GOP congressman lies about preexisting conditions protections in new ad


Rep. Don Bacon falsely claims his vote for Trumpcare protected affordable insurance coverage for people with preexisting conditions.

A new ad released by the campaign of Rep. Don Bacon, a vulnerable incumbent Republican congressman in Nebraska, claims that Bacon is a defender of affordable health care for everyone, including those with preexisting conditions. But the small print in the ad points to Bacon's vote for H.R. 1628, the American Health Care Act of 2017 (also known as Trumpcare).

That bill would have removed limits on premiums insurance companies could charge, so that while it contained a provision requiring insurers to offer coverage to all regardless of any preexisting medical conditions, it would have allowed them to charge much higher premiums for those customers.

Obamacare, which H.R. 1628 was intended to repeal and replace, offers much stronger protections, barring plans that cost significantly more for people with preexisting conditions.

In the 30-second campaign spot, Bacon touts his support for "affordable healthcare and protecting preexisting conditions." He cites his late sister as his motivation to "fight like hell to ensure every Nebraska family has affordable health care."

Don Bacon campaign ad screenshot


Bacon did not just vote for a bill that would have repealed Obamacare; he also said of his support for it at the time: "I've changed my vote, from 'yes' to 'hell, yes.' "

The bill, which narrowly passed in the House, died in the Senate.

"71% of Americans like their healthcare, and we should seek to improve it, not destroy it," Bacon tweeted on Tuesday. "My opponent would take away the healthcare that most Americans want to keep."

Multiple independent fact-checkers have debunked claims that the bill Bacon championed adequately protected people with preexisting conditions and confirmed criticisms that it would have allowed discrimination in pricing.

According to estimates by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office and Joint Committee on Taxation, the proposal would have increased "the number of people who are uninsured by 23 million in 2026 relative to current law." An analysis by the Center for American Progress determined that about 175,500 of those newly uninsured would have been Nebraskans.

Bacon joins a growing number of vulnerable Republicans who are making false claims about their records on preexisting conditions. Others have included Sens. Steve Daines (MT), Martha McSally (AZ), and David Perdue (GA) — along with Donald Trump himself.

Bacon faces Democrat Kara Eastman this November as he seeks a third term representing Nebraska's 2nd Congressional District. The Cook Political Report lists the race as a toss up.

A spokesperson for Bacon did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.