MSNBC segment fact checks GOP lies about support for pre-existing condition coverage

Peter Alexander: Republican candidates “previously opposed Obamacare” and many are supporting "a lawsuit by Texas and 19 other states arguing that Obamacare and the provisions in it, including protections for pre-existing conditions, are unconstitut

On the October 19 edition of MSNBC Live with Stephanie Ruhle

Video file

STEPHANIE RUHLE (HOST): Democrats have been trying to keep the focus on health care, the top issue for their base. But Republicans have started running ads on that too, claiming they want to keep Obamacare's coverage with people who have pre-existing conditions. Democrats are trying to fact-check in real time, pointing out that many of these very Republicans previously voted to get rid of all Obamacare, including the coverage they now claim to support. Please listen. 


RUHLE: Peter, walk us through this, because the president has been talking about protecting coverage for pre-existing conditions. Please fact-check this and walk us through Republicans here, because many of them have not supported it in the past. 

PETER ALEXANDER (NBC NEWS): Yeah Stephanie, this one should be easy, but it's crucially important that people recognize this. First of all, the midterms may be a referendum on this president, they're also heavily focused on health care. You showed those numbers. In the last month, new figures show that nearly half of all the ads airing in congressional races mention health care. It's a particularly prominent message in ads supporting Democrats. The centerpiece for a lot of them. But the president in recent days has been trying to make this a winning issue for Republicans. 

He's misrepresenting the facts, arguing Republicans support people with pre-existing conditions. These are the facts: The Justice Department under the Trump administration backed a lawsuit by Texas and 19 other states arguing that Obamacare and the provisions in it, including protections for pre-existing conditions, are unconstitutional. 

Several Republican candidates this cycle, some that you just showed -- Josh Hawley in Missouri, Scott Walker in Wisconsin, Martha McSally, you started that clip showing her in Arizona -- they're touting their support for people with pre-existing conditions despite the fact that they previously opposed Obamacare. Their actions show they opposed, opposition to Obamacare and their support for that lawsuit. So they've been against Obamacare, just to be very clear there. The Senate's top Republican, Mitch McConnell, also saying this week that Senate Republicans could revisit efforts to repeal Obamacare depending on what happens in the midterm elections next month. 

So the bottom line, it's like the president is convinced that his supporters, like events in that rally last night in Montana, will believe anything he says even if his actions and his allies' actions are exactly the opposite. Steph?

RUHLE: It's amazing. I understand the president creates extraordinary enthusiasm, but if you needed to see a doctor, if you had a pre-existing condition, the truth would matter.


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