Dem ad accuses Heller of 'lying' about record on pre-existing conditions

Dem ad accuses Heller of 'lying' about record on pre-existing conditions
© Greg Nash

A new Democratic ad is accusing Sen. Dean HellerDean Arthur HellerTrump suggests Heller lost reelection bid because he was 'hostile' during 2016 presidential campaign Trump picks ex-oil lobbyist David Bernhardt for Interior secretary Oregon Dem top recipient of 2018 marijuana industry money, study finds MORE (R-Nev.) of “lying” about helping people with pre-existing conditions.

The ad from Rep. Jacky RosenJacklyn (Jacky) Sheryl RosenFemale Dems see double standard in Klobuchar accusations Trump suggests Heller lost reelection bid because he was 'hostile' during 2016 presidential campaign Trump administration secretly shipped plutonium to Nevada MORE (D-Nev.), who is seeking to unseat Heller in a close Senate race, features people with pre-existing conditions, one of whom says, “Dean Heller is lying about helping us.”

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The ad shows a clip of Heller at a press conference last year promising he would not support legislation that would take away health insurance from “hundreds of thousands of Nevadans.”

It adds that Heller “broke his promise” when he voted "yes" on a procedural vote to take up consideration of the Republican repeal and replacement plan, and when he voted yes on the “skinny repeal,” which would have repealed ObamaCare’s mandate to have coverage.

Heller did eventually vote "no" on the GOP repeal and replacement plan, though. Heller’s campaign shot back that the “new Rosen ad shamelessly lies about Heller’s record on pre-existing conditions.”

Heller’s campaign says the senator actually “stood up for Nevadans with pre-existing conditions” during the repeal debate last year, and noted that the “skinny repeal” he voted for did not touch ObamaCare’s protections for pre-existing conditions.

However, Heller has supported other legislation that does target those protections. The Rosen ad does not cite that.

Heller co-sponsored the Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson bill, a newer GOP ObamaCare replacement plan, which would allow states to get waivers to allow insurers to charge people with pre-existing conditions higher premiums.

“Dean Heller’s vote to proceed with the House GOP’s health-care plan last year was a blatant broken promise and a deciding vote to advance a plan that would gut pre-existing conditions protections, and then he used that vote to introduce his own plan that would have eliminated the current federal guarantee of protections for pre-existing conditions,” said Stewart Boss, a spokesman for Rosen’s campaign.

Democrats have been on the attack over pre-existing condition protections in races across the country, hitting Republicans for their ObamaCare repeal votes.

The issue has been particularly prominent in Heller’s race, given the high-profile role he played in ObamaCare repeal last year, opposing the initial version of the GOP replacement plan. Later in the year, he championed a new replacement plan with Sens. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamActing Defense chief calls Graham an 'ally' after tense exchange Five takeaways from McCabe’s allegations against Trump FBI’s top lawyer believed Hillary Clinton should face charges, but was talked out of it MORE (R-S.C.) and Bill CassidyWilliam (Bill) Morgan CassidyCongress must step up to protect Medicare home health care Ivanka Trump to meet with GOP senators to discuss paid family leave legislation Bipartisan senators ask industry for information on surprise medical bills MORE (R-La.).