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Angle Suggests Free Market Could Solve Pre-Existing Conditions Coverage

First Posted: 09/21/10 04:25 PM ET Updated: 05/25/11 06:45 PM ET

Sharron Angle

Nevada Republican Senatorial candidate Sharron Angle suggested on Monday that she'd prefer free-market remedies to a legislative mandate that insurance companies be required to cover people with pre-existing conditions.

During an appearance on the conservative Bill Manders show, a caller asked Angle whether she supported the position adopted by, among others, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who came out in opposition to the forcing insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions as part of the president's health care reform package. The caller, who opposed Obama's bill, nevertheless thought Hukcabee's position was a bit callous.

"Well," said Angle. "I'm so glad you mentioned that this is about insurance company cost and not about how good our health care is in this country because we do have the beast health care in the whole world. And our doctors really do deliver for us. So, thank you for mentioning that this is an insurance problem, not a health care problem. And ObamaCare really hasn't addressed the insurance problem.

"We know that the insurance cost problem can be addressed very well by the free market. And when you talk about what those solutions are. Part of them is get rid of the mandated coverages. Another: go across state lines. Another: tort reform. And another: broaden those pools. Allow small businesses to build a pool of their own that spreads out those risks. When you spread out the risk then you can cover pre-existing conditions because the cost comes down. That's really the answer. It's in the free market. And I'm so glad you mentioned that... because you're exactly right: it's a health insurance cost and we can deal with it in the free market."

Angle's answer is garbled enough to lack definitiveness. But the outlines of her response suggest pretty strongly that she believes if risk were spread broadly enough throughout the insurance market there would be no need to mandate companies to cover specific groups of individuals.

Jarrod Agen, a spokesman for the campaign, insisted in an email to the Huffington Post that getting rid of the pre-existing conditions in the health care law was "not what her answer says." But when pressed for more specifics he went silent.

Angle has hinted this position before. During the primary campaign, for instance, she told conservative radio talk show host Mark Levin that there was "nothing good" about Obama's health care legislation

"[T]his law is the problem," she said, "this law is not the solution. The free market is the solution, as you've so often pointed out in your book "Liberty and Tyranny."

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