September 14, 2018/Press Release

ICYMI: Kansas City Star: “Hawley under fire on pre-existing conditions”

COLUMBIA, Mo. — According to a new report from the Kansas City Star, Josh Hawley no longer wants to talk about his lawsuit that would end health insurance protections for millions of Missourians with pre-existing conditions. While Hawley “proudly touted his role in the case in February,” he is now refusing to explain any details of his politically toxic involvement. Breast cancer survivor and Kansas City resident Beth Partin told the Star that if Hawley’s lawsuit is successful, “Insurance companies would consider the mammogram to be a form of cancer treatment even though it’s preventive care… so it would cost me a lot more money.”

From the Kansas City Star:

Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley won’t offer details about his role in the Republican lawsuit that could strike down insurance protections for people with pre-existing conditions.

…Hawley is one 20 GOP state officials who joined a federal lawsuit earlier this year that could end Obamacare and those protections. But Hawley and his top aides have refused to explain any details of his involvement.

He proudly touted his role in the case in February, announcing in a news release that his office “will continue to fight to take health care choices out of the hands of bureaucrats and return them to the hands of Missourians and their physicians.”

Eight months later, Hawley’s decision to join the Texas-led case has become a political headache as Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill and her allies have launched a series of attacks on Hawley over the lawsuit’s impact on pre-existing conditions.

…The ACA bars insurance companies from denying people coverage based on pre-existing conditions.

…Hawley’s office already faces a Missouri Sunshine Law complaint from Protect Our Care, a liberal-leaning coalition of Missouri health care groups, for not turning over records related to his communications with President Donald Trump’s administration on the case.

…McCaskill’s campaign this month launched a series of web videos, highlighting 30 Missourians with pre-existing conditions to hammer this point. On Thursday, McCaskill released an ad where she discusses her own battle with breast cancer and asserts that “the insurance companies already have too many senators on their side.”

…Beth Partin, 56, a Kansas City copy editor, said she first purchased insurance through the federal health care exchange in 2016, four years after she survived a bout with breast cancer. Her annual mammograms are considered an essential service fully covered under the ACA, but that could change if the law is struck down in court.

“Insurance companies would consider the mammogram to be a form of cancer treatment even though it’s preventive care… so it would cost me a lot more money.” said Partin, who will volunteer for McCaskill’s campaign on Saturday.

Robynn Kuhlmann, an associate professor of political science at the University of Central Missouri… noted that 25 percent of likely Missouri voters in an NBC News/Marist College poll conducted Aug. 25-28 identified health care as the most important issue in determining their vote this election.

…“If they’re making decisions based on their pocketbook, McCaskill’s stance on health care…is going to be much more palatable when you’re trying to make a decision to vote,” Kuhlmann said