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Senator Says Employers Should Be Able To Deny Coverage To Cancer Patients Because ‘Our Nation Was Based On Freedom’

By Scott Keyes on June 28, 2012 at 2:10 pm

"Senator Says Employers Should Be Able To Deny Coverage To Cancer Patients Because ‘Our Nation Was Based On Freedom’"

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Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI)

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Businesses should be allowed to deny health insurance to cancer patients, according to a Republican senator, because “our nation was based on the foundation of freedom and limited government.”

Discussing health care outside the Supreme Court today, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) told ThinkProgress that there “shouldn’t” be a law requiring businesses to cover employees who have cancer because that would “create an obligation” for others. “When you create a right for somebody,” Johnson said, “you create an obligation for somebody else, and then you’re taking away that person’s right.”

KEYES: I know Richard Murdock had said even though businesses should give people, for instance, with cancer, health coverage, they shouldn’t be legally required by the federal government.

JOHNSON: They shouldn’t. Listen, our rights are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. And when we start expanding beyond that realm, when you create a right for somebody, you create an obligation for somebody else, and then you’re taking away that person’s right. And that maybe doesn’t seem all that great, but it’s just true. Our nation was based on the foundation of freedom and limited government.

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Under Obamacare, health insurance companies cannot deny people health insurance because of a pre-existing condition like cancer. Johnson remains strongly opposed to the law.

Unfortunately, he is not the first person to suggest that businesses should be permitted to deny insurance to cancer patients. Last week, Indiana Republican Senate nominee Richard Mourdock similarly argued that employers should be allowed to deny coverage to cancer patients “if they want to keep their health care costs down.”

Steven Perlberg contributed to this report.

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