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GOP congressman won’t stop lying about pre-existing conditions

Steve Chabot doesn’t respect Ohio voters enough to tell them the truth about his record.

By Tommy Christopher - October 31, 2018
Rep. Steve Chabot

Rep. Steve Chabot (R-OH) keeps shamelessly lying about his health care record — even after being called out for those lies.

Chabot, who is running for re-election in Ohio’s 1st Congressional District, has repeatedly and falsely claimed that he voted to protect people with pre-existing conditions — like diabetes, cancer, pregnancy, or even acne — from being denied access to health care.

Chabot has been called out for these lies not only during previous debates with his Democratic challenger, Aftab Pureval, but also by outlets like PolitiFact and The Cincinnati Enquirer.

Yet during his third and final debate with Pureval, Chabot just couldn’t help lying one last time when he was asked point-blank to explain his position on protecting health coverage for people with pre-existing conditions.

Chabot opened with the drastic understatement that “there has been some controversy” about his and other Republicans’ voting records on health care.

Then he proceeded to lie outright by claiming that his vote for the failed Trumpcare bill, the American Health Care Act (AHCA), would have protected people with pre-existing conditions.

“We attempted to replace [the Affordable Care Act] with the American Health Care Act, that’s what I voted for. It also had pre-existing condition coverage in it,” Chabot said. “So that’s the controversy.”

As PolitiFact revealed, however, that Republican “replacement” bill would have allowed insurers to price sick customers out of the market entirely. That’s the opposite of protection.

Pureval didn’t let Chabot get away with the lie.

“I don’t believe there is a controversy about pre-existing conditions,” Pureval said. “Mr. Chabot’s voting record speaks for itself. You voted repeatedly to strip protections from those with pre-existing conditions. I say so, The [Cincinnati] Enquirer says so, and PolitiFact says so.”

Pureval is correct that both PolitiFact and The Cincinnati Enquirer have published fact-checks that concluded 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 effectively lied twice: first by failing to mention his straight-repeal votes at all, and second by falsely claiming that his vote for Trumpcare would have protected people with pre-existing conditions.

Chabot has also expressed support for Trump’s policies across the board — and the Trump administration is supporting a lawsuit that could declare pre-existing conditions protections unconstitutional.

Pureval, on the other hand, has promised to fight for those protections and many others. His leadership on these issues helped him to secure the endorsement of civil rights hero Rep. John Lewis (D-GA).

Since health care has emerged as one of the most important issues of this election, Chabot may think he has no choice but to lie about his record of voting to gut it.

Unfortunately for him, voters don’t like being lied to any more than they like politicians trying to take away their health care.

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