GOP Senate candidate Hawley: No regrets on backing anti-ObamaCare lawsuit

GOP Senate candidate Hawley: No regrets on backing anti-ObamaCare lawsuit
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Missouri GOP Senate candidate Josh Hawley said Monday that he has no regrets about supporting a lawsuit seeking to overturn ObamaCare as he comes under attack over threats to protections for people with pre-existing conditions.

Asked on a press call Monday whether he has regrets about supporting the lawsuit brought by 20 GOP-led states that would overturn ObamaCare, including its pre-existing condition protections, Hawley said, “No.”

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“Listen, Republicans have pledged for years to repeal and replace ObamaCare,” he added, saying he wants to do what Republicans have long pledged to do.

He added that he also wants a replacement that would include requiring insurers to cover people with pre-existing conditions.

“We don’t have to have ObamaCare in order to cover people with pre-existing conditions,” Hawley said.

Hawley’s opponent, Sen. Claire McCaskillClaire Conner McCaskillConservatives spark threat of bloody GOP primaries Congress needs to work to combat the poverty, abuse and neglect issues that children face Lobbying world MORE (D-Mo.), and national Democrats have made pre-existing conditions a leading line of attack on Hawley in one of the closest Senate races in the country, pointing to the anti-ObamaCare lawsuit he is backing in his current role as state attorney general.

“Why would Josh Hawley punish those whose only crime was getting sick?” states an ad from the Democratic Senate Majority PAC.

While Hawley says he doesn’t want insurers to be able to deny coverage to people with pre-existing conditions, his op-ed on the subject last month does not propose keeping other ObamaCare protections.

For example, he calls for eliminating the federal essential health benefits, which require insurers to cover a range of health services and help prevent insurers from simply excluding coverage for a pre-existing condition from someone’s insurance plan.

Hawley calls those provisions “one-size-fits-all dictates from Washington” that drive up costs, saying the issue should be left to the states.

Hawley attacked McCaskill for not working across the aisle to replace ObamaCare, saying the health-care law had driven up costs.