Senate hopefuls split on who is fighting for folks with pre-existing conditions


Democratic candidates for Mississippi’s two United States Senate seats that will be on the ballot Tuesday have been arguing their Republican opponents would jeopardize the mandate that insurance companies provide coverage for pre-existing medical conditions.
At Thursday’s Mississippi Economic Council’s annual Hob Nob at the Mississippi Coliseum, many of the candidates spoke about health care and the issue of pre-existing conditions or were asked about it by the media. Others were asked about the issue earlier this week before the Hob Nob event. According to an NBC/Survey Monkey poll conducted in September, 20 percent of Mississippians said health care was their top issue, trailing only education that was the top issue for 32 percent of the respondents.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare by some, ensured that people could not be discriminated against by insurance companies because of a pre-existing medical condition.
Pre-existing conditions has become a campaign issue in part because President Donald Trump has opted to join in a lawsuit that would end the protections for pre-existing conditions. The lawsuit was filed by Republican state attorneys general and joined by Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant.
Because both Republican Sens. Cindy Hyde-Smith and Roger Wicker, who will be on the ballot Tuesday, have been ardent supporters of Trump and opponents of the Affordable Care Act, their Democratic opponents have accused them of being a threat to the pre-existing medical conditions coverage mandate.
Eric J. Shelton, Mississippi TodayU.S. Senate Democratic candidate David Baria.
State Rep. David Baria, D-Bay St. Louis, who is challenging Wicker said, “Invalidating the pre-existing coverage requirement of the ACA is more than just a political stunt. It’s a matter of life and death to many right here in Mississippi and it should be treated as a serious policy issue. …. If the 20 states that filed this lawsuit prevail,