TIME Magazine Features Story on OH-14

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, November 1, 2018
Contact: Brexton Isaacs, Brexton@BetsyRaderForCongress.com

TIME Magazine Features Story on OH-14
Piece highlights the role healthcare is playing for voters and in the campaign

Novelty, OH – On Thursday, TIME Magazine reporter Haley Sweetland Edwards published a story highlighting the role healthcare is playing for voters in Ohio’s 14th Congressional District and how it’s impacting the race between Betsy Rader and Congressman David Joyce.

Sweetland Edwards joined Betsy Rader on the trail in September for one of her signature living room listening sessions in Hudson where she notes that “Rader’s primary message was safeguarding health care.” The story highlights Kevin Johnson and Christine Callahan, OH-14 voters and business owners who say the Affordable Care Act made a significant, positive impact on their lives and that they want Congress to fix rather than repeal the ACA.

The piece also makes note of Congressman Joyce’s ‘finger-to-the-wind’ strategy on healthcare. Sweetland Edwards writes that Joyce previously campaigned “on a promise to eliminate Obamacare,” and that he “voted to repeal the ACA 31 times–a record he once touted proudly on his website.” But now, “Joyce is singing a different tune,” as he faces “an unexpectedly stiff challenge from Democrat Betsy Rader, a civil rights attorney and former health care lawyer.” Joyce’s campaign ran an ad that distances himself from the “Republicans’ attempt to repeal the ACA last year,” and Joyce’s “previous voting record on repealing Obamacare also no longer appears on his site.” But, in an October interview, “Joyce seemed to return to his previous position. “I’d vote to repeal [the ACA] tomorrow,” the Congressman told the Wall Street Journal.”

TIME Magazine: Forget ‘Repeal and Replace.’ The One Issue Unifying Americans Is Affordable Health Care

November 1, 2018
Haley Sweetland Edwards
Key Points:

  • It’s a Republican-leaning district that Barack Obama lost by less than a point in 2008 and Trump won by 11 in 2016. Since 2013 it has been represented in the U.S. House by Republican Dave Joyce, who campaigned back then on a promise to eliminate Obamacare. Joyce voted to repeal the ACA 31 times–a record he once touted proudly on his website.
  • But this year Joyce is singing a different tune. Facing an unexpectedly stiff challenge from Democrat Betsy Rader, a civil rights attorney and former health care lawyer, Joyce has recently campaigned on his decision to vote against his fellow Republicans’ attempt to repeal the ACA last year. “When Republican leaders in Congress tried to take away protections for people with pre-existing conditions, I said no,” he said in an August political ad that ran locally. His previous voting record on repealing Obamacare also no longer appears on his site. Two months later, Joyce seemed to return to his previous position. “I’d vote to repeal [the ACA] tomorrow,” the Congressman told the Wall Street Journal in October. (Joyce’s campaign did not respond to TIME’s multiple requests for an interview.) A large number of his constituents benefit directly from Obamacare: last year, roughly 33,000 people in Ohio’s 14th received health coverage through the law, according to Kaiser.
  • On a cool, sunny day in late September, about four dozen voters gathered in a well-appointed living room in the upscale Cleveland suburb of Hudson, Ohio, to meet Rader. The Democratic candidate’s short speech covered the party’s key talking points, from curbing corruption to protecting the environment. But Rader’s primary message was safeguarding health care. “It’s the most important issue to families here,” Rader tells TIME, sitting behind the desk in her small campaign office a short drive away, in Willoughby, Ohio. “People are literally terrified at the prospect of losing protections for pre-existing conditions.”
  • Like many Democratic candidates running in Republican districts this cycle, Rader’s solution is a reflection of toolmaker Kevin Johnson’s admonition to keep what works and fix what doesn’t. Rader wants to preserve the ACA’s Medicaid expansion and other patient protections. And to combat rising costs, she wants to allow middle-class families to purchase a relatively inexpensive Medicare plan on the ACA exchanges, in the same way they can now purchase private insurance there. Rader’s proposal, which is often known as the public option or Medicare-X, has been around for years. (It was originally popularized by two moderate Democrats, Senators Tim Kaine of Virginia and Michael Bennet of Colorado.) In 2013, the Congressional Budget Office calculated that such a plan would reduce the federal deficit by $158 billion over a decade; the savings would come from decreasing the amount the government currently pays in federal subsidies to underwrite the purchase of private health plans.
  • Conservatives have long opposed proposals allowing people to buy into public Medicare or Medicaid plans, painting them as a prelude to socialized medicine. In Ohio’s 14th District, Joyce ran ads arguing Rader’s support for a public option amounted to a government takeover of health care, a once potent GOP attack line. But the politics are changing, and a growing number of voters are jumping on the “preserve and fix” bandwagon. Legislators in roughly a dozen states have considered proposals that would allow people to purchase plans from state-based Medicaid programs. In New Mexico, legislators recently passed a measure to study how a Medicaid buy-in option would work on its exchange.