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Bringing health care to the polls

Tippecanoe County Democrats want you to consider health care as you head to the voting booth next month.

Posted: Oct. 1, 2018 5:41 PM
Updated: Oct. 1, 2018 5:42 PM

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — Democrats are urging people in Indiana to consider health care before picking a candidate to support this November.

Today, the Indiana Democratic Party hosted a press conference featuring Joe Mackey.

Mackey is a Lafayette Pediatric Cancer Activist who feels strongly about the importance of health care in the state. He lost two of his children to cancer.

Now, he's fighting to help other families battling the disease.

Mackey said they can't do it alone. He needs Indiana candidates to step up to protect Hoosiers with pre-existing conditions.

"Health care is a moral issue and I challenge you, I challenge anyone who views this news conference to go down to Riley Hospital for Children, to talk to their families," said Mackey. 

Mackey announced his support for Democratic Candidate Joe Donnelly during a press conference Monday morning. 

So did other speakers at the event, including Indiana Democratic Party Chairman John Zody.

Zody claimed Republican Candidate for U.S. Senate Mike Braun vocally supports a lawsuit brought by Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill.

He said the lawsuit would dismantle coverage protections for 1.1 million people under 65 with pre-existing conditions in Indiana.

But Braun said he's been in support of covering people with pre-existing conditions for a decade. He said there should be no cap on coverage.

"I built a system, took on the insurance companies and have had that for ten years for my employees," said Braun. 

However, Zody called Braun a hypocrite. Claiming he has given limited information about his company's plan. 

"His company's health care plan has deductibles between 5 and 10 thousand dollars," said Zody. 

We asked Braun to respond to this statement. We received the following email from Braun spokesman Josh Kelley:

“Career politicians like Senator Donnelly talk about healthcare, but all Hoosiers get are rising premiums and fewer options - in his own business, Mike Braun took on the insurance companies and provided affordable healthcare, held premiums flat for 10 years, and covered pre-existing conditions before it was cool.”

Zody said Braun also supported other major attempts in the last year to dismantle the nation’s health care system.

“Hoosiers know their health care is on the ballot this November, and it’s imperative that we all work for the next 36 days so that Rep. Braun can’t dismantle the health care system and raise health care costs by more than $1,000 every year for the average Hoosier," said Zody. 

State Representative District 26 candidate Chris Campbell also spoke on the topic. She talked about how many people with pre-existing conditions talked to her about it while she was out door-knocking in Tippecanoe County. 

We asked her opponent, incumbent State Rep. Sally Siegrist to respond to this press conference. 

She sent News 18 the following in an e-mail:

"I am focused on running a positive campaign talking bout the issues that are important to Indiana voters. We are on the right track here in Indiana by delivering real results for Hoosiers when it comes to reforming healthcare. HIP 2.0 gives more Hoosiers access to affordable and quality coverage, improved healthcare provider access, and allows Medicaid patients access to tele-medicine services.

My opponent is trying to score political points by engaging in the the type of divisive rhetoric that we see daily in Washington DC, but that isn’t how we get things done here in Indiana. We remain focused on Indiana, work together across the aisle and continue to deliver the best outcomes for Hoosiers.

As for pre-existing conditions, yes, they should be covered, as they are now. If and when that changes in Washington, I will join my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to make sure we do the right thing here in Indiana."

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