Rep. Steve Knight (R-Palmdale) voted last year to eliminate health care protections for people with pre-existing conditions; to impose an “age tax” making health care more expensive for people aged 50-64; and to take health care away from 23 million people.
But when a group of constituents confronted him about his disastrous vote to destroy American health care, Knight said he has no regrets.
In a video posted by the Antelope Valley Democrats, Knight is asked, “Do you regret voting for the AHCA?” The AHCA (American Health Care Act) is the Republican bill from 2017 that sought to repeal the popular Affordable Care Act (ACA).
Knight, after a brief pause to ponder, curtly responds: “No.”
The AHCA was a wildly unpopular bill full of provisions that would have made health care more expensive and would have reduced access to health insurance for millions of people.
When President Obama signed the ACA into law, it gave hope to Americans with pre-existing health conditions. Insurance companies finally lost the power to overcharge these people, or even to deny them health coverage entirely.
Knight has no regrets trying to undo all of that progress and hurt all of those people.
According to Politifact, the Knight-backed AHCA would have allowed insurance companies “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.”
The list of other things Knight doesn’t regret about his vote is long, and astonishing.
Knight has no regrets trying to make health care more expensive for his older constituents.
The AHCA could have been disastrous for older Americans in particular. The AARP had a stark warning for members of Congress like Knight: the AHCA amounted to “an unaffordable age tax” on Americans aged 50 to 64.
Knight has no regrets trying to put addition treatment out of reach of those seeking to overcome opioid addictions.
The AHCA could have made treatment for opioid addiction and other substance abuse “prohibitively expensive,” according to Business Insider. Former Surgeon General Vivek Murthy explained that the AHCA would “place coverage out of reach and weaken patient protections for millions struggling with addiction.”
Knight has no regrets trying to make health insurance unavailable to millions of people.
Since the popular ACA was signed into law, more than 20 million Americans have been able to get health insurance who couldn’t before.
But according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, the AHCA would have caused 23 million people to lose access to health insurance — including tens of thousands in Knight’s own district.
Knight’s opponent, Democratic candidate Katie Hill, has taken a very different approach to health care. Hill has stated that she is in favor of “strengthening the ACA and laying the foundation for a Medicare For All system that works for all of us.”
Knight may have no regrets about his position on health care — but voters certainly do.
According to a new poll from Public Policy Polling, a large majority of voters (56 percent) would support a generic Democrat for Congress who supports the ACA over a generic Republican candidate who wants to repeal it. The same is true for an even larger majority (59 percent) of voters over the age of 65.
Voters in California’s 25th Congressional District will face this very choice in November when they decide whether to re-elect Knight.