In the last two election cycles, Jeff Fortenberry has postured as an advocate for expanded health care. (For those of you who have been paying attention, you just can’t make this stuff up.) In the closing days of the 2018 campaign, Fortenberry ran a TV ad in which he falsely claimed that he supported pre-existing condition protections. Now that the long time Nebraska CD01 incumbent is facing a serious challenge from State Senator Kate Bolz, he is running as a champion of lower insulin and prescription drug costs.
As usual with the First CD Congressman, there is a large gap between his seemingly moderate rhetoric and his extreme right wing voting record. (Incidentally, Fortenberry’s former phony reputation as a moderate has been shattered by the new — and unwanted — attention he has gleaned due to his ardent support for Trump’s extreme agenda. He has not responded well to the increased scrutiny.)
Fortenberry’s record on health care issues is inexecrable. During the Obama Administration, Fortenberry voted to sabotage Obama Care by eliminating the insurance co-ops and ending the risk corridors program. Thousands of Nebraskans — including myself — lost good policies they liked with Co-Opportunity Insurance and were forced to purchase more expensive and inferior policies. Here in Nebraska, insurance premiums increased by 20% due to the sabotage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) by Fortenberry and his fellow D.C. Republicans.
The former Louisiana native has voted approximately 60 times to repeal the Affordable Care Act without a replacement plan. That would have taken away insurance from 20 million Americans and brought back the insurance industry’s hated pre-existing condition clauses.
When Fortenberry voted for the 2013 government shutdown aimed at repealing the ACA without a replacement plan, he said the following: “I’m thankful that as a federal worker I have had access to good health care and a subsidy, and I pay a certain amount for it. Those have been very beneficial to me. I recognize that not everybody has that out there.” Fortenberry’s elitist message: health care for me but not for thee!
Four years later, in 2017, Fortenberry voted for the Trump Care bill that would’ve thrown 20 million people off insurance coverage and gutted pre-existing condition protections. The bill was so bad that Fortenberry and the other House Republicans voted to exempt themselves from it. The House Republicans only reversed course after they got caught.
Former Obama adviser Dan Pfeiffer said it best about the the 2017 Fortenberry/Trump Care bill : “The only response to this vote is to organize so that the Republicans lose their jobs and have to get the shitty health care they voted for.”
In 2019, the CD01 incumbent voted two times in support of the Trump/Ricketts lawsuit aimed at invalidating the entire Affordable Care Act by judicial fiat. If Fortenberry “wins” his case, 23 million Americans would lose insurance and pre-existing condition protections would be eliminated during the middle of the worst pandemic since 1918!
As usual, Fortenberry says one thing in Nebraska and votes differently in Washington. When it comes to Fortenberry, voters are well advised to watch what he does and not what he says. The CD01 member of Congress invariably votes with Trump and his extreme party bosses. He is no moderate — it’s not even close.
State Senator Kate Bolz will protect and expand our health care security. Kate is a lifelong resident of CD01 and will put her constituents first — not the well heeled special interests.
The 2018 election results were evidence of Fortenberry fatigue in CD01. Democratic challenger Jessica McClure received 40% of the vote and carried Lancaster County. It was the best showing for a Democratic candidate in CD01 since 2006.
The long time Congressman simply obeys Trump and his party bosses in D.C. I expect 2020 to be a good cycle for the Democrats. Trump is an historically unpopular president and the failed policies of Trump and Fortenberry have devastated the people of Nebraska CD01. We simply can no longer afford Fortenberry.
This is our time! Let’s repeal and replace Fortenberry! Let’s send Kate Bolz to Washington!