The coronavirus has underscored how important it is that the American people have comprehensive, high-quality, and affordable health coverage. More Americans than ever are relying on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) for coverage; and yet, President Donald Trump and Republican attorneys general are suing to take away this critical lifeline in the middle of the pandemic. If the ACA is repealed, more than 20 million Americans could lose health coverage and 135 million could lose critical protections that prevent insurers from denying people coverage or charging them more for having preexisting conditions such as diabetes, cancer, and even COVID-19.
This case will be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court just one week after the election, which is why the president and Senate Republicans are rushing to install another rubber stamp for their political agenda following the passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg—despite just four years ago having opposed filling a Supreme Court vacancy during an election. This rushed confirmation push is opposed by the American people and comes while voting in the election is already underway.
For years, Senate Republicans have voted to weaken these protections and eliminate the ACA, which has helped tens of millions of Americans gain access to health care and takes important steps to force insurers to put patients’ needs over profits. In doing so, they are simply giving the wealthiest Americans another massive tax cut. Following massive backlash at the ballot box in 2018 following their health care repeal push, Republican Senators are now running feverishly from their records—airing false television ads that suggest they will always protect preexisting conditions despite voting to do the opposite.
This analysis provides a comprehensive look at how many times Senate Republican incumbents have voted to weaken the ACA’s protections for preexisting conditions and makes clear why voters do not trust their efforts to push through a lifetime appointment that would put Americans’ health care at risk.
Will Ragland is the research director in the Center for American Progress Action Fund War Room. Colin Seeberger is the director of media relations at the Action Fund.
The above vote counts are based on a Center for American Progress Action Fund analysis of votes taken by the current Senate Republican caucus—either as part of the U.S. Senate or the House of Representatives—since the ACA was originally passed in 2010. Each vote was on the passage or advancement of legislation that would have resulted in diminishing or eliminating protections for those with preexisting conditions.
The following votes were used for this analysis:
- Senate roll call vote 200 on the motion to invoke cloture: motion to proceed to S. 4653 (October 1, 2020)
- Senate roll call vote 337 on S.J. Res. 52 (October 30, 2019)
- Senate roll call vote 226 on S.J. Res. 63 (October 10, 2018)
- Senate roll call vote 179 on S. Amdt. 667 to H.R. 1628 (July 28, 2017)
- Senate roll call vote 169, on S. Amdt. 271 to H.R. 1628 (July 26, 2017)
- Senate roll call vote 168 on the motion to waive all applicable budgetary discipline on S. Amdt. 270 to H.R. 1628 (July 25, 2017)
- Senate roll call vote 167 on motion to proceed on H.R. 1628 (July 25, 2017)
- Senate roll call vote 26 on the concurrent resolution S. Con. Res. 3 (January 12, 2017)
- Senate roll call vote 329 on passage of H.R. 3762 (December 3, 2015)
- Senate roll call vote 253 on the cloture motion for S. Amdt. 2328 to S. Amdt. 2327 to S. Amdt. 2266 to H.R. 22 (July 26, 2015)
- Senate roll call vote 9 on S. Amdt. 13 to S. 223 (February 2, 2011)
- House roll call vote 58 on the concurrent resolution S. Con. Res. 3 (January 12, 2017)
- House roll call vote 256 on passage of H.R. 1628 (May 4, 2017)
- House roll call vote 58 on passage of H.R. 596 (February 3, 2015)
- House roll call vote 478 on H.J. Res. 59 (September 20, 2013)
- House roll call vote 154 on passage of H.R. 45 (May 16, 2013)
- House roll call vote 88 on H. Con. Res. 25 (March 21, 2013)
- House roll call vote 460 on passage of H.R. 6079 (July 11, 2012)
- House roll call vote 151 on agreeing to H. Con. Res. 112 (March 29, 2012)
- House roll call vote 277 on agreeing to H. Con. Res. 34 (April 15, 2011)
- House roll call vote 14 on passage of H.R. 2 (January 19, 2011)