Government

Rod Blum pushes back on ad criticizing his health care vote

'This ad is factually inaccurate and meant to mislead'

(File photo) US Rep. Rod Blum speaks at the Linn County Republican Party convention at Elmcrest Country Club in Cedar Rapids on Saturday, March 10, 2018. (Cliff Jette/The Gazette)
(File photo) US Rep. Rod Blum speaks at the Linn County Republican Party convention at Elmcrest Country Club in Cedar Rapids on Saturday, March 10, 2018. (Cliff Jette/The Gazette)

CEDAR RAPIDS — A coalition labor union and liberal interest groups are targeting U.S. Rep. Rod Blum for his vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

Keep Iowa Healthy has released a new television and online advertisement called “Didn’t Ask,” at https://bit.ly/2tEL9zO, that features Robin Stone of Manchester talking about the importance of maintaining protections for people with pre-existing conditions.

If ACA protections for people such as her with a pre-existing condition are eliminated, “insurance could jack up their rates to a point where there’s no way we could afford to pay,” Stone says.

“My husband and I both have good jobs, we both work full time, we pay our bills — you know we do the whole middle-class lifestyle,” Stone says in the ad. “I don’t think Rob Blum can understand. He doesn’t live the life that we do.”

However, a spokeswoman for Blum, a Dubuque Republican who is seeking re-election to a third term, said he voted for the American Health Care Act that prohibited insurance companies from denying or not renewing coverage due to a pre-existing condition.

Also, he supported allocating states more than $135 billion to assist in providing coverage and lowering costs for patients who would be considered high risk, such as those with pre-existing conditions, Alexah Rogge said.

Keep Iowa Healthy cited a report from the Center for American Progress that Blum’s vote to repeal the ACA would put nearly 1.3 million Iowans with pre-existing conditions at risk of losing coverage, including 174,000 children.

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In Iowa’s 1st District — covering 20 counties that include Cedar Rapids, Cedar Falls. Waterloo, Dubuque and Marshalltown — 318,300 Iowans have pre-existing conditions, including 42,500 children.

Rogge countered that the ACA “failed the people of Iowa by causing an increase in premiums of over 57 percent in 2018 alone, and Congressman Blum is doing everything in his power to fix the health care system.

“This ad is factually inaccurate and meant to mislead,” she said.

Keep Iowa Healthy is a coalition of that includes the Iowa Alliance for Retired Americans, Iowa Citizen Action Network, Americans for Democratic Action Iowa, Progress Iowa and Iowa Main Street Alliance.

The groups will air 30-second and 60-second versions of the ad on television across the district as well as in online ads.

In addition to the 30-second advertisement, a 60-second version of “Didn’t Ask” will air as well at https://bit.ly/2KcMh9e. Both the 30- and 60-second advertisements will air on television throughout the 1st District, as well as in online ads.

l Comments: (319) 398-8375; james.lynch@thegazette.com

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