Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill (D) and her challenger in November, Attorney General Josh Hawley (R), are clashing over health care.
The issue was discussed several times during a Friday forum at the Missouri Farm Bureau in Jefferson City.
Hawley tells the Capitol Press Corps that health care costs in Missouri are “absolutely unaffordable.”
“And that is because of Senator McCaskill’s failed left-wing policies,” Hawley says. “Did not have to be this way. If she had worked for a bipartisan bill way back in 2009, we wouldn’t be here.”
The Affordable Care Act has emerged as a key issue in the Senate race between McCaskill and Hawley.
Hawley is blasting “Obamacare”, saying health insurance premiums for individuals have increased by 105%.
“We should pass reforms that get health care costs down, insurance costs down, that multiply options for families and cover people with pre-existing conditions and young folks on their parents’ insurance up to age 26,” says Hawley.
Senator McCaskill notes Hawley has joined 19 other states in a lawsuit against the Affordable Care Act.
McCaskill says the lawsuit “would gut critical protections for those with pre-existing conditions.”
After her Friday presentation at Farm Bureau, a Jefferson City newspaper reporter asked McCaskill what she thinks the biggest issues between the two candidates will be between now and November.
“Well I think the protection of people with pre-existing conditions and making sure that rural Missourians aren’t charged more for health insurance just because they live in the country, all the consumer protections that he’s trying to wipe out with his lawsuit. That’s a really big issue,” McCaskill tells reporters.
Senator McCaskill has written a column about the issue that was released Monday. Her message is that Missourians deserve health care that’s fair.
In that column, McCaskill says the Trump Administration has “opened the floodgates” for insurance companies to offer “junk” insurance plans that may not cover emergency room visits, maternity care or prescriptions.
McCaskill says Missourians are worried about health care, and whether they’ll be able to afford a trip to the emergency room.
Hawley tells Farm Bureau members Congress should repeal and replace “Obamacare” with a plan that protects those with pre-existing conditions. He notes health insurance costs for individuals are up by 105%.
Hawley announced in April that, as part of a 20-state coalition, he had filed a motion seeking a preliminary injunction against the Affordable Care Act.
The 20-state coalition filed a lawsuit in February challenging the constitutionality of Obamacare, saying that when Congress passed tax reform, it essentially rendered the Affordable Care Act unconstitutional by eliminating the tax penalty in the individual mandate.
Both McCaskill and Hawley emphasized the importance of rural health care during their Friday presentation.
The two also blasted each other, over which candidate can work best across the aisle.
Senator McCaskill says 24 of her bills have been signed into law by Republican President Donald Trump.
“I think what Missourians want is somebody who is capable of independence from their party, capable of saying, telling (former Senate Majority and Minority Leader) Harry Reid and (current Senate Minority Leader) Chuck Schumer no, I’m not voting with you,” says McCaskill. “You don’t see that with my opponent.”
The two candidates agree on some key issues.
Both are blasting insurance companies, saying they are making record profits, while premiums are increasing.
Farm Bureau members raised concern about potential post office closings, during Friday’s event.
More than 200 Missouri Farm Bureau members from 86 counties participated in the forum.
Farm Bureau trustees voted 82-4 on Friday afternoon to endorse Hawley.
Libertarian nominee Japheth Campbell and Green Party nominee Jo Crain will also appear on your November ballot.
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