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Schuette and Whitmer spar over pre-existing health care coverage

Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio

Michigan’s major party candidates for governor are skirmishing over who would do a better job of protecting health care coverage.

Democratic candidate Gretchen Whitmer has been running a TV ad attacking Republican candidate Bill Schuette’s record on health care. In it, she accuses Schuette of supporting letting insurance companies who want to deny coverage for people with pre-existing conditions.

At a Monday news conference, Schuette was flanked by people who say he's helped to keep their insurance coverage despite pre-existing conditions. Schuette called Whitmer’s charge a lie.

“This is a Democratic scare tactic they are doing around the country. That’s what’s going on here.   Everybody knows it and it’s just not true,” says Schuette.

Schuette has supported repealing the federal Affordable Care Act. But he insists he wants coverage of pre-existing conditions part of any replacement.

Jamie Brown, the president of the Michigan Nurses Association, accuses Schuette of trying to “rewrite his past” on health care. Brown, a supporter of Democrat Gretchen Whitmer, claims the lives of millions of Michigan residents with pre-existing conditions would be “at  risk” if the Republican candidate is elected. 

Michigan voters will pick their next governor on November 6th.     

The next governor will play a significant role in several health care related issues, including the future of Healthy Michigan, the state’s expanded Medicaid system which provides health care coverage to hundreds of thousands of Michiganders. 

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.