Republicans like Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (Costa Mesa) have spent years trying to dismantle the Affordable Care Act. The relentless attacks on health care policies are resulting in higher health care costs for Americans, when voters across the political spectrum want lower health care costs.
In a May 2018 poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation, more than 60 percent of voters said they would be more likely to vote for a candidate who wants to lower the cost of health care. Support for the issue was also above 60 percent for each Democrats voters and Republicans voters, showing a bipartisan desire for lower health care costs.
However, Rep. Rohrabacher’s voting record shows a clear preference for both higher costs and less health care coverage.
Rohrabacher voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, and voted in favor of the Republican health care bill. The Republican bill, known as the American Health Care Act or AHCA, dramatically reduced protections for individuals with pre-existing conditions. According to Politifact, the Republican bill would mean:
Insurers would be able to charge people significantly more if they had a pre-existing condition like heart disease, cancer, diabetes or arthritis — possibly requiring people to pay thousands of dollars extra every year to remain insured.
Further, the Republican bill would have been devastating for those trying to overcome opioid addictions. While even Trump declared the opioid crisis a “public health emergency,” Rohrabacher voted for a bill designed to “place coverage out of reach and weaken patient protections for millions struggling with addiction,” according to former Surgeon General Vivek Murthy. In fact, one study shows provisions in the Rohrabacher-backed bill could cost patients an additional $14,000 in out-of-pocket costs for a treatment facility.
The bill also contained an “age tax” for the elderly in Rohrabacher’s district. The bill contained provisions allowing “insurance companies to charge people between the ages of 50 and 64 (those too young for Medicare) five times what they can charge younger consumers,” according to the AARP. The group went on to call this provision an “unfair and unacceptable ‘age tax.'”
Even though that bill eventually failed in the Senate, some Republican policies are wreaking havoc on health care costs and access.
“The Republican-led attempt to overturn the health law last year caused premiums to surge,” reports Bloomberg. And Covered California estimates premiums will increase by up to 30 percent next year.
Under President Obama and the Affordable Care Act, the number of uninsured dropped by 20 million. But since 2016, Republican policy changes have helped push four million people off of health insurance.
According to Kaiser, more than one in five (22 percent) voters list health care as the most important topic they want to hear about from candidates this year.
Given Rohrabacher’s relentless efforts at sabotaging health care policies, voters may not like what they hear.