Rep. Elissa Slotkin provides detailed, bipartisan approach to improving health care accessibility

 In Election, Fact Check

September 27, 2020

Slotkin revealed opponent’s “inch-deep” knowledge of key issues, including health care

DETROIT, Mich. – Rep. Elissa Slotkin (MI-8) highlighted her extensive record of bipartisan accomplishments during her first term in Congress and exposed her opponent’s failure to fight for Americans with pre-existing conditions during a WDIV debate that aired live on Sunday.

In a key exchange, Paul Junge mis-stated the facts of Slotkin’s own experience with health care: dealing with her mother’s pre-existing condition. Slotkin’s mother had breast cancer as a young mom and struggled to afford coverage for the rest of her life; when she was diagnosed with advanced ovarian cancer in 2009, she was without health coverage.

“With all due respect, if you’re going to talk about my mother’s case, then you shouldn’t talk about it without knowing anything about it,” Slotkin said. “My mother’s case wasn’t that she couldn’t afford insurance because of undue regulation. It’s because she had a pre-existing cancer that she had had 30 years ago. And that forever and ever and ever, every insurance company felt they could gouge her and charge her $1,000 a month and a $10,000 deductible. Please don’t speak about my mother as if you understand what made her health care unaffordable to her.”

Sunday’s debate was the second of three general election debates. Slotkin challenged Junge to the debates, one in each county of Michigan’s 8th, following the August primary.

Sunday wasn’t the first time Junge refused to answer direct questions about the Trump Administration’s attempts to remove protections for people with pre-existing conditions. During the candidates’ first debate, aired on Monday by WLNS in Lansing, Junge refused three times to tell voters whether he agreed with a Trump Administration lawsuit that would invalidate the ACA, including its protections for people with pre-existing conditions, falsely labeling support for the ACA, “arguments of the past.”

After Monday’s debate, Junge told reporters he hadn’t read the Trump administration and “didn’t know” whether the Trump administration was doing the right thing by pursuing the case.

In November, one week after Election Day, oral arguments of the Trump Administration’s lawsuit to invalidate the ACA are scheduled to be heard before the Supreme Court. Without Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Court, the Trump Administration is more likely than ever to be successful in its challenge. 

Slotkin highlighted key accomplishments during her first term in Congress, including supporting and passing bipartisan legislation in the House to lower prescription drug costs and working with the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus to kickstart stalled COVID-19 relief negotiations. Pressure from moderate democrats including Slotkin prompted House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to promise this week to take action on a new stimulus bill.

During Sunday’s debate, Slotkin further highlighted her work to bring manufacturing jobs back to Michigan, including passing in the House this week the bipartisan Strengthening America’s Strategic National Stockpile Act, a bill Slotin introduced in July to ensure that front-line health care workers never again face supply shortages like those they have faced during the COVID-19 pandemic by making more critical supplies here in the United States. And, she outlined the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus framework for COVID-19 relief that she helped release this week alongside the 25 Republicans and 25 Democrats of the caucus.

The third and final debate is scheduled for Oct. 6 in Howell, and will be broadcast live on WHMI-FM.

A career national security professional, Slotkin is a former CIA analyst who joined the agency after the Sept. 11 attacks and later served three tours in Iraq alongside the U.S. military. In her first term in office, she has written bipartisan legislation to address PFAS “forever chemicals” that was enacted into law, and the Real Time Benefits Act to increase transparency in prescription drug prices, which passed the House with bipartisan support. 

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