Ernst’s Complicity in Lawsuit Could Undermine Coverage for Millions of Iowans During Pandemic

Today, Republicans filed opening briefs in the Ernst-backed lawsuit before the Supreme Court to repeal the entire Affordable Care Act. Facing an election-year fallout with voters after devoting her career to gutting health care, Senator Joni Ernst has refused to reveal her support for the deeply unpopular lawsuit – but today, Iowans are raising their voices to condemn her complicit silence.

The Iowa Democratic Party released a new video of voters and community leaders – including State Auditor Rob Sand, State Senator Zach Wahls, mental health advocate Leslie Carpenter, and Dr. Frantz Whitfield, among others – castigating Senator Ernst for working to gut essential health coverage in the middle of a pandemic, with no replacement in place for the Iowans whose health is on the line.

WATCH: Iowans Condemn Senator Ernst’s Silent Support for Anti-ACA Lawsuit

If successful, the Ernst-backed lawsuit could kick 150,000 Iowans off of health insurance, gut coverage protections for the 1.3 million Iowans with pre-existing conditions, add thousands of dollars to prescription drug bills, and shut the door on health providers across Iowa.

While Iowans pay the price, Senator Ernst’s complicit silence is a boon for her own re-election coffers. She’s received over $500,000 in campaign contributions from Big Pharma and the insurance industry, which would benefit from the repeal of the ACA at the expense of Iowans. 

After a half-decade throwing Iowans under the bus, voters are ready to replace Senator Ernst with a “true game-changer in Washington,” businesswoman and Democratic nominee Theresa Greenfield.

IDP Vice Chair June Owens, Des Moines: “If this lawsuit is successful, it would allow insurers to discriminate against those with pre-existing health conditions. Senator Joni Ernst doesn’t fight for me, and she doesn’t fight for my community. I know that Theresa Greenfield will.”

Leslie Carpenter, Iowa City: “I spoke with Senator Joni Ernst immediately after the Republicans published their bill to repeal the ACA the first time. She had no interest in listening to my concerns regarding our son with a serious brain disorder, and she spent most of the conversation interrupting me. Since then, she’s voted against the ACA many times. Let’s send Joni home.”

State Senator Zach Wahls, Coralville: “When Senator Ernst first ran for the Senate, she said she would go to Washington and make ’em squeal. Unfortunately, the only folks who are now hurting are Iowans. What we need is less squealing, and more healing. That’s why I’m voting for Theresa Greenfield.”

Jonna Jensen, Maquoketa: “I am one of thousands of Iowans and millions of Americans who depend on the Affordable Care Act for health insurance coverage. Senator Joni Ernst has chosen to be silent. If you support this effort to deny our health insurance coverage, then I ask you to say so.”

Dr. Frantz Whitfield, Waterloo: “Ever since the Affordable Care Act was signed into law by President Barack Obama, the Republican Party has fought day and night to eliminate it. Senator Joni Ernst has been one of the key people in that effort. Her allegiance will forever be to Big Pharma, as long as they keep paying her the thousands of dollars that she has taken the last several years.”

Laurie Elliott, Blue Grass: “I have so many friends that rely on the Affordable Care Act for health insurance after losing their jobs to COVID-19. I don’t know where Senator Joni Ernst stands on this issue because she hasn’t told us – but I do know where Theresa Greenfield stands. She will always support the Affordable Care Act for Americans.”

Lori Hunt, Des Moines: “Instead of being an advocate of making health care more affordable for Iowans, Joni Ernst has voted again and again to kill the ACA. We’re in the middle of a pandemic – it is unconscionable that anyone should be acting now to limit people’s access to health care.”