All Talk, No Truth: Fact Checking Dan Crenshaw’s New ‘Health Care’ Ad
September 17, 2020
HOUSTON, Texas -- Today, Congressman Dan Crenshaw released the latest coverup ad for his abysmal health care record. And just in case you thought he was telling the truth, we’re here to set the record straight. In the new ad, Dan makes four claims about what he’ll do.
Two of his claims — “decrease your costs with more choice and transparency” and “increase your access to doctors you trust” — were too vague for anyone to fact check. His other two claims? Flat-out lies. See more below.
Dan’s Claim: “My plan? Hold big pharma accountable.”
Fact Check: FALSE
Congressman Crenshaw promised to vote for allowing Medicare to negotiate the cost of prescription drug prices. Instead, he filled his campaign coffers with Pharma cash in Washington, scrubbed that campaign promise off his website, and voted against a bipartisan effort to lower the cost of prescription drugs. While HR 3 was not perfect, Crenshaw is now leaning on a hollow, ineffective GOP alternative — HR 19 — that has no forcing mechanism for lowering prescription costs, no bipartisan support, and no measures to allow Medicare to negotiate the prices of medications.
In fact, Health Affairs notes that Dan’s bill “does not constrain pharmaceutical companies from increasing the prices of their drugs over time, nor does it constrain high launch prices in the first instance.” They also note that Dan’s plan is “fairly narrow” and “would largely not help Americans with private insurance.”
And Protect Our Care’s Anne Shoup called H.R. 19 “a joke of a bill” meant to make it look like Republicans were taking action on prescription drug costs without proposing anything that would upset the pharmaceutical industry.
Dan’s Claim: “And protect those with pre-existing conditions.”
Fact Check: VERY FALSE
Congressman Crenshaw voted not once, but twice in support of the Trump administration’s lawsuit to dismantle Affordable Care Act — which would strip health care from nearly 2 million of Dan’s fellow Texans. For context, Crenshaw has more than 340,000 constituents with pre-existing conditions — 51 percent of his district.
Congressman Crenshaw voted against the 2020 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Enhancement Act (HR 1425), which would have strengthened protections for Americans’ health care by expanding insurance subsidies for the middle class, providing $200 million in funding for states to establish state-based marketplaces, and incentivizing states to expand medicaid.
In the same bill, Congressman Crenshaw also voted to allow the Trump administration to continue pushing discriminatory short-term insurance plans. A House investigative report found that these short-term waiver plans discriminate against people with pre-existing conditions by flat-out denying coverage or excluding coverage for certain pre-existing conditions, including pregnancy. Even AARP has spoken out against this measure, noting that the plan Crenshaw supports puts “vulnerable groups at risk” while “threatening key ACA consumer protections and encouraging waivers that could hurt older adults.”
Instead, Crenshaw is supporting HR 692 — a bill that is now opposed by the American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association, the Susan G. Komen Foundation, the American Lung Association, the American Diabetes Association, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Family Voices, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, the National Health Council, the American Liver Foundation, the Chronic Disease Coalition, the ALS Association, the National Patient Advocate Foundation, the National Kidney Foundation, March of Dimes, the United Way, the Cancer Support Community, and many more leading health advocacy organizations who are “concerned that the policies outlined in these bills fall far short of the comprehensive protections and coverage expansion included in current law [the Affordable Care Act].”
Unlike the Affordable Care Act, Crenshaw’s HR 692 bill does not specify what treatments insurance has to cover, does not ban annual or lifetime caps on coverage, and does not ban gender discrimination. And according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Dan’s plan also does not require health care plans to cover ambulatory care, hospitalization, maternity care, mental health and addiction treatment, pediatric care, and laboratory services — all of which were covered under the ACA.
Crenshaw will try to claim that this bandaid bill will protect people with pre-existing conditions and outlaw discriminatory premiums, but that’s not what the bill says. As the New York Times notes, the bill itself states that “it shall not be construed to restrict the amount that an employer or an individual may be charged for coverage,” and “Republicans said their purpose here was to make clear that the federal government could not tell health insurance plans what to charge.”
In response, TX-02 Democratic nominee Sima Ladjevardian issued the following statement:
“Congressman Dan Crenshaw is taking his shamelessness to a whole new level with these outright health care lies. While Dan confidently deceives Houston’s families on television and gaslights his constituents, we’re holding him accountable for gutting our health care and breaking his promise to allow Medicare to negotiate prescription drug prices. Dan went to Washington as an independent voice, and came back as Big Pharma’s puppet. I’m ready to be the health care advocate our community deserves in Congress, and Dan Crenshaw owes his neighbors an apology for broadcasting these falsehoods with such blatant disregard for the truth.”
Sima Ladjevardian (SEE-ma LAHJ-ee-VAR-DEE-un) is a lawyer, a mother of two, a breast cancer survivor, and a political activist who has called Houston home for more than 30 years. After fleeing the political upheaval of the Iranian Revolution, her family immigrated to the United States for their shot at the American Dream. Eventually settling in Houston, Sima has become a local leader in cross-cultural dialogue, bringing Texans of all backgrounds and faiths together for social justice. As an activist, she has worked tirelessly to turn Texas blue and elect candidates up and down the ballot — all while serving senior roles in Beto O’Rourke's senate and presidential campaigns. She has been recognized by the University of Houston for her tireless philanthropic and nonprofit work in the community, and she is fueled by the desire to fight for quality, affordable health care, justice, and unity in the United States Congress.
Sima has been added to DCCC’s Red to Blue Program and endorsed by EMILY’s List, Congressional Black Caucus PAC, BOLD PAC, End Citizens United, Planned Parenthood, AFL-CIO, AAPI Victory Fund, AAA Fund, Emgage PAC, Giffords PAC, Brady PAC, NARAL Pro-Choice America, Human Rights Campaign, NewDems Action Fund, Texas American Federation of Teachers, Foreign Policy for America, ASPIRE PAC, President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, Senator Elizabeth Warren, Senator Cory Booker, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, former US Senate/presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke, former Sec. of HUD/presidential candidate Julían Castro, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, Congresswoman Sylvia Garcia, and Congresswoman Katie Porter.