Texas governor Rick Perry suggested that he supports prohibiting insurers from denying coverage to individuals with pre-existing conditions during a town hall in Nashua, New Hampshire on Wednesday. Perry was in the midst of answering a question about what he would do to improve access to health care for the 50 million who are currently uninsured, when he said, “the pre-existing condition thing, I don’t have a problem with” and then suggested that “there may be a substantial number of those people that don’t want to spend their money for [health care coverage].” Watch it:
It’s unclear what form Perry’s policy would take, since he would repeal the Affordable Care Act and allow insurers to sell policies across state lines — something that would not be possible if people could wait to purchase coverage once they become sick. Several Republicans have proposed establishing state-based high-risk insurance pools for people who cannot buy coverage on the open market (the pools would require billions of dollars in federal funding in order to accommodate everyone who needs coverage).
“If you’re looking for someone who’s committed to health care and how to expand health care and how to make it more prevalent, I would suggest that you would look at what we’ve done over the last decade in the state of Texas,” Perry added. Unfortunately, the number of Texans without insurance has grown during Perry’s tenure and the state now has the highest uninsurance rates in the country.