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OH-Gov: GOP candidate DeWine supportive of Obamacare pre-existing condition coverage

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, the Republican candidate for governor, said he supports health coverage for people with pre-existing conditions under Obamacare. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Days after saying he would continue Medicaid expansion in Ohio if elected governor, Ohio Attorney General and Republican candidate Mike DeWine supported another Obamacare provision -- coverage of pre-existing conditions, according to WOSU.

DeWine's running mate, Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted, made the announcement that the DeWine campaign would join current Gov. John Kasich and Democratic candidate Richard Cordray in support of pre-existing condition coverage.

"Mike DeWine and Jon Husted support coverage for pre-existing medical conditions," Husted said. "Health insurance needs to be there when patients need it most."

Significance to the state

Like Medicaid expansion, Kasich has been a strong proponent of coverage for pre-existing medical conditions. WOSU reports that nearly 5 million Ohio residents would be impacted if that coverage was not required by the Affordable Care Act.

"Because you got sick is no reason for you to be bankrupted, is no reason for you to be living a life of panic because somebody decided because you had a pre-existing condition you shouldn't get health care," Kasich said last month.

Still sitting out the court battle?

Twenty states have sued the federal government to overturn the pre-existing condition mandate of Obamacare, and several other states jumped in to defend the law, since the Trump administration will not fight the lawsuit. Ohio, however, is not one of them.

Despite his newly-announced support of pre-existing condition coverage, DeWine's office said he has no intention of joining the defense:

Democratic governor candidate Richard Cordray called on DeWine to defend the mandate in court. But a spokesman for the Attorney General's office says Ohio will stay out, because changes to the law should be addressed by Congress.

DeWine's office said he doesn't agree with the defense of Obamacare in its entirety or in the restoration of the individual mandate's tax penalty.

DeWine's primary opposition to Obamacare is the individual mandate

Cordray has been calling for DeWine to defend the pre-existing condition mandate since June.

"As [DeWine] prepares to take the stage with Mike Pence, DeWine owes Ohioans an answer," Cordray said. "Will he stand up for Ohioans' health care, or will he sit back and watch as the Trump administration threatens to put health insurance beyond the reach 4.8 million Ohioans, and raise costs for all the rest of us."


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