Steve Chabot can't defend his record on health care — so he just lies about it.
Like many Republicans, Rep. Steve Chabot (R-OH) is on the wrong side of the health care debate that has become central to the midterm elections. He has voted repeatedly to take away health insurance from millions of Americans, and to dramatically raise costs for millions more.
But rather than defend his record, Chabot shamelessly lie about it at his first debate with Democratic challenger Aftab Pureval.
At a candidate forum Tuesday night, Chabot complained that Pureval "attacked me for allegedly voting against pre-existing conditions coverage."
"You did," Pureval interrupted.
"No I didn't, you're wrong," Chabot claimed.
"Yes you did, sir," Pureval said.
"I voted ... to repeal Obamacare and to replace it with a better plan," Chabot continued. "Yes, there was pre-existing conditions in Obamacare, and yes there was pre-existing conditions in our replacement plan."
Pureval is absolutely correct.
Chabot repeatedly voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act without any replacement at all, which would have completely stripped away all protections for people with pre-existing conditions.
That would have included 306,400 people living in Chabot’s district — more than 41 percent of the total population.
Chabot lied by failing to mention these votes. And he also lied when he claimed that his vote for the failed Trumpcare bill would have protected people with pre-existing conditions.
In fact, that Republican "replacement" bill would have allowed insurers to price sick customers out of the market.
Technically, insurers would be forbidden from outright denying coverage to people with pre-existing conditions — but they would also have free reign to jack up the cost of that coverage by thousands, or even tens of thousands, of dollars a year.
The bill would have also stripped health coverage from more than 35,000 residents of Chabot’s district.
Chabot also supports Trump's policies across the board — and the Trump administration is supporting a lawsuit that could declare pre-existing conditions protections unconstitutional.
By contrast, Aftab Pureval has promised to fight for those protections, which helped him to secure the endorsement of civil rights hero Rep. John Lewis (D-GA).
“This young brother will stand up and support the [Affordable Care] Act. Vote for it. Fight for it. And that’s why we need him in the Congress today,” Lewis told a crowd as he delivered his endorsement this week.
Health care has emerged as one of the most important issues of this election. But since Republicans like Chabot have made a career out of destroying it, they can only lie about it or ignore it.
Chabot chose to attack health care, and then he chose to lie about it. He should pay for those choices.