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“Health Care Is On The Ballot:” Battleground Democrats Slam Trump & Pence’s Health Care Record, Failed Pandemic Response

Rep. Donna Shalala: “It didn’t have to be this way ... It has been a disaster.”

Democrats across the battleground states are calling out Donald Trump and Mike Pence’s broken promises, highlighting their failed pandemic response and continued attacks on Americans’ health coverage, including protections for preexisting conditions like cancer, asthma, and COVID-19.

See for yourself:

In Arizona:

Peoria Times: “Yesterday, the Arizona Democratic Party held a press conference highlighting what it called the administration’s ‘relentless attempts to strip away health care coverage and deny pre-existing conditions protections.’ During the press conference, local Gilbert resident Davis Romney said, ‘My dad always taught me actions speak louder than words. All I see are the actions of Donald Trump and Mike Pence trying to get rid of insurance coverage for millions of working Americans and eliminate the protections for pre-existing conditions. That is morally reprehensible.’” 

KYMA: “On Wednesday, Arizona Democrats held a Zoom meeting where they discussed health care. Democratic leaders don't believe the Trump Administration has done a good job. Former Sen. John McCain's State Director, Bettina Nava, is a Republican who ended the Zoom meeting with an endorsement for the Biden and Harris ticket.” 

In Colorado:

Colorado Politics: “Colorado Democratic Party Chair Morgan Carroll, had high praise for Harris and her historic candidacy — after denouncing the Trump administration's record. ‘As Mike Pence has done for the past four years, he defended Trump’s indefensible record of failure. From the start of the pandemic, Pence and Trump’s utter mismanagement of the pandemic has wreaked havoc on Coloradans’ health and economic security.” 

In Florida:

Palm Beach Post: As state death toll surpasses 15,000, Democrats take aim at Pence. “Hoping to frame the vice presidential debate before it began, a Boynton Beach doctor and a former national health secretary on Wednesday blasted the Trump administration for allowing the coronavirus pandemic to spin out of control. U.S. Rep. Donna Shalala, secretary of health and human services in the Obama administration, said Vice President Mike Pence, chair of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, should be held accountable for the deadly march of the virus. ‘It didn’t have to be this way,’ the Miami Democrat said on a day that Florida surpassed 15,000 deaths from COVID-19. ‘They’ve done everything to undermine our world-class institutions and our world-class scientists,’ she said during a video press conference hosted by the Florida Democratic Party. ‘It has been a disaster.’”

Florida Politics: ‘What manner of man would do this?’ Dems blast Donald Trump, Mike Pence over stalled COVID-19 relief bill. “[State Senator José Javier] Rodríguez argued Pence would have to answer for the federal response to the outbreak. ‘We are going to hear from him in his capacity as the chair of the White House Coronavirus Task Force seven months into an unprecedented pandemic and economic crisis where they still do not have a plan.’ Added [state House candidate] Kayser Enneking of the response, ‘This is an abomination. This is not the United States of America and the response that we expect from our political leaders.’ Shalala, too, predictably bashed the Republican VP ahead of the debate. ‘They failed to control the pandemic. Their promises to Floridians about helping us get through this crisis have gone unfulfilled.’”

In Georgia:

WGXA: “‘I want to see her hold Mike Pence’s feet to the fire with his failed leadership on the pandemic task force,’ [state Representative Miriam Paris] says ... Paris mentions that there have been 200,000 American deaths due to COVID-19, and that is 200,000 too many.”

In Maine: 

ME Dems: Ahead of Vice Presidential Debate, Maine Democrats Discuss Trump’s Threats to Medicare and Social Security: “‘I’ve worked all my life and at the very end things really started to unravel, and I would have become — without Medicare — one of those people who suffered bankruptcy simply because of health issues,’ said Chuck Morrison of Portland. ‘It’s the number one reason for personal bankruptcy in this country — medical costs.’”

In Michigan: 

MI Dems: Michigan Democrats Slam Republican Attacks on Health Care Ahead of VP Debate, ACA Court Case. “‘I’ve been living with diabetes for 23 years, and I have personally seen the price of my insulin skyrocket,’ said patient advocate Sarah Stark. ‘While this is happening, leaders in this country have been working hard to strip us of our very basic protections ... It’s dehumanizing to see elected officials attempt to strip these protections away, especially as COVID continues to devastate immunocompromised, disabled, and elderly communities.’”

In Minnesota: 

MN DFL: Minnesota Leaders Call Out Trump’s Failed Leadership on Health Care Ahead of Vice Presidential Debate. “[Chisholm resident Dawn Burfin]: ‘So it just really angers me to think that some people don’t think that we are worth anything, that the people that have pre-existing conditions that we don’t matter that are almost like we’re disposable, or unworthy. And so, I’m really pissed about that. That’s what gets me.’”

In Nevada:

Reno Gazette-Journal: Nevada lawmakers condemn Pence rally plan after suspected ‘superspreader’ White House event. “‘I am horrified by Mike Pence and this entire administration’s constant attempts to gaslight the American people and doubt the severity of this crisis,’ Nevada Sen. Yvanna Cancela said.” 

Las Vegas Review-Journal: “During a DNC call with reporters before the debate, Nevada state Sen. Yvanna Cancela questioned whether Pence should visit after 1,600 Nevadans died from the virus. ‘It didn’t have to be that bad,’ she said of the state’s death toll and economic damage. Cancela recalled Trump’s remarks to the Review-Journal before a rally in Henderson last month, in which he appeared unconcerned about any health risk to attendees. Pence, she argued, was following the same playbook by holding a rally in Boulder City.” 

KSNV: “Nevada Democrats were quick to criticize Pence's appearance, with Sen. Jacky Rosen saying the Trump administration failed to contain the coronavirus outbreak. ‘Donald Trump and Mike Pence knew how dangerous the virus was and downplayed it anyway,’ Rosen said in a statement released by the Nevada State Democratic Party on Thursday. ‘They failed to provide a national response or vital federal resources like testing equipment and PPE to states that needed them the most, like Nevada.’”

In Ohio:

OH Dems: Ahead of VP Debate, Black Ohioans Call Out Trump/Pence Failures on Health Care and Coronavirus. “Ahead of tonight’s vice presidential debate, the Ohio Democratic Party conducted a virtual roundtable with Ohio Democratic Party Vice Chairwoman Rhine McLin, Ohio Legislative Black Caucus President Stephanie Howse and Cincinnati mother Antroinette Worsham to call out the Trump administration’s failures on health care and the coronavirus crisis, which have disproportionately impacted the African-American community.” 

In Pennsylvania: 

The Citizens’ Voice: Luzerne County Democrats tout support for Biden’s plans. “‘It will be folks like us who bear the scars,’ [Luzerne County Democratic Party Chairwoman Kathy] Bozinski said during a virtual news conference Wednesday prior to the vice presidential debate between Vice President Mike Pence and Sen. Kamala Harris. ‘We’ve lost jobs. We’ve lost hours, pay and health care.’ Bozinski said the COVID-19 pandemic personally affected her as her job at the United Way of Wyoming Valley was eliminated as well as her health care. While searching for a good health care package, she said, ‘Trust me when I tell you, the struggle is real.’”


Wilkes-Barre Times Leader: Democrats: Biden, not Trump, will deliver jobs to Pennsylvania. “‘Four years ago, Donald Trump said he would grow jobs in Pennsylvania,’ Bozinski said. ‘The people of Pennsylvania are still waiting.’ Bozinski said the 2020 campaign is a battle of ‘wealth over work — Park Avenue versus Pennsylvania.’ She said Biden and his economic plan, ‘Build Back Better,’ will create millions of better-paying jobs and will keep unions strong.”

In Virginia: 

VA Dems: VA Democrats, Congressional Candidate Dr. Cameron Webb Discuss Importance Of Rural Health Care And Protecting The Affordable Care Act. “‘What people often lose sight of is that in the 5th Congressional district, the largest employer is the health care sector … When these hospitals close, it reverberates. It’s not just a loss of health care access, it’s a loss of economic resources, it’s a loss of jobs, the loss of a lifeblood for a community,’ said Dr. Cameron Webb, candidate for Virginia’s 5th Congressional District. ‘I’m on the Medicaid board in Virginia, and we are all proud of the Medicaid expansion and the nearly 470,000 Virginians who got coverage, but I want to put it in context of this pandemic. Because during COVID, when people are losing jobs, when employers aren’t able to provide coverage for lots of reasons, 136,000 Virginians gained coverage through Medicaid. Without it, they would have been in a really tough spot.’”

In Wisconsin: 

The Cap Times: Appleton Resident Sarah Conklin: Vote for candidates who will protect our health care. “Trump still hasn’t announced his health care plan, even as he relentlessly attacks the Affordable Care Act in court. After his failure to respond to COVID-19 when it could have made a difference, more than 1,300 Wisconsinites have died and our state’s economy is in turmoil … For the sake of people like me with preexisting conditions, for your family, for your community, and for your country, please vote for the candidates who take this crisis seriously and are doing everything possible to keep us safe. Health care is on the ballot this November, and that’s why it’s critical we elect Democrats up and down the ticket.”

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