Rep. Braun claims he likes protections for pre-existing conditions, so why has he supported attempts to take them away from Hoosiers?

INDIANAPOLIS – Rep. Braun bizarrely claimed yesterday that he supports protections for pre-existing conditions, forgetting that he has supported partisan proposals to strip away those protections during his year-long campaign and not a single one that would retain them.

Rep. Braun insisted that insurance companies should cover pre-existing conditions in front of a crowd of GOP activists at the Hamilton County Republican headquarters in Westfield, surprising the Washington Examiner. “Definitely; yes. Nobody should go broke because they get sick or have a bad accident,” Rep. Braun told the friendly crowd in a rare public campaign event.

More than 1.1 million Hoosiers under 65 have a pre-existing condition, a history of health issues that can include asthma, diabetes, or cancer. Provisions preventing insurance companies from discriminating against those with health care issues were one of the most popular changes to the health care system made within the last decade. The protections have become popular even among Republicans, the Examiner notes, as Rep. Braun’s line about protecting them was one of his loudest applause lines in the room of committed activists in Westfield.

There’s only one problem with Rep. Braun’s line from Westfield: either he’s is publicly refuting a year’s worth of statements about health care on the campaign trail, or his words are simply not true. Rep. Braun has supported multiple health care proposals while running for the Senate that would destroy protections for pre-existing conditions. Most recently, he failed to speak out in favor of Hoosiers against a lawsuit brought by Indiana and nearly 20 other states which the Trump Administration’s Department of Justice recently joined that would strip away protections for pre-existing conditions.

Rep. Braun also supported the Republican bills to dismantle the current health care system and its pre-existing condition protections, including last year’s bill that passed the House – which removes those protections entirely – and the Senate bill that allowed insurers to raise health care costs exponentially to the point where they’d be unaffordable. Meanwhile, he has not announced or shown support for a single concrete health care proposal that would keep protections for pre-existing conditions.

“Rep. Braun is making it up again, hoping that millions of Hoosiers who need their senator to stand up for them and their pre-existing conditions won’t notice that he’s trying to have his cake and eat it too. Supporting these protections in the abstract while advocating for every actual proposal that would destroy them is politics at its worst,” said Michael Feldman, spokesman for the Indiana Democratic Party. “If Rep. Braun’s most popular line among his own base is his lie that he’ll protect pre-existing conditions, everyone’s in for a rude awakening when they find out he’d vote to destroy them if elected.”

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