Hovde now says he favors Obamacare provision protecting people with preexisting conditions - TAI News
Skip to content
Republican U.S. Senate candidate Eric Hovde speaks on April 2, 2024, at a rally for former President Donald Trump in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (AP Photo/Mike Roemer)

Wisconsin Republican U.S. Senate candidate Eric Hovde criticized Obamacare in an April 15 radio interview, saying that the law has made health care coverage in the United States worse than it was. The only part of the law he supports, he said, is its protections against insurance companies dropping people with preexisting medical conditions.

When Hovde ran for the same seat 12 years ago, he said he did not support keeping any part of the law.

Hovde, who is challenging Democratic incumbent Sen. Tammy Baldwin, appeared on a show hosted by right-wing radio personality Vicki McKenna and was asked about the 2010 Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare. 

“If you look at, when they signed Obamacare to today, all health care costs have done is risen,” he said. “There are so many flaws in Obamacare, and the Dems love to say, Oh, we passed it, we’re so wonderful because we put in preexisting condition. OK, I’m for exempting preexisting conditions, but everything else they did made things worse.”

In his unsuccessful 2012 Wisconsin Republican Senate primary campaign, Hovde promised to fully repeal the law, predicting it would take away health insurance coverage from 20 million Americans, bankrupt the country, and undermine consumer freedom. “ObamaCare isn’t just a radical assault on our health care system, it’s an assault on our entire economy,” he said on his campaign website. 

“We need to repeal and replace Obamacare in its entirety and move in a 180-degree different direction,” he said in a campaign video, “where people take on their own personal responsibility and use a free-market approach to solving our health care crisis.”

In an August 2012 debate, Hovde was asked whether he supported any parts of the law, and specifically its rules allowing people to stay on family plans until age 26 and its protections against companies discriminating against people with preexisting medical conditions. “No,” he answered. “I believe that the problem with our health care sector over the last 30 years has been ever-increasing government involvement.”

A Hovde campaign spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment for this story.

Baldwin, then a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, voted for the Affordable Care Act. Thanks to its enactment, hundreds of thousands of Wisconsinites with preexisting medical conditions such as diabetes, addiction, heart disease, or cancer, and even just being a woman, are now protected against discrimination by insurance companies. All insurance plans now must fully cover annual checkups and other preventive care. More than 212,000 individuals in Wisconsin were able to obtain affordable health insurance policies in 2022 through the marketplace. 

Hovde’s 2024 campaign website includes a page titled “Fixing Our Broken Healthcare System.” It contains several false claims about Obamacare’s influence on the quality and cost of health care and offers no proposals to fix the system beyond saying, “It’s time to reform our healthcare so that it works for all Americans.”

In March, Baldwin touted the 14th anniversary of the Affordable Care Act and its positive impacts on the state.

“The Affordable Care Act has been a force for good for Wisconsin families: from expanding health care coverage, cutting costs for families, to protecting people with pre-existing conditions, and—a provision I was proud to author—allowing young people to stay on their parents’ insurance until they are 26,” she said in a press release. “This progress has not come easy. We’ve seen countless efforts to gut the Affordable Care Act and rip care away from Wisconsinites. Let me be clear: not on my watch. We need to build on the progress of the Affordable Care Act and work to lower drug prices, expand access to affordable health care, and ensure Wisconsinites can live healthy lives.”

Related articles

Share this article:
Subscribe to our newsletter

The Wisconsin Independent is a project of American Independent Media, a 501(c)(4) organization whose mission is to use journalism to educate the public, giving them the information they need about local and federal issues.