In an interview on WCIA’s Capitol Connection yesterday, Congressman Rodney Davis dodged, deflected, and refused to answer when asked whether he’d join bipartisan calls for the Trump Administration to reopen health care exchanges under the ACA. In less than 15 minutes, Davis abdicated responsibility for his constituents not once, not twice, but three times by once again toeing the party line on health care.
This decision by the Trump Administration leaves 862,200 Illinoisans uninsured and responsible for exorbitant medical bills if they contract this virus and need medical treatment.
As the Associated Press noted over the weekend, health care will once again be a top issue in November’s election as “Americans who have largely shelved election-year politics… focus on protecting their families from the spreading coronavirus.”
“Yet again, Congressman Davis affirms his blind loyalty to Washington Republicans at the expense of thousands of Illinoisans’ access to health care,” said DCCC Spokesperson Courtney Rice. “Davis’ refusal to put party politics aside during a national crisis and join bipartisan calls for the health insurance exchanges to be reopened is an abdication of his responsibility and something that voters in the 13th District won’t soon forget.”
DAVIS’ DODGE #1:
Maxwell: Do you support that [bipartisan] call on the Trump Administration to use this emergency proclamation to allow them to expand enrollment for the ACA?
Davis: Well I’ll let the Trump Administration will decide what they are going to do when it comes to the ACA.
DAVIS’ DODGE #2:
Maxwell: What is a person like that, maybe a constituent of yours, supposed to do… that comes to you and says I am uninsured and I don’t have health insurance during this time. I am worried about the coronavirus. Where do I go to get insurance? Would you recommend that person to – I mean they can’t enroll in Obamacare right now, unless there is expanded enrollment. Should that person have that option?
Davis: Well not everybody in the gig economy who are self-employed are going through the Obamacare exchanges. There are other ways that they are getting health care coverage to begin with.
DAVIS’ DODGE #3:
Maxwell: I wonder if any of that has changed for you in this time of crisis, in this time of pandemic when people’s lives are at risk and even national public health experts are projecting 80,000 to 240,000 lives may be lost in the very near term here. Should those uninsured people, would you ask President Trump or ask his administration to — for this emergency — to expand access for enrollment period for the Affordable Care Act? Should uninsured people be allowed a one-time emergency choke point through which they could access health insurance.?
Davis: I certainly want to make sure that we get everybody covered that we can but that doesn’t mean having access to sign up for a plan that you can’t afford to use, is something that many constituents are going to take advantage of. And that is where the politics comes into play, Mark. I know many democrats are calling for an open enrollment period…
Maxwell: … and Republican governors…
Davis: … and frankly — and there are many cases where there is an open enrollment period in many types of health care plans that go beyond certain situations and beyond certain guidelines.
Don’t forget, Davis voted to gut protections and access to affordable care by voting 11 times to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which guarantees young people can stay on their parent’s insurance until age 26 and that people with pre-existing conditions like asthma or getting pregnant won’t be charged more or kicked off their insurance. Despite the law’s growing popularity, Davis voted against defending the Affordable Care Act in court as recently as last year. Davis also voted for the Republican’s failed 2017 health care repeal bill – calling it “must-pass legislation.” This bill would have gutted protections for 282,500 Illinoisans in the 13th District with pre-existing conditions, imposed an age tax, and made health care less accessible and more expensive for Illinoisans. 700,000 Illinoisans who rely on Medicaid would also be at risk of losing their health care coverage.