This Is the Only Recent Time Jeff Sessions Voted to Expand Health Care Coverage

It was to cover fetuses at the expense of their mothers.

J. Scott Applewhite/AP

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President-elect Donald Trump’s pick to be attorney general, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), has voted numerous times against expanded access to health care. He has cast just one vote in recent years to expand health care access. The group he believed deserved better access to coverage? Fetuses.

In 2008, Sessions voted yes on an amendment to remove pregnant women from the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) and instead give coverage to the fetus. At the time of the vote, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) described the amendment as follows: “It takes it away from the woman and gives it to the fetus. Now, if the woman is pregnant in an accident, loses the child, she does not get coverage, the child gets coverage.” The amendment failed, with 46 senators voting for it and 52 against it.

It’s the only time in recent years that Sessions has voted in favor of expanding health care coverage—if you can call it that. He voted against expanding access to care for low-income people under Medicare and Medicaid in 2008, against expanding SCHIP to four million children in 2009, and against the Affordable Care Act in 2010. The clear difference, of course, is that Sessions’ vote for fetuses wasn’t really a health care vote; it was an anti-abortion vote.

If confirmed as attorney general, Sessions would have a huge say on the issues of abortion and women’s reproductive health care. Sessions could choose to investigate Planned Parenthood, for example, and defend state and federal policies that make it harder for women to access an abortion or reproductive care.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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