OKLAHOMA CITY — Congresswoman Kendra Horn is representing arguably one of the most contested districts in the nation. Oklahoma’s fifth U.S. congressional district includes parts of Oklahoma County and Canadian County, while extending all the way to Shawnee.
Despite President Trump winning her district in 2016 by a landslide, the Democrat congresswoman won by a slim margin in 2018 and currently has authored over twenty bills that have been signed into law by the president.
Based on her voting record and her ability to win the support of in-the-middle Republicans and Democrats alike, she has gained a reputation for being moderate. In one of her recent campaign ads, the Republican Mayor of Jones is shown applauding Horn for working with him to save a bridge that leads to the town’s middle school.
With barely five weeks left until the November elections, Free Press will be providing coverage of races in the Oklahoma City metro area in depth. By doing so, we will give you, the reader, a better understanding of the choices you have on November 3.
Moderate approach to Healthcare
During the pandemic, she made headlines for being one of the 14 Democrats who voted against the HEROES Act, a $3 trillion aid relief bill made to help with the economic impact of COVID-19.
And she even expressed that she does not support “Medicare for all” — a popular approach to solving America’s healthcare crisis that’s been championed by some of her Democrat colleagues in D.C.
“Expanding access and lowering the cost of prescription drugs doesn’t mean that we need to throw out our entire healthcare system,” Horn told Free Press in a phone interview explaining why she does not support “Medicare for all.” “What I support is expanding the Affordable Care Act and protecting people from losing coverage for pre-existing conditions, which happened all the time before [the Affordable Care Act passed].”
No repeal of Affordable Care Act
Better known by its acronym, ACA, the Affordable Care Act is scheduled to have verbal arguments for repealing it heard in the U.S. Supreme Court after the November elections. Horn stands against repealing the ACA as she believes the stakes are high if it were to be abolished.
The main reason the Horn wants to uphold the ACA is that many Americans with preexisting conditions and younger people on their parents’ insurance could lose their coverage. “[The Trump] administration is currently in court trying to do away with the ACA, which means the over 700,000 Oklahomans who have pre-existing conditions will lose their coverage,” Horn explained.
Horn also supports state question 802, which expanded Medicaid coverage to more Oklahomans by using money from the ACA.
She explained that by supporting medicaid-expanding policies like SQ802, Oklahoma taxpayer dollars are better utilized. “By not expanding medicaid for over a decade, Oklahoma lost out on about a billion dollars per year of Oklahoma taxpayer dollars going to other states,” Horn said.
With SQ802 passed, a single person in Oklahoma must make less than $17,236 annually, which is less than $10 per hour, and a family must have a total income that is less than $35,535 annually.
And while some criticize SQ802 for not extending coverage to more people, Horn has insisted that it is a step towards a better future for affordable healthcare.
“Before [SQ802], people who were making as little as $400 a month would not qualify. That’s why I’ve been a strong supporter of expanding access and opportunity and we need to continue down that road. But right now we’re facing the very real possibility of people across this country losing their health coverage,” Horn told us.
Horn in D.C.
While Horn lets her supporters know that 23 of her bills have been signed into law, the majority of them had little to do with healthcare. However, she has introduced healthcare bills that have not been signed into law like the Capping Drug Costs for Seniors Act of 2019.
She has also voted yes on other bills that have supported healthcare workers during the pandemic, including PPE support at child care provider settings.
Her metric that she uses to determine the effectiveness of a bill is the “three T’s of good government,” which are timely, targeted and transparent.
When she voted against the HEROES Act, she said “the HEROES Act simply put did not meet those three t’s…while the HEROES Act had a lot of good provisions that I wholeheartedly supported, it also had a lot of unrelated things and it did not have bipartisan support.”
Attacks against Horn
Meanwhile, despite having a vote record that falls in the middle, she has been targeted by out-of-state PACS.
In one ad titled “If You Like Nancy Pelosi Then You’ll Love Kendra Horn,” you can find an older woman on a film set saying “Kendra Horn votes with Nancy Pelosi almost 90% of the time.”
This ad, along with four others that hold the same sentiment, come from the Congressional Leadership Fund (CLF)—a Conservative PAC that focuses on getting Congress back into Republican control.
Currently, the CLF has poured over $2 million into anti-Horn ads and there could be more to come with the election approaching.
“I think that those groups [including the Congressional Leadership Fund] and many people think that this seat belongs to a party. But I know that this seat doesn’t belong to a party and it doesn’t belong to a person,” Horn responded when asked about outside money. “It belongs to the people of Oklahoma’s fifth congressional district, and I will always put people over politics.”
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