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Josh Hawley, Missouri's Republican Attorney General, would very much like to replace Claire McCaskill in the US Senate. And this week, he released one of the most spectacularly dishonest ads of the election season, saying that, as a parent of a child with a rare illness, he understands why Americans are concerned about preexisting conditions, and vowing he supports "forcing insurance companies to cover all pre-existing conditions." Funny thing, though! As state attorney general, Hawley is actually one of the 20 Republican officials from red states who are suing to eliminate Obamacare's protections for people with preexisting conditions! As hypocritical ads go, this one's a doozy!


Here's Hawley being folksy and lying his ass off about how much he "cares" -- about his own kid, at least.

What a loving, individually responsible dude Josh Hawley is!

We've got two perfect little boys. Just ask their mama. Earlier this year, we learned our oldest has a rare chronic disease, a pre-existing condition. We know what that's like.

I'm Josh Hawley. I support forcing insurance companies to cover all pre-existing conditions — and Claire McCaskill knows it. You deserve a senator who's driven to fix this mess, not one that's just trying to hang on to her office, and that's why I approve this message.

It's all beautiful and sun-drenched and loving, and we certainly hope Hawley's little boy gets the best possible medical care. We also sort of wish there's a Hell for Josh Hawley to go to for participating in the Republican lawsuit being led by Texas AG Ken Paxton, which really, truly seeks to eliminate all of the ACA's protections for people with pre-existing conditions. The legal arguments are a crock of shit, but the federal judge in Fort Worth presiding over the case seems to think they're brilliant.

Hey, you notice anything missing from Hawley's ad? Any specifics at all about what he would do to protect patients with pre-existing conditions. Maybe he means he supports the crappy Republican bill that's jokingly titled the "Ensuring Coverage for Patients with Pre-Existing Conditions Act," which only pretends to protect anyone: It would indeed prohibit insurers from refusing to sell policies to people with preexisting conditions. But it would allow insurers to jack up rates for a broad range of conditions (like having ladyparts) and best of all, it would allow insurers to refuse to cover any care for preexisting conditions. So if you've had a heart attack, you can definitely buy health insurance. Just don't expect that policy to cover cardiovascular treatment or anything related to your condition. But you might be in great shape if you're hit by a bus -- just as long as you don't have another heart attack when you see the bus out of the corner of your eye.

Mind you, Hawley has become very, very cagey about what exactly he does support. Just that he definitely is concerned about your preexisting conditions, especially if you're his little kid. And as McCaskill has called him out for his role in attacking the ACA's protections for preexisting conditions, he's also gone silent about his role in the lawsuit, if you can believe that:

He proudly touted his role in the case in February, announcing in a news release that his office "will continue to fight to take health care choices out of the hands of bureaucrats and return them to the hands of Missourians and their physicians."

The attorney general's office has carefully avoided answering media inquiries about what role, if any, Hawley is taking as the Texas lawsuit moves forward, and his campaign appears to have been rushed into emergency hair-splitting surgery, insisting the lawsuit "is about the individual mandate. It's unconstitutional for the government to force us to buy something we don't want." Of course, if the R states win, that will result in the complete elimination of protections for the 130 million Americans who have pre-existing conditions, but heavens, isn't that like saying there was a "family separation" policy when in reality there was merely a zero tolerance policy that resulted in family separations?

With Americans saying healthcare is their top issue in the midterms, and with 75 percent of respondents in the most recent Kaiser Family Foundation poll saying it's "very important" for the ACA's preexisting condition protections to remain the law, it's not surprising at all that Rs are lying like crazy about their commitment to ensuring such protections, even as fact checks keep exposing the lies. F'rinstance, Ted Cruz is a big fan of the Texas lawsuit against the ACA, but at last Friday's debate with Beto O'Rourke, Cruz lied his gross booger-eating face off, insisting, "everyone agrees we're going to protect pre-existing conditions."

Yeah, that's from the guy whose "Cruz Amendment" to the ACA repeal bill last year would have eliminated those protections. Funny how that was in an off year, huh?

Gosh, who to believe? We're going to go with the people who passed the ACA and who support Medicare for All, thanks. Ds are clearly paying attention to the polls, since half of the Dem ads so far in this election cycle have been about healthcare. Now that Republicans have noticed people actually care about pre-existing conditions, get ready for even more of them to lie about how much they "care" about healthcare, too. And no, they're not above using their own sick kids to do it.

[WaPo / McClatchy / ThinkProgress / East Texas Matters]

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Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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