Arizona Republican Senate Candidate Says She Doesn’t Want to Talk Health Care—Just “Things That Matter”

Martha McSally said she’d rather talk about the caravan.

Rep. Martha McSally campaigns for a largely contested U.S. Senate Seat.Christopher Brown/ZUMA Wire

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Less than two weeks before Election Day, Rep. Martha McSally (R-Ariz.) has joined the the chorus of Republican incumbents who are now claiming that they want to protect preexisting conditions despite voting to repeal the Affordable Care Act. But when asked about her position by a local news station, the Arizona incumbent made it clear that, well, health care doesn’t actually matter to voters.

“Can we please talk about the things that matter to most Arizona voters instead of repeating the Arizona Democratic Party press releases?” McSally shot back at a CBS 5 Phoenix reporter. The interview comes on the heels of the release of McSally’s latest television ad, suggesting that the candidate, who voted for a bill to repeal of Obamacare in 2017 that would have weakened rules to help those with preexisting conditions, was committed to protecting them. How she plans on doing that, however, is unclear given her attempt to shift the interview to immigration policy.

“This is ridiculous, honestly. Do you have anything to talk about like the caravan or job opportunities?”

This isn’t the first time that McSally, who is in one of the most competitive Senate races in the country, has shrugged off an issue that didn’t align with one of her key talking points. In an October debate, she punted a question about climate change in a similar manner, saying  “I mean we do have to address the issues of climate, and water is so important for Arizona, it’s our lifeline.” But, she said, “we have to talk about the military! We have to talk about our veterans! We haven’t had any opportunity!” Instead of discussing either, she launched into an attack against opponent Rep. Kyrsten Sinema’s (D-Ariz.) nearly two-decades old comments protesting the United State’s involvement in the Middle East. 

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WHO DOESN’T LOVE A POSITIVE STORY—OR TWO?

“Great journalism really does make a difference in this world: it can even save kids.”

That’s what a civil rights lawyer wrote to Julia Lurie, the day after her major investigation into a psychiatric hospital chain that uses foster children as “cash cows” published, letting her know he was using her findings that same day in a hearing to keep a child out of one of the facilities we investigated.

That’s awesome. As is the fact that Julia, who spent a full year reporting this challenging story, promptly heard from a Senate committee that will use her work in their own investigation of Universal Health Services. There’s no doubt her revelations will continue to have a big impact in the months and years to come.

Like another story about Mother Jones’ real-world impact.

This one, a multiyear investigation, published in 2021, exposed conditions in sugar work camps in the Dominican Republic owned by Central Romana—the conglomerate behind brands like C&H and Domino, whose product ends up in our Hershey bars and other sweets. A year ago, the Biden administration banned sugar imports from Central Romana. And just recently, we learned of a previously undisclosed investigation from the Department of Homeland Security, looking into working conditions at Central Romana. How big of a deal is this?

“This could be the first time a corporation would be held criminally liable for forced labor in their own supply chains,” according to a retired special agent we talked to.

Wow.

And it is only because Mother Jones is funded primarily by donations from readers that we can mount ambitious, yearlong—or more—investigations like these two stories that are making waves.

About that: It’s unfathomably hard in the news business right now, and we came up about $28,000 short during our recent fall fundraising campaign. We simply have to make that up soon to avoid falling further behind than can be made up for, or needing to somehow trim $1 million from our budget, like happened last year.

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