Mitt Romney was vague on Tuesday about how he would deal with people who have pre-existing conditions and are trying to get insurance, saying there should be rules to prevent companies from denying it to those who have held insurance before. He gave no answer on how to help those who have consistently been denied insurance.
"People who have been continuously insured ... then they get real sick and they happen to lose a job or change jobs, they find, gosh, I've got a pre-existing condition, I can't get insured. I'd say, 'no no no,'" he said Tuesday night on NBC's "Tonight Show with Jay Leno." "As long as you've been continuously insured, you ought to be able to get insurance going forward."
Romney added that Obamacare should be repealed and that the issue of health care should be decided by the states.
He acknowledged that it is a problem when people with a pre-existing condition do not have insurance and then try to get it -- one of the reasons for the individual mandate in President Barack Obama's health care reform. Many of them are denied insurance, even if they are not -- as implied by Romney -- trying to game the system by only joining once they are already sick.
Romney said "people who have done their best to get insured," even with a pre-existing condition, should be able to get insurance. But he also said there should be measures to prevent people from waiting to get insurance until they are sick.
"Well, if they’re 45 years old, and they show up and they say, 'I want insurance because I’ve got a heart disease, it’s like, 'Hey guys, we can’t play the game like that,'" he told Leno. "You've got to get insurance when you’re well, and if you get ill, then you’re going to be covered."