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IN THE NEWS: PolitiFact agrees with Joe: Rep. Braun has repeatedly supported destroying protections for Hoosiers with pre-existing conditions

Non-partisan fact checker PolitiFact today found that Joe Donnelly’s claim that his opponent has supported three different proposals to eliminate protections for Hoosiers with pre-existing conditions to be “mostly true,” disproving the Braun campaign’s claim that its candidate supports those protections.

In a video last week, Joe demanded that Rep. Braun explain how he could claim that he wanted to protect Hoosiers with health issues like cancer, asthma, or diabetes from being discriminated against by insurance companies, despite not supporting a single concrete proposal that would retain them and every major GOP proposal to destroy them. As PolitiFact found out after looking into it, he can’t: “Braun’s campaign did not respond to multiple requests for comment on how he could square opposing Obamacare yet supporting one of its central tenets.”

From PolitiFact: Did Mike Braun endorse three initiatives to end coverage for pre-existing conditions?

Democratic Sen. Joe Donnelly of Indiana is accusing his Republican challenger of flip-flopping on health care.

"Mike Braun now says he’s for pre-existing conditions," Donnelly said in a video he posted to Twitter on Aug. 13. "There’s only one problem. Mike has said time, after time, after time, he’s against it."

Donnelly said Braun has supported a House and Senate bill, as well as a lawsuit that "would have ended coverage for pre-existing conditions."

Is that true? Braun indeed supported these actions, but Braun also maintains he supports coverage for pre-existing conditions.

But health care experts told us that’s nearly impossible.

"It is hard to make private competitive health insurance work for people with pre-existing conditions absent government intervention," said Karen Pollitz, a senior fellow at the Kaiser Family Foundation. "That’s just the nature of risk spreading -- it doesn’t work without subsidies or a mandatory market."

Braun’s campaign did not respond to multiple requests for comment on how he could square opposing Obamacare yet supporting one of its central tenets.

The lawsuit

On Feb. 26, 2018, 18 attorneys general and two governors challenged the Affordable Care Act as unlawful in a lawsuit filed in a U.S. district court in Texas. Braun told Politico reporter Burgess Everett he endorsed the lawsuit.

That, too, would effectively end mandatory coverage for people with pre-existing conditions.

"There would be much more damage beyond the issue of people with health problems being denied coverage, but that would in fact be one outcome," Blumberg told us.

Our ruling

Donnelly said Braun has supported two proposals and a lawsuit to end coverage for people with pre-existing conditions.

His campaign referred us to Republican proposals in the Senate, House and a lawsuit to end the Affordable Health Care Act, which entails ending key provisions like mandatory coverage for people with pre-existing conditions….

We rate this statement Mostly True.

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