Three Years After McCain 'No' Vote, McSally Still Supports Lawsuit to Repeal ACA

by Lucas Acosta

In 2017, McSally famously said "let's get this F&*^ing thing done" before voting to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

Three years ago today, late Senator John McCain voted 'no' on a bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act that would have threatened health care access for nearly 3 million Arizonans with pre-existing conditions, but his replacement, appointed Senator Martha McSally, is supporting a lawsuit that would eliminate the entire Affordable Care Act.

In 2017, McSally famously said "let's get this F&*^ing thing done" before voting to repeal the Affordable Care Act, the only law banning insurance companies from discriminating against people with pre-existing conditions and LGBTQ patients. That repeal bill passed the U.S. House but was thwarted by a last minute 'no' vote from Senator John McCain.

McSally and her colleagues then included a provision in the 2017 tax law that Republican lawmakers are using as the basis for the health care repeal lawsuit. If successful, the lawsuit will throw millions of Americans off of their health insurance in the middle of the ongoing pandemic.

“Three years ago, John McCain put the interests of Arizonans ahead of his party,” said HRC Arizona State Director Bridget Sharpe. "Martha McSally did not, and will not. Rather than working on behalf of what's best for Arizonans McSally has acted as a rubber stamp for Mitch McConnell and his far-right agenda. We need a leader who will work to improve Arizonans lives each and every day, we need Mark Kelly.”

As a result of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), thousands of low-income people living with HIV have been able to obtain health insurance through the Medicaid expansion. This critical coverage ensures that people living with HIV have access to lifesaving treatments. McSally’s vote to repeal the ACA would have resulted in drastic changes to Medicaid, stripping these people, and other vulnerable populations, of essential healthcare coverage.

McSally’s pattern of not standing up for Arizonans and their health care is especially troublesome as America deals with the COVD-19 pandemic. In 2017, McSally voted to slash $1 billion in funds for the CDC’s Prevention and Public Health Fund, including hundreds of millions set aside “for detecting and responding to infectious diseases and other public health threats.” McSally has refused to speak out against the Trump Administration’s ongoing attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, saying, “it’s not my role” to get involved.

HRC published a research brief outlining the particular health and economic risks faced by the LGBTQ community during the COVID-19 public health crisis. Many in the LGBTQ community are uniquely vulnerable, as they are more likely to work jobs in highly affected industries, often with more exposure and/or higher economic sensitivity to the COVID-19 crisis, are less likely to have health coverage and are more likely to smoke and have chronic illnesses like asthma.