Senator Ernst Continues to Leave Iowa’s Uninsured in the Lurch, Failing to Push for ACA Special Enrollment While Standing Behind the GOP’s Lawsuit to Repeal the Law

A new report from the Kaiser Family Foundation shows that after COVID-19 forced mass layoffs across Iowa, over 250,000 Iowans are likely now uninsured – a massive increase since before the pandemic. But that hasn’t deterred Senator Joni Ernst from standing in the way of uninsured Iowans access to the affordable health coverage they need in this unprecedented crisis. 

Senator Ernst has failed to push for a special enrollment period so that Iowa’s uninsured can gain coverage, while simultaneously standing behind the GOP’s lawsuit to repeal the entire Affordable Care Act – and her prior health care repeal efforts could have made the situation all the worse. Her repeated votes to dismantle the ACA would have left over 150,000 Iowans covered through Medicaid expansion uninsured, and Ernst’s efforts to gut coverage protections would have left the 1.3 million Iowans with pre-existing conditions facing unaffordable treatment.

“As family businesses shutter and tens of thousands of Iowa workers file unemployment claims each week, there is simply no excuse for Senator Ernst’s failure to act as a quarter-million Iowans are likely left uninsured and at grave risk in this pandemic,” said Jeremy Busch, Iowa Democratic Party spokesperson. “While Senator Ernst sits on her hands refusing to act, Iowans are facing the unimaginable choice between going to the doctor and putting food on the table at night. Our state deserves a senator who will put the wellbeing of Iowans above all else – but even this pandemic can’t spur Senator Ernst to put her political agenda aside.”