Asked if there was anything at all insurance companies should be mandated to cover during tonight’s Nevada Senate debate, Sharron Angle doubled down on her now infamous opposition to coverage mandates and suggested that they shouldn’t. “What we have here is a choice between the free markets and Americanism,” she said. “America is about choices. The free market will weed out those companies that do not offer as many choices and do not have a cost-effective system”:
ANGLE: What we want is a basic policy where we can have the coverages that we need. I taught autistic children. I know this is a biomedical disorder, and it needs to have its own insurance code so that families can get the right treatment and also be covered…we need to stop making band-aid applications and look at real solutions when we talk about health care, and really, forcing someone to buy something they do not need is not the way to solve a problem.
During an earlier Republican primary debate, Angle went a step further, saying that she had “introduced three bills” in the state legislator to eliminate coverage mandates — a claim she did not make tonight, because it’s not true. According to an exhaustive search of Angle’s record in the State legislator by the Las Vegas Sun, rather than trying to eliminate mandates, Angle co-sponsored legislation expanding them. “Angle proposed no fewer than five laws that would have expanded state insurance mandates,” the paper reported. “She co-sponsored a bill to require insurance companies to cover mammograms and another bill, which she later voted against, to cover osteoporosis treatment. She co-sponsored legislation that would have required an insurance company to continue covering the treatment of a patient if the company’s contract with the provider was canceled before the treatment was completed.”
Thus, despite her comments tonight, Angle’s record suggests that even she once believed that the government should set basic standards for insurance coverage to ensure that individuals receive adequate coverage when they need it most.