California Rep. Dana Rohrabacher highlighted his daughter's fight with leukemia in a new ad Wednesday touting his commitment to protections for sick people, an attempt to fend off Democratic attacks on his vote to repeal Obamacare.
Rohrabacher is just the latest House Republican in a tight race positioning himself as a champion of health insurance protections for pre-existing conditions despite voting to repeal Obamacare. Democrats have attacked the GOP on the grounds that they would endanger coverage for pre-existing conditions by undoing the health law.
The experience of his daughter's illness was “devastating to my family, but we got through it, and today she’s doing great," Rohrabacher says in the ad.
“So for her and all our families, we must protect America’s healthcare system,” Rohrabacher said in the ad. “That’s why I’m taking on both parties, and fighting for those with pre-existing conditions.”
Rohrabacher’s ad was released a day after Rep. Pete Sessions, R-Texas, and 18 other House Republicans introduced a resolution expressing support for protecting pre-existing conditions in any replacement of Obamacare.
Cook Political Report has listed both Session and Rohrabacher’s races as toss-ups in the midterm elections.
A group of 10 Republican senators also introduced a bill this summer to preserve pre-existing condition protections, such as preventing insurers from charging higher rates for people with conditions like cancer or diabetes. However, the bill would not prevent insurers from denying coverage for treatments for people with pre-existing conditions.
House Republicans voted in May 2017 for a bill that would have allowed states to waive protections for pre-existing conditions.
While Republicans claim that the bill would have funded high-risk pools to help cover people with pre-existing conditions, many experts said that the funds were nowhere near enough to ensure adequate protection.
The bill narrowly passed the House in May, but the Senate never took it up. The Senate’s own effort to pass a narrow Obamacare repeal bill failed in July 2017 after defections from three GOP senators.
The Justice Department has also supported a lawsuit from Texas and 19 other states that seeks to get rid of the law.