GOP Senate Candidate Says Businesses Should Be Allowed To Deny Health Insurance To Cancer Patients

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"GOP Senate Candidate Says Businesses Should Be Allowed To Deny Health Insurance To Cancer Patients"

Republican Senate nominee Richard Mourdock

Richard Mourdock, the Tea Party favorite who ousted Sen. Dick Lugar (R-IN) in Indiana’s Republican Senate primary last month, told a local Indiana newspaper that, contra Obamacare’s protections, employers ought to be able to deny health insurance to people with cancer.

During a freewheeling interview with the News and Tribune, Mourdock said health care will be the “biggest issue” this election. The Indiana Republican, who opposes the Affordable Care Act, argued that businesses should be permitted to deny coverage to employees with cancer “if they want to keep their health care costs down.” “Does that employer have the right to do it?” Mourdock asked. “I would say yes they do”

From the interview:

Of particular interest to the candidate is a mandate that requires an employer to pay for certain services they may be morally opposed to — such as birth control — which Mourdock said he opposes.

Mourdock’s example was an employer who decided to cover everything but cancer.

Does that employer have the right to do it? I would say yes they do if they want to keep their health care costs down but it also means it’s less likely you’re going to want to work here. If that employer wants to get the best employees coming in the door he’s going to offer the best insurance possible.”

Among Obamacare’s most popular provisions are protections for people who are sick or have pre-existing conditions to make sure they can’t be denied health insurance (beginning in 2014). In Mourdock’s America, businesses would continue to have the right to deny insurance for 1 in 7 Americans because of a pre-existing condition.

If Mourdock ultimately wins his election in November, don’t expect him to compromise on his opposition to businesses being required to insure cancer patients. The day after Mourdock won the Republican nomination, he announced on MSNBC that “bipartisanship ought to consist of Democrats coming to the Republican point of view.”

Update

The Mourdock campaign has issued a clarification to TPM: “Simply put, Richard was making the point that a company that discontinued insurance coverage of life-threatening ailments would immediately become an unattractive place to work. In no way, shape or form does Richard support companies discontinuing such insurance coverage, and any attempt to say otherwise is a complete falsehood.”

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