COLUMBUS — On the same day Mike DeWine released a new ad lying about his health care record, 750 Ohio doctors announced they’re backing Rich Cordray and Betty Sutton – citing DeWine’s attacks on the 4.8 million Ohioans battling pre-existing conditions like cancer, diabetes, and substance abuse.
On his first day as Attorney General, DeWine sued to eliminate protections for pre-existing conditions.
“Asked what actions DeWine has taken as attorney general to preserve insurance coverage for chronic conditions, campaign spokesman Joshua Eck would not list anything.”
Some 750 doctors say they’re endorsing Democrat for governor Richard Cordray, breaking with the Ohio State Medical Association, which is backing his Republican opponent Mike DeWine. The doctors split over protections for people with pre-existing health conditions.
Cordray says he’ll work to lower insurance premiums and drug costs, and to protect millions of Ohioans with pre-existing conditions. And he notes that as attorney general DeWine filed a lawsuit against the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare, which guarantees those protections. “For the past eight years, he’s been the attorney general. He’s devoted the resources of his office to wiping out coverage for people who have a pre-existing condition to allow insurance companies to drop people.”
DeWine’s campaign says Ohio’s Obamacare lawsuit challenged the constitutionality of the individual mandate, and that what Cordray is saying is an outright lie. Cordray and DeWine both support Medicaid expansion, which helped DeWine earn the earlier OSMA endorsement, but DeWine would add in work requirements.
Cordray considers health care “the No. 1 issue on the minds of Ohioans” and presses every opportunity to call out DeWine over what he calls “an election-year conversion” on pre-existing condition coverage.
While he filed suit in 2011 to overturn Obamacare — including its guarantee of coverage for pre-existing conditions and provison for Medicaid expansion — DeWine now says he “always” has supported prohibiting insurers from cherry picking more-profitable, healthy customers while denying coverage to millions of Ohioans with chronic conditions.
“For eight years he has had the power of the state at his disposal. What has he done in the past eight years to protect pre-existing conditions?” Cordray asked. “When he says what he is for, contrast it with the record of what he has done.”
Asked what actions DeWine has taken as attorney general to preserve insurance coverage for chronic conditions, campaign spokesman Joshua Eck would not list anything.
The DeWine campaign points to seven votes cast by the Republican between 1989 and 2006 while he served in the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate as evidence of his long-time support of coverage for pre-existing health conditions. Some of the bills mandated coverage through “high-risk” state health insurance pools for the uninsured with health problems.
The attorney general’s office and the campaign now stress that when DeWine joined a lawsuit by Republican attorneys general in 2011 to throw out Obamacare, his objection centered on the individual mandate imposing a tax fine on those who failed to obtain insurance despite sufficient income. But the campaign has not provided any documentation of him saying at the time he still supported the portion of Obamacare on pre-existing conditions.