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Lies don’t get more brazen than the one Rohrabacher is telling his constituents about health care

Talking the talk while walking backward.

CREDIT: SCREENGRAB
CREDIT: SCREENGRAB

On Wednesday afternoon, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) shared a touching campaign video detailing how his daughter Annika’s leukemia diagnosis made the need to protect people with pre-existing conditions personal for him.

“Politicians argue a lot about health care, but for me, it’s personal,” Rohrabacher says, while standing next to his daughter. “When my daughter Annika was 8 years old, she was afflicted with leukemia. It was devastating to my family, but we got through it. Today, she’s doing great.”

“So for her and all our families, we must protect America’s health care system,” he continues. “That’s why I’m taking on both parties and fighting for those with pre-existing conditions.”

But Rohrabacher’s words are belied by his actions. Last year, he voted for the American Health Care Act (AHCA), or as it is sometimes known, Trumpcare. That bill stood to cost 24 million-plus people their health insurance over a decade, while making coverage more expensive for people who need it the most — including the 100 million Americans with pre-existing medical conditions.

To justify his vote, Rohrabacher released a statement lying to his constituents.

“While a different approach, it is no less committed to covering Americans with pre-existing conditions,” Rohrabacher claimed, falsely.

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With regard to health care policy, a number of Republicans are running on straight-up lies this election cycle. ThinkProgress has detailed how Rep. George Holding (R-NC), Rep. Steve Chabot (R-OH), Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV), Missouri U.S. Senate candidate Josh Hawley (R), and Rep. David Young (R-IA) are all trying to gaslight voters in a manner similar to Rohrabacher.

During recent speeches — including one on Tuesday — President Trump has taken to saying things like, “I will always protect Americans with pre-existing conditions. That’s a major part of what I’m all about.” In fact, Trump spent much of his first year in office working tirelessly to strip legal protections from people with pre-existing conditions.

As ThinkProgress has explained, there’s a simple reason why Republicans are running on lies — telling the truth about what they stand for could cost them the election.

The reason these incumbents are so eager to mislead voters about their records on this particular issue is obvious: A July poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that a candidate’s position on pre-existing conditions protections was the top health-care issue for voters, with 63 percent identifying it as at least a “very important factor” in their vote. Even 49 percent of Republicans put the issue in that category of importance. A June NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll found health care was the top voting issue for registered voters.