to prescription drug companies, big oil and Wall Street.

Lewis embraced President Trump’s proposed cuts to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, saying he would be in favor of undoing Medicare and raising the retirement age for Social Security. He’s also against Medicare being able to negotiate lower drug prices–a position that only helps big pharmaceutical companies.

Lewis Voted For The American Health Care Act, Which Would Repeal The Affordable Care Act. On May 4, 2017, Lewis voted for H.R. 1628, the American Health Care Act of 2017. From CQ: ‘Passage of the bill that would make extensive changes to the 2010 health care overhaul law, by effectively repealing the individual and employer mandates as well as most of the taxes that finance the current system. It would, in 2020, convert Medicaid into a capped entitlement that would provide fixed federal payments to states and end additional federal funding for the 2010 law’s joint federal-state Medicaid expansion. It would prohibit federal funding to any entity, such as Planned Parenthood, that performs abortions and receives more than $350 million a year in Medicaid funds. As amended, it would give states the option of receiving federal Medicaid funding as a block grant with greater state flexibility in how the funds are used, and would require states to establish their own essential health benefits standards. It would allow states to receive waivers to exempt insurers from having to provide certain minimum benefits, would provide $8 billion over five years for individuals with pre-existing conditions whose insurance premiums increased because the state was granted a waiver to raise premiums based on an individual’s health status, and would create a $15 billion federal risk sharing program to cover some of the costs of high medical claims.” The bill passed 217 – 213. [CQ, 5/4/17; H.R. 1628, Roll Call 256, 5/4/17]

The AHCA Would Have Cut $880 Billion From Medicaid Over 10 Years. ’Some of the gains for the most well off will come at the expense of the vulnerable. Health insurers will be allowed to once again increase premiums on older customers who are more likely to require medical services. Over the next 10 years, $880 billion in federal funding for Medicaid would be cut.” [New York Times, 3/15/17]

PolitiFact: The AHCA “Would Weaken Protections” For Those With Pre-Existing Conditions And “Would Allow States To Give Insurers The Power To Charge People Significantly More.” “An ad by the American Action Network says that under the American Health Care Act ‘people with pre-existing conditions are protected.” The only kernel of truth here is that the amendment has language that states insurers can’t limit access to coverage for individuals with pre-existing conditions. However, the ad omits that the House GOP health plan would weaken protections for these patients. The legislation would allow states to give insurers the power to charge people significantly more if they had a pre-existing condition. While Republicans point to the fact that those patients could get help through high-risk pools, experts question their effectiveness. Current law does not allow states to charge people with pre-existing conditions significantly more. We rate this claim Mostly False.” [PolitiFact, 5/24/17]

CBO: If The AHCA Had Passed, In 2018, 14 Million More People Would Be Uninsured Under The AHCA Than Under The ACA. CBO report on the AHCA: “CBO and JCT estimate that, in 2018, 14 million more people would be uninsured under the legislation than under current law. Most of that increase would stem from repealing the penalties associated with the individual mandate. Some of those people would choose not to have insurance because they chose to be covered by insurance under current law only to avoid paying the penalties, and some people would forgo insurance in response to higher premiums.” [CBO, American Health Care Act, 3/13/17]

Lewis Said The Answer For Fixing Social Security Was Chained CPI, Which Would Decrease Benefits, And Raising The Retirement Age. During a November 19, 2015 Second Congressional GOP primary debate the following interaction occurred, [55:12]LEWIS: The Democrats would say, ‘now let’s just lift the tax cap so the wealthy can bail us out.” If you lifted the tax cap, the FICA tax on the first hundred and eighteen thousand you earn, if you lifted that to no limit at all, you only bail out forty-five percent of the problem, so you can’t just solve it by taxes. If you don’t do anything then your benefits in 2034 will be 75% of what they are today, so somethings gotta be done. But means testing, or lifting the cap on taxes is not the answer. The answer is turning COLA benefits into a chained CPI, and raising the retirement age for younger workers. It’s not a difficult problem if you do that, nobody’s talking about people currently on the system, or people close to it. We’re talking about younger people working longer as they live longer, and we’re talking about a different CPI. You do those two things you preserve the system without turning it into a welfare system. [The Uptake GOP MN CD2 Debate & Debate Transcript, 4/8/16]

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