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Hawley, McCaskill battle over health care coverage

The Affordable Care Act is taking center stage in the race for Missouri’s U.S. Senate seat as incumbent Claire McCaskill lambastes Josh Hawley’s move to undo parts of ‘Obamacare.’

As Missouri Attorney General, Hawley joined 19 other Republican state officials in seeking to roll back ACA’s individual mandate as unconstitutional since the GOP zeroed out the penalty last year. Last week, President Donald Trump’s Department of Justice went further arguing that protections for pre-existing conditions, along with other provisions, are also unconstitutional.

Democrats and health groups in Missouri are slamming Hawley for his participation in the lawsuit, saying that it has lead to nearly 2.5 million Missourians being put at risk of losing their health insurance.

“While Hawley has made plenty of time for planning how to rip health care away from those who need it, he has yet to propose a single solution that would make healthcare more affordable or accessible for Missourians,” said an email from McCaskill’s campaign.

McCaskill called Hawley being part of the lawsuit is “not leadership — that’s abandonment.”

The Washington-based Bridge Project launched an ad attacking Hawley for his participation in the lawsuit.

“Josh Hawley’s starring role in this lawsuit is proof positive that he isn’t working for you — he’s working for himself. You can guarantee Democrats will hold Hawley accountable for his cruelty every day through November,” said American Bridge spokesperson Amelia Penniman.

At a campaign event on June 14, Hawley said he supports mandating that companies cover pre-existing conditions and minors on their parents’ insurance, but says there should be reforms to the ACA.

“It’s time to make insurance companies compete again for families’ business, bring down healthcare costs, put families back in charge of their own healthcare,” he said.  

President Trump endorsed Hawley via Twitter on June 13.

Hawley and McCaskill are both running for U.S. Senate in a field that has more the 20 candidates. It is widely believed that after the August primary, the competitive race will be between Hawley and McCaskill — neither candidate has acknowledge any of the others in the race.