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Vulnerable GOP congressman blasted for 'ridiculous' health care lies

Republican Rep. Steve Chabot is trying to run away from his record of gutting health care — but Democrat Aftab Pureval won’t let him.

By Tommy Christopher - October 24, 2018
Steve Chabot

Like many Republicans this election season, Rep. Steve Chabot wants people to forget his long history of voting to gut health care — but Democratic challenger Aftab Pureval won’t let Chabot lie his way out of this jam.

On this week’s episode of “Pod Save America,” Pureval noted that voters in Ohio’s 1st Congressional District have told him their “number one issue is access to affordable health care,” and that Chabot has “just been overwhelmingly wrong on this issue, time and time again.”

Host Jon Favreau asked Pureval, “Is he one of the Republican candidates who’s pretending that he was always for pre-existing conditions? Is that happening in your race too?”

“Yes it is, it’s ridiculous,” Pureval replied. “This man voted repeatedly to strip protections for those with pre-existing conditions, affecting 305,000 people in our district.”

But while Chabot might be trying to explain away his terrible health care votes, Pureval said, “his voting record speaks for itself. And it shows that he voted to take health care away from 35,000 people in our district, and he voted repeatedly to strip those protections for pre-existing conditions.”

The Affordable Care Act, President Barack Obama’s signature legislative achievement, was groundbreaking in part because it guaranteed that people with pre-existing health conditions, from asthma to pregnancy to cancer, could no longer be denied health insurance or charged higher rates for it.

But as health care has become one of the most important issues to voters in the midterm elections, congressional Republicans have been forced to reckon with their years-long crusade to gut the Affordable Care Act — and to eliminate its crucial protections for people with pre-existing conditions.

Most Republicans running for re-election have responded by either lying about their record on health care, or ignoring the issue entirely.

Chabot has chosen to lie.

At a debate earlier this week, Chabot denied trying to gut pre-existing conditions protections, even though he did exactly that by repeatedly voting to repeal Obamacare with no replacement.

Chabot then claimed that the failed Trumpcare bill he voted for would have protect pre-existing conditions — when in reality, the bill would have allowed insurance companies to price sick customers out of the market.

Pureval immediately called Chabot out for these lies during the debate, and he’s continuing to hold the Republican congressman accountable.

People with pre-existing conditions, as Pureval noted, make up 41 percent of the population of Chabot’s district. Chabot’s votes would have hurt hundreds of thousands of his own constituents in Ohio.

But many of those constituents aren’t being fooled by Chabot’s campaign of lies.

While Chabot won reelection by more than 27 points in 2016, a recent internal poll conducted by GBA Strategies has the 2018 race “essentially tied” — and among independent voters, Pureval leads by 5 points.

While Chabot has refused to meet with his constituents for the last six years, Pureval has been engaging with voters. And while Chabot has been voting to gut health care for residents of Ohio’s 1st Congressional District, Pureval has vowed to protect it.

Lying about health care is just what you would expect from a Trump clone like Steve Chabot — but the people of his district expect, and deserve, more.

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