Indiana AG candidates take sides on ACA lawsuit

Indiana News

INDIANAPOLIS — For now, the Affordable Care Act is legal in the United States. However, a lawsuit filed in the Supreme Court Thursday could change that.

Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill is fighting in support of the lawsuit claiming it is unconstitutional.

Hoosiers and all Americans deserve sound policies that safeguard their health care needs, including protections for those with pre-existing conditions.

But these policies must accomplish these ends while also staying true to the Constitution. The Affordable Care Act fails by this measure.

Last year, a federal appellate court declared unconstitutional the Affordable Care Act’s central feature — the individual mandate requiring Americans to enroll in federally approved health insurance plans. This ruling calls into question the viability of the entire law.

I support efforts at the state and national levels to develop health care solutions much superior to the Affordable Care Act.

As a country, we have the ability to create and sustain policies enabling all Americans to have access to insurance coverage that promotes affordability, choice, freedom and quality health care — all while staying true to the Constitution. And we have the ability, as well, to implement appropriate processes through which Americans could transition to these improved plans.

INDIANA ATTORNEY GENERAL CURTIS HILL (R)

All three of Hill’s Republican opponents would also pursue the lawsuit.

“We’ve got to work, number one, to make sure that preexisting conditions are protected and we have to get rid of this idea that the government should be in charge of our healthcare and I’ll always be for those two things,” said Republican Candidate for Attorney General Todd Rokita.

Republican AG Candidate Nate Harter sent a statement saying, “Hoosiers deserve an Attorney General who will fight against government-mandated healthcare and single-payer Medicare-for-all schemes that will limit choices and increase costs.  Cases like these are yet another example of the importance of this year’s race for Attorney General.  We cannot risk losing this hard fought seat to a Democrat who will advance their partisan left wing agenda and who has said he would immediately withdraw Indiana from this lawsuit.”

Democrat Jonathan Weinzapfel recognizes he’s the only AG candidate in favor of the Affordable Care Act.

“The only conclusion I can come to is I’m the only one looking out for Hoosier families and what is in their best interest instead of fighting some ideological battle that is best left in Washington D.C.,” said Weinzapfel. “I can’t even believe they are considering doing this especially in the middle of a global pandemic when healthcare is essential.”

The Center for American Progress claims 564,000 Hoosiers would lose total coverage loss from ACA repeal during the pandemic. It based this off research by the Urban Institute. It predicts 23 million people would lose coverage in the United States if this lawsuit is a success.

“They previously estimated 20 million people would lose coverage based on census data and administrative records,” said Emily Gee, a Health Economist for the Center for American Progress. “They’ve also produced a more recent report that says say if unemployment were to rise to 15 percent millions of people would lose job based insurance and of those millions returned to those forms of coverage that are supported by the ACA. We combined those two sets of work by the Urban Institute to come up with the estimates for 23 million.”

Rokita said the ACA did the opposite of what it was supposed to do, raising costs for Hoosiers, “An average family costs are $25,000 a year.”

We asked Gee if research supports that at the Center for American Progress.

“I’ve seen those studies that claim that costs have gone up but really what they are making is not an apples to apples comparison,” said Gee. “Health insurance before and after the ACA are completely different animals before the Affordable Care Act, insurance could turn you away because of preexisting conditions, they could exclude things like prescription drugs maternity care or mental health coverage.”

“Preexisting conditions, they need to be protected,” said Rokita. “I’m in favor of that and will work towards that but there are all kinds of state based solutions, private sector solutions out there that are bringing costs down.”

Westercamp said the Indiana AG should be solely focused on the constitutionality of the ACA.

“It sounds like my opponent is more interested in acting as a legislator than acting as a lawyer,” said Westercamp.

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