People For the American Way

Ben Jealous: Ernst’s “Actions Speak Louder Than Words”

Op-Ed
Ben Jealous: Ernst’s “Actions Speak Louder Than Words”

In a new op-ed in the Carroll Times Herald, PFAW President Ben Jealous emphasizes Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst’s complicity in endangering Iowans’ access to health care through her votes to confirm Donald Trump’s judicial appointees.

Jealous notes that many of Trump’s confirmed judges have sought to eliminate the Affordable Care Act’s preexisting-conditions mandate and highlights that Ernst herself has been cruelly insensitive to Americans’ suffering amid the COVID-19 pandemic. He writes:

“Back in 2018, Ernst issued a statement saying, ‘It is important that we protect people with preexisting conditions.’ … But if Ernst meant to reassure Iowans with her words, her actions tell a very different story. Time after time, she has voted to confirm judicial nominees who are opposed to upholding preexisting-conditions coverage, and are actively taking steps to undermine it.

She [also] recently announced that she is skeptical about surging numbers of COVID patients, suggesting that the numbers are inflated by health care workers who are paid a premium for treating these patients. This is a disgusting allegation that reveals an extraordinarily callous attitude toward a major public health crisis … And yet it is not surprising, given how insincere Ernst’s ‘commitment’ to protecting people with preexisting conditions has turned out to be.”

Read the full op-ed here.