Fox anchor Bill Hemmer invited Rep. Martha McSally (R-AZ), who is running for Senate, on America’s Newsroom and allowed her to lie about her stance on insurance coverage for people with pre-existing conditions without pushing back on her claims. McSally told Hemmer that accusations by her opponent Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) that she is lying about her record on health care are simply “fear tactics” and “flat-out lie[s],” arguing that she is “passionate to protect people with pre-existing conditions” and that she voted in favor of these protections.
However, McSally’s voting record tells a different story. In 2015, she voted for a full repeal of the Affordable Care Act, President Barack Obama’s landmark legislation that forces insurers to cover pre-existing conditions. In 2017, she also voted for her party’s repeal and replace bill which would have “allowed states to eliminate other regulations [of ACA] ― including the all-important rule prohibiting insurers from charging higher premiums to people with pre-existing conditions.” McSally reportedly stood up in a GOP conference meeting and declared, “Let’s get this fucking thing done.”
This isn’t the first time Fox News has acted as a mouthpiece for the GOP and its candidates. In the weeks leading up to the midterm elections, Fox has given a platform for numerous Republicans to lie about their stances on pre-existing conditions.
From the October 31 edition of Fox News’ America’s Newsroom:
BILL HEMMER (CO-ANCHOR): [Sinema] is hitting you on health care. This is part of what she’s saying: “Martha McSally continues to lie on her record of health care. Here’s the truth: I voted to protect coverage for the 2.8 million Arizonans with pre-existing conditions. Martha voted to take it away.” That's from your opponent. Moments ago, the president tweeted this: “Republicans,” he says, “will protect people with pre-existing conditions far better than the Dems.” Go ahead and take on your challenger -- what’s she talking about?
MCSALLY: Well, she’s using fear tactics like we are seeing all over the country. It's a flat-out lie. I am passionate to protect people with pre-existing conditions and I voted to protect people with pre-existing conditions. The reality is right now under Obamacare, there are people in Arizona, I meet them every single day, who don't have health insurance with pre-existing conditions because Obamacare has failed. The costs are too high, there’s only one choice in 14 or 15 counties, deductibles and premiums, the networks are too small. So, it’s not working. We need to go to a different approach, where there’s more options, there’s more flexibility at the state level that broadens coverage, brings down costs so people get the insurance that they need while protecting people with pre-existing conditions. These are just -- they have nothing else to run on, so they’re using fear.