FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, October 12, 2020
Iowa Democrats Speak Out Against Rushed SCOTUS Nomination to Overturn the ACA On Same Day Iowa Reaches 100K COVID-19 Milestone
As Iowa surpasses 100K confirmed COVID-19 cases, Trump, Ernst, and the GOP are attempting to jam through an anti-ACA SCOTUS nominee to strip health care from Iowans
DES MOINES — Today, ahead of Senators Ernst and Grassley’s opening remarks at the U.S. Senate confirmation hearing for Donald Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court, Iowa Democrats held a press conference in Des Moines to highlight what is at stake for health care in this election.
Today also marks a grim turning point for Iowans as the state reports 100,000 COVID-19 cases and increasingly alarming health and economic numbers. Iowa’s rate of coronavirus transmission is twice the national average and leading to “many preventable deaths.” More Iowans are currently hospitalized due to COVID-19 than at any point in this crisis. And last week, Iowa saw an increase in new jobless claims.
After trying repeatedly to repeal the ACA, which ensures health care protections for people with pre-existing conditions and allows adults 26 years-old and under to remain on their parents’ health insurance, President Trump, Senator Ernst, and Republicans are currently working to overturn the ACA through the courts, in the middle of a pandemic.
Here’s what some Iowa Democrats had to say in Des Moines:
IDP Chair Mark Smith
“Today, Republicans are beginning a process that is likely to end with millions of Americans and thousands of Iowans losing access to their health care. As Senate Republicans, including Senator Ernst and Senator Grassley, begin hearings today to rush President Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court, the President and Republicans are also working right now to strike down the Affordable Care Act through the courts, and with it protections for pre-existing conditions. The start of these hearings comes on the very same day that Iowa has now reached the 100,000 milestone in cases of coronavirus. But instead of working to pass a Phase 4 relief package for our farms, workers, and small businesses, they’re focused squarely on rushing forward a lifetime appointment who could leave Iowans even more vulnerable amid this pandemic.”
State Representative Ako Abdul-Samad
“In America, and especially in Iowa, individuals are dealing with distrust. They’re dealing with not thinking the government is standing with them. This is a time where we have to build hope in government. And you can’t build hope if President Trump, Senator Ernst, and the GOP are trying to take away health care. You can’t build hope if people — minorities, people of color, and women — feel threatened. We have to make sure hope is alive and you can’t do that with negativity and by the GOP saying ‘we’re going to take away your health care.’ You can’t do that without addressing the disparities that we have in this country for women and people of color.”
State Senator Janet Petersen
“The Iowa legislature will not be able to fix this mess in Washington. 155,000 Iowans living paycheck to paycheck get their health insurance through the Affordable Health Care Act because of Medicare expansion. Since March, thousands of Iowans have been added to our Medicare expansion rolls because they’ve lost their job or their paycheck has been reduced so much that they can’t get their health care without Medicaid expansion. If we lose Medicaid expansion, our rural hospitals will suffer extensive costs. Since January, we’ve lost 8 labor and delivery units in Iowa because of problems with the Medicaid system that Governor Reynolds has privatized. If you add that to the loss of more than 100,000 Iowans from Medicare expansion, you can kiss our rural hospitals goodbye. Health care is on the line in this election and Iowans want leaders in DC who will give us insurance instead of taking it away.”
State Representative Jennifer Konfrst
“As we’ve heard, there are 100,000 Iowans who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 who now have a pre-existing condition. As the number of people with pre-existing conditions goes up, we need to make sure we’re fighting for those families. We need to make sure we’re fighting for families like mine, whose kids are under 26 and still get to be on their health care. We need to be fighting for families who have questions about their jobs and their futures who know at least they’ll have access to health care. Now is not the time to be cutting and reducing access to the most critical care we need. Now is the time to expand health care services. Pay attention to what’s happening in Washington. Pay attention to what they’re trying to slip by and know that health care is on the ballot in November. Health care is on your ballot right now in your living room. Now is the time to vote and make sure that they hear and know that we’re paying attention.”