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The Rev. Raphael Warnock's first run for public office was in the 2020 special election for the U.S. Senate seat held by Republican Kelly Loeffler. The two face off in a runoff on Jan. 5, 2021. (AP) The Rev. Raphael Warnock's first run for public office was in the 2020 special election for the U.S. Senate seat held by Republican Kelly Loeffler. The two face off in a runoff on Jan. 5, 2021. (AP)

The Rev. Raphael Warnock's first run for public office was in the 2020 special election for the U.S. Senate seat held by Republican Kelly Loeffler. The two face off in a runoff on Jan. 5, 2021. (AP)

Tom Kertscher
By Tom Kertscher November 20, 2020

Claim that Ga. Sen. Kelly Loeffler backs ‘getting rid of health care’ partly correct

If Your Time is short

  • Warnock said that Loeffler wants to get rid of “health care.” His wording offered no specifics on her health care policies or positions.

  • Loeffler voted to allow the Trump administration to proceed with supporting a lawsuit that seeks to overturn the Affordable Care Act. Eliminating Obamacare would take away health coverage for millions of people.

  • But Loeffler has not proposed getting rid of health care per se and she has proposed alternatives to Obamacare, although critics say some alternatives are less robust.

Attacks are going extreme in the two Jan. 5 runoff elections in Georgia that will determine which party controls the U.S. Senate.

The Rev. Raphael Warnock, a Democrat who is challenging Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler, was accused by a conservative pundit of running over his wife and having been arrested for obstructing a child abuse investigation. We rated the claim, misleading on both counts, Mostly False.

In a lighter response, Warnock used a TV ad to poke fun at attacks on him. "Raphael Warnock eats pizza with a fork and knife, Raphael Warnock once stepped on a crack in the sidewalk, Raphael Warnock even hates puppies," the narrator says, before Warnock makes an attack of his own. 

"Get ready, Georgia, the negative ads are coming," a smiling Warnock says. "Kelly Loeffler doesn’t want to talk about why she’s for getting rid of health care in the middle of a pandemic, so she’s going to try and scare you with lies about me."  

He’s made the health care attack repeatedly.

This claim exaggerates, but has some truth to it.

Loeffler supports repealing Obamacare

To back Warnock’s attack, his campaign cited Loeffler’s Oct. 1 vote to allow the Trump administration to proceed with its support of a lawsuit that aims to overturn the Affordable Care Act. (The specific measure would have blocked the Justice Department from pursuing the lawsuit; Loeffler voted against it.)

Overturning Obamacare would eliminate the law’s protections for millions of people with pre-existing conditions. The protections include preventing insurance companies from excluding those people from coverage and limiting the premiums that can be charged to older people.

RELATED: PolitiFact fact-checks and articles about the Georgia runoffs

While it’s possible the U.S. Supreme Court, which heard oral arguments in the lawsuit Nov. 10, could strike down the entire law, law experts say that’s not the most likely outcome. Still, the lawsuit’s aim is to repeal the law entirely.

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Warnock’s campaign also argues that the lawsuit would eliminate health care coverage for millions of people who are insured through marketplaces set up by Obamacare or through the law’s expansion of Medicaid. 

The New York Times reported that if Obamacare is struck down, 21 million people are at serious risk of becoming uninsured.

Obamacare alternatives not as strong

In addition, Warnock’s campaign cites Loeffler’s support for two measures that would provide health coverage options that it criticizes, arguing that they would result in a loss of health care. 

Loeffler supports allowing for more short-term, limited-duration health insurance plans, which she says gives consumers more options. Those plans are exempt from Obamacare’s protections for pre-existing conditions, however.

Loeffler also backed a controversial Medicaid waiver, sought by Republican Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp and approved by the federal government. Kemp contends the waiver will help residents who make too much to qualify for Medicaid but too little to qualify for subsidies on the federal marketplace. 

But some 400,000 Georgians who bought individual health insurance plans on the federal healthcare.gov Affordable Care Act shopping website will instead have to work through private brokers or insurance companies., Critics say 60,000 Georgians could be left without health insurance.

Railing against what she calls the left’s efforts to turn health care into a government-run system, Loeffler on Nov. 13 released a health care plan that she says will protect people with pre-existing conditions while offering them more options. It includes the short-term plans and the Medicaid waiver. It does not include the same robust protections that the federal Affordable Care Act has. 

Our ruling

Warnock said Loeffler is "for getting rid of health care in the middle of a pandemic." That’s an overly broad statement that could be interpreted any number of ways. 

The facts are that Loeffler voted to let the Trump administration continue supporting a lawsuit that seeks to overturn the Affordable Care Act. Millions of people could lose health care if the Supreme Court throws out the law.

Loeffler supports offering health care alternatives, but critics say they are not as good as Obamacare’s provisions.

Warnock’s statement is partially accurate but leaves out important details. Our rating is Half True.


This fact check is available at IFCN’s 2020 US Elections FactChat #Chatbot on WhatsApp. Click here, for more.

Our Sources

Twitter, Raphael Warnock ad, Nov. 5, 2020 

Email, Raphael Warnock campaign spokesman Terrence Clark, Nov. 17, 2020

Email, Kelly Loeffler campaign spokesman Stephen Lawson, Nov. 17, 2020

U.S. Senate, "On Cloture on the Motion to Proceed (Motion to Invoke Cloture: Motion to Proceed to S. 4653," Oct. 1, 2020

Huffington Post, "GOP Senators Refuse To Defund Lawsuit Threatening Obamacare," Oct. 1, 2020 

New York Times, "Spotlighting Health Care, Democrats Seek to Use Court Fight to Damage Republicans," Oct. 1, 2020

New York Times, "Key Justices Signal Support for Affordable Care Act," Nov. 10, 2020

New York Times, "If the Supreme Court Ends Obamacare, Here’s What It Would Mean," Nov. 13, 2020

Urban Institute, "The Potential Effects of a Supreme Court Decision to Overturn the Affordable Care Act: Updated Estimates," Oct. 15, 2020

U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler, "The Modernizing Americans’ Health Care Plan," Nov. 13, 2020

U.S. Supreme Court, Trump administration brief in support of a lawsuit that seeks to overturn Obamacare, June 25, 2020

Congress.gov, "S.3821 - Affordable Health Care Options Act of 2020," accessed Nov. 18, 2020

Atlanta Journal Constitution, "Kemp’s plan to block the federal ACA insurance exchange under fire," Sept. 4, 2020

Axios, "5 vulnerable GOP senators vote to protect Affordable Care Act from Trump lawsuit," Oct. 1, 2020

PolitiFact, "What to know as the ACA yet again heads to the Supreme Court," Nov. 9, 2020

NBC News, "Trump administration asks Supreme Court to strike down Obamacare amid pandemic, recession," June 26, 2020

C-SPAN, oral arguments before Supreme Court, Nov. 10, 2020

Georgia Recorder, "Challenges loom after federal approval of Kemp health plan," Oct. 16, 2020

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More by Tom Kertscher

Claim that Ga. Sen. Kelly Loeffler backs ‘getting rid of health care’ partly correct

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