i9 Fact Checker: Ad attacks Rep. Hinson for voting record

Published: Oct. 31, 2022 at 6:24 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - A new political ad argues Rep. Ashley Hinson (R-01) is campaigning on scare tactics and playing politics rather than working for people.  Her opponent, State Senator Liz Mathis (D-Cedar Rapids) specifically uses a partial quote in an ad from the Republican Congresswoman’s ad.

Source: Liz Mathis for Congress

According to documents from the Federal Election Commission, Liz Mathis for Congress is the name for Sen. Liz Mathis’ campaign.

The campaign said it has spent more than $1.4 Million on television ads.

Claim #1: In Washington, Ashley Hinson opposed lower drug costs, capping insulin prices,

Analysis: This claim refers to different bills, which Rep. Hinson voted against in congress.

The Affordable Insulin Now Act would have limited the cost of insulin products to $35 or 25% of a plan’s negotiated price, whichever is lower, for those covered under Medicare or private health insurance.

It had other things included in the legislation like increasing funding for the Medicare Improvement Fund, which according to the Social Security Administration tries to make improvements to the original Medicare fee-for-service program under Parts A and B.

Rep. Ashley Hinson told the Gazette she voted against the bill because she believes it would raise premiums for millions of Americans. The congresswoman also said in an Op-Ed she supports another version of the cap on Insulin prices in a Republican-backed bill called the Lower Costs, More Cures Act, which would put a $50 cap on insulin prices along with many other changes. Though that never came up for a vote.

Lowering the cost of insulin was also considered in the Build Back Better Act, which Rep. Ashley Hinson also voted against. The Build Back Better Act included other things in the legislation like free child care for children under six years old, four weeks of paid family and medical leave, and funding for multiple projects.

The insulin cap eventually became law for Seniors on Medicare after the Inflation Reduction Act was passed, with Hinson again voting against it.  According to the congressional research service, the bill caps the price of insulin and allows Medicare to negotiate drug prices for certain drugs among other changes.

The Congressional Budget Office said these negotiations will result in the government spending less on health care costs, which should get passed onto the individual. The Congressional Budget Office said the bill will lower costs for a program serving seniors.

Conclusion: Hinson repeatedly voted against capping prices on insulin and allowing the government to decrease drug costs for seniors. However, it leaves out Hinson’s support for a different insulin cap and the context of some of those no votes as part of larger bills. That’s why this is getting a “B”.

Claim #2: [opposed] fixing Iowa Bridges and Roads. Then tried to take credit after voting no.

Analysis: The ad is referring to the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which is commonly called the Infrastructure Bill. Rep. Hinson voted against the legislation.

According to the Congressional Research Service, the bill gave federal funding to numerous initiatives like upgrading roads, bridges, airports, public transportation, dams, increasing high-speed internet, and improving water quality.

KCRG reported in November 2021, the bill gives Iowa $3.4 billion to repair highways, $482 million to repair bridges, $638 Million to improve water infrastructure, $300 million for public transportation, $120 million to upgrade airports and at least $100 million to expand broadband in the state.

Rep. Hinson said in a press release the bill advanced “a partisan, socialist spending spree” and criticized the bill for spending money on items not considered traditional infrastructure.

About two months later, the congresswoman tweeted and sent a press release announcing funding from the bill would go to a United States Army Corps of Engineers project on the Upper Mississippi River. The funding was announced after Rep. Hinson signed a letter lobbying the federal agency with about 40 other lawmakers.

That’s why I helped lead a bipartisan group of my colleagues in urging the Administration to prioritize funding for these essential upgrades,” Hinson wrote in her announcement. “I’ll always fight to ensure Iowans’ taxpayer dollars are reinvested at home in Iowa.”

Although she voted against the bill, Rep. Hinson said she later advocated to ensure Iowans get the benefits of that legislation.

Conclusion: Rep. Hinson both opposed the infrastructure funding but later celebrated her efforts to get that funding directed to Iowa. That’s why this claim gets an “A”.