After Ignoring Pleas from Providers for Urgent Aid, Senator Ernst Takes Credit for Hospital Funding She Opposed and Called “Absolutely Nothing

Ernst Continues to Stand By GOP’s Lawsuit to Repeal Medicaid Expansion and Decimate Rural Health Care

Yesterday, Senator Ernst once again tried to deceive Iowans on her votes against the vital relief our communities need. With new reports of growing fear of rural hospitals closing, Senator Ernst sent out a deceitful press release claiming to have “successfully helped” provide rural hospitals with “funding and flexibility.” 

THE FACTS: Senator Ernst voted twice to jam through a package that shortchanged rural providers and criticized Democrats’ addition of $55 billion for hospitals as “absolutely nothing.” This comes just days after using an official COVID-19 press conference as a dishonest victory lap on the passage of paid family leave and unemployment insurance expansion, after she voted to weaken  both measures in the relief packages.

“Senator Ernst is using a pandemic to have it both ways: appeasing her party leaders, while deceiving Iowans that she’s fighting for them. Iowa is facing the worst health and economic crisis in a generation, and we need leadership and truth – not false press releases and political games,” said Jeremy Busch, Iowa Democratic Party spokesperson. “From the get-go, Senator Ernst downplayed this crisis as Democrats trying to ‘stir up panic,’ and now, she’s voted against urgent relief while trying to play Iowans for fools. It’s more clear than ever: Iowans cannot trust Senator Ernst in this crisis.”

Senator Ernst’s cover-up comes alongside her complicity in the GOP’s lawsuit to repeal the Affordable Care Act and Iowa’s Medicaid expansion – effectively pulling the rug from under rural hospitals. Experts have also warned that Medicaid is “a lifeline for droves of Americans affected by the coronavirus pandemic,” and repealing Iowa’s expansion would leave more than 150,00 Iowans with “few options” to get treatment.