Martha McSally Haunted by Decision to Strip Life-Saving Health Care Coverage from Americans

HRC marks the three year anniversary of Senator Martha McSally voting for the American Health Care Act (AHCA) of 2017 in the U.S. House, which would have gutted protections for the 2.8 millions Arizonans living with asthma, cancer, diabetes and other pre-existing conditions.

According to the Arizona Republic, Senator Martha McSally’s campaign is running a new ad that features a former staffer without disclosing their previous relationship or that the former paid staffer in 2014 “helped defend McSally’s attacks on the Affordable Care Act and roll its coverage protections back.”

“On the anniversary of her vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act, we remember how Martha McSally dangerously voted to strip ten million Americans and 2.8 million Arizonans of life-saving health care coverage,” said HRC Arizona State Director Bridget Sharpe. “McSally’s vote would have negatively impacted communities already facing discrimination and health care disparities, including the LGBTQ community. Millions of Arizonans with pre-existing conditions will not forget how McSally has failed them over and again in Washington. McSally can run but she cannot hide from her record on health care.”

As a result of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), thousands of low-income people living with HIV have been able to obtain health insurance through the Medicaid expansion. This critical coverage ensures that people living with HIV have access to lifesaving treatments. The AHCA’s drastic changes to Medicaid would have likely stripped these people, and other vulnerable populations, of essential healthcare coverage.

McSally’s pattern of not standing up for Arizonans and their health care is especially troublesome as America deals with the COVD-19 pandemic. In 2017, McSally voted to slash $1 billion in funds for the CDC’s Prevention and Public Health Fund, including hundreds of millions set aside “for detecting and responding to infectious diseases and other public health threats.” McSally has refused to speak out against the Trump Administration’s  ongoing attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, saying, “it’s not my role” to get involved. McSally has also been caught lying about her attempts to take health care away from millions of Americans and “crowing about a ventilator deal that’s less than it appears.”

HRC recently published a research brief outlining the particular health and economic risks faced by the LGBTQ community during the COVID-19 public health crisis. Many in the LGBTQ community are uniquely vulnerable, as they are more likely to work jobs in highly affected industries, often with more exposure and/or higher economic sensitivity to the COVID-19 crisis, are less likely to have health coverage and are more likely to smoke and have chronic illnesses like asthma. Read the full brief here.

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