Memo: Schuette’s Best Friends Tried to Undermine Coverage for Pre-existing Conditions

As Attorney General Bill Schuette has continued to lie and dissemble about his opposition to affordable healthcare for millions of Michiganders, more is coming out about his long history of supporting candidates who share his out of touch views.

“Actions speak louder than words,” said Joshua Pugh, For Our Future’s Michigan Communications Director. “Schuette’s actions have repeatedly showed his enthusiastic willingness to campaign for those who want to rip healthcare away from millions of Michiganders.”

Bill Schuette Claimed To Support Pre-Existing Condition Coverage But Supported Candidates That Aimed To Diminish Their Protections

In August 2018, while discussing health care, Bill Schuette claimed he supported maintaining insurance coverage for individuals with pre-existing conditions. Schuette highlighted his stance on the topic by tweeting out his own quote saying as much.

However, Schuette had previously worked on two presidential campaigns in which the candidates proposed health care plans diminishing protections for those with pre-existing conditions:

  • In 2015, Schuette chaired Jeb Bush’s presidential campaign operation in Michigan. In October 2015, Bush released a health care plan he claimed would guarantee coverage for patients with pre-existing conditions, but, in reality, only provided protections for those with pre-existing conditions who remained “continuously insured.”
  • In 2012, Schuette served as the Michigan campaign manager for Mitt Romney’s presidential bid. In October 2012, Romney claimed that his health care plan would protect those with pre-existing conditions from discrimination by health insurance companies. However, PolitiFact and Huffington Post pointed out that Romney’s plan only provided protections for those that remained continuously covered. Huffington Post also pointed out that Romney’s plan would not help those who could not get health insurance in the first place and that 89 million Americans went without health insurance for at least one month between 2004 and 2007.

August 2018: Schuette Claimed He Supported Maintaining Insurance Coverage For Individuals With Pre-Existing Conditions

Schuette Claimed He Favored Keeping Pre-Existing Conditions Covered. According to WSJM, “No direct answer from Republican gubernatorial nominee Bill Schuette to a question on the future of Governor Snyder’s Healthy Michigan program if he’s elected. The Medicaid expansion provides health insurance for 680,000 people in the state. At the Oakland County Republican Party headquarters Wednesday, Schuette gave a rambling answer to a yes or no question, saying he prefers a private-sector focus on healthcare instead of expanding Medicaid. He also said children should be able to stay on their parents’ plan until the age of 26 and he favors keeping pre-existing conditions covered.” [WSJM, 8/16/18]

Schuette: “I Want To Make Sure You Have Coverage For Pre-Existing Conditions.” According to Holland Sentinel, “On health insurance, specifically the Healthy Michigan program, Schuette says he wants accessible, affordable healthcare, and that he advocates for a work requirement for Medicaid. Democrats across the state have been critical of Gov. Rick Snyder and Republicans for approving a measure that ties work requirements to the program. ‘I want to make sure you have coverage for pre-existing conditions,’ Schuette said.” [Holland Sentinel, 8/28/18]

Schuette Highlighted His Stance By Tweeting Out His Stance On The Topic

Schuette Tweeted Out His Quote Claiming, “I Want To Make Sure You Have Coverage For Pre-Existing Conditions.” [Twitter — @SchuetteOnDuty, 8/28/18]

2015: Schuette Chaired Jeb Bush’s Michigan Campaign Operation While Bush Proposed Diminishing Protections For Coverage Of Those With Pre-Existing Conditions

Schuette Endorsed Jeb Bush For President. According to Detroit News, “Attorney General Bill Schuette has endorsed former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and will chair his Republican presidential campaign in Michigan, the campaign said Wednesday. Schuette will be joined by a team that includes finance co-chairs and donors C. Michael Kojaian and David T. Fischer, as well as Republican U.S. Rep. David Trott of Birmingham, Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson and former U.S. Sen. Spence Abraham. Schuette, considered a likely candidate for Michigan governor in three years, has a 35-year history with the Bush family, previously working on campaigns for George W. Bush and his father, George H.W. Bush. […] Schuette said Bush can gain ground on Republican frontrunner Donald Trump, likening the primary race to a ‘marathon’ and ‘hand-to-hand combat,’ He added that Bush has the endurance, the message and the staff in place to win. ‘Jeb is going to grind this out,’ Schuette said.” [Detroit News, 8/20/15]

Schuette Chaired Jeb Bush’s Michigan Campaign Operation. According to Flint Journal, “Bush may have the most riding on the Mackinac visit, according to Ballenger. The son and brother of former presidents, Bush entered the race with instant name recognition and quickly tapped top contributors to build a formidable war chest, but his polling numbers haven’t matched early expectations. In Michigan, Bush has raised large sums from big-name donors, has the backing of Attorney General Bill Schuette — the most significant in-state endorsement yet this cycle — and was the lone candidate scheduled to speak on the opening night of the conference, providing him with a chance to make his mark right from the start. […] Schuette, Calley, Miller and Meekhof are potential 2018 gubernatorial candidates. But Schuette, who is chairing Bush’s Michigan campaign operation, said he will be focused on 2016 during his time on the island.” [Flint Journal, 9/19/15]

October 2015: Bush Proposed A Health Care Plan Limiting Protections For Those With Pre-Existing Conditions To Those That Remained Continuously Insured

Jeb Bush Announced A Plan To Battle High Health Care Costs. According to Fortune, “Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush revealed his plan to battle higher health care costs, taking to Twitter Thursday to spread the news. His plan pits him squarely against Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, who revealed her own health plan last month. Bush’s plan is a direct attack on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and seeks to replace those reforms with a series of conservative substitutes, which could lower individual insurance costs but would likely not cover as many people as Obamacare.” [Fortune, 10/15/15]

Bush’s Plan Only Provided Protections For Those With Pre-Existing Conditions Who Remained “Continuously Insured”

Bush’s Plan Put In Place Federal Funding So State Could, Amongst Other Things, “Guarantee Coverage For Patients With Pre-Existing Conditions.” According to Fortune, “Bush’s plan calls for a ‘transition plan for the 17 million individuals entangled in Obamacare’ and would put in place federal funding so states can provide a series of low-cost, catastrophic plans, guarantee coverage for patients with pre-existing conditions, and fund care for low-income people.” [Fortune, 10/15/15]

Bush’s Plan Called For Federal Money To Be Sent To States To Provide Coverage For Low-Income Individuals And Those With Pre-Existing Conditions Based On The State Meeting Certain Criteria. In a Washington Examiner op-ed Philip Klein wrote, “The Bush plan would also move to give more flexibility to states. In a departure from the approach taken by Obamacare, which mandated that insurers cover those with pre-existing conditions and expanded Medicaid, under Bush’s proposal, the federal government would send a capped amount of money to states to provide coverage to low-income individuals and those with pre-existing conditions based on the states meeting certain outcomes.” [Washington Examiner, 10/12/15]

Fortune: “Bush’s Plan Would Also Loosen The Popular Guaranteed Coverage For Pre-Existing Conditions Under Obamacare, Potentially Affecting Insurance Coverage For Those Already Ill.” According to Fortune, “Such moves come with trade-offs. Low-cost catastrophic plans would lower premiums for many but would also provide fewer health benefits, which could dampen preventative care. Bush’s plan would also loosen the popular guaranteed coverage for pre-existing conditions under Obamacare, potentially affecting insurance coverage for those already ill.” [Fortune, 10/15/15]

Bush’s Plan Only Provided Protections For Those With Pre-Existing Conditions Who Stay “Continuously Insured,” “Only Persons Who Voluntarily Opt Out Of Insurance” Could Be Denied Coverage Due To Pre-Existing Conditions. According to National Review, “Obamacare attempted to solve the problem of pre-existing conditions by simultaneously outlawing the use of health status in insurance coverage and requiring all Americans to purchase a government-approved plan. The Bush plan comes at the problem from the opposite direction, by providing protection to anyone who stays continuously insured, ensuring that their health status cannot be used to raise their premiums or limit their coverage. Only persons who voluntarily opt out of insurance could be subjected to such treatment under Bush’s plan. States would be allowed to implement alternative insurance requirements of their own, but only if they provided similar assurance that people with pre-existing conditions would not be penalized based on the costs of their medical care.” [National Review, 10/13/15]

2012: Schuette Served As The Michigan Campaign Manager For Romney’s Presidential Bid While Romney Proposed Diminishing Protections For Coverage Of Those With Pre-Existing Conditions

Schuette Served As The Michigan Campaign Manager For Mitt Romney’s Presidential Bid. In a Pioneer op-ed Brandon Fountain wrote, “‘Royal Oak do you want to rock? Michigan do you want to roll?’ said Romney’s statewide campaign manager Bill Schuette revving up the crowd just before an appearance of Detroit’s own Kid Rock. Wow. There’s something that’s not right about that. And I’m not talking about Kid Rock. Bill Schuette the campaign manager or Bill Schuette the state attorney general? They’re one in the same.” [Pioneer, 2/29/12]

October 2012: Romney Proposed A Health Care Plan Limiting Protections For Those With Pre-Existing Conditions To Those That Remained Continuously Insured

During A Debate, Romney Claimed That His Health Care Plan Would Protect Those With Pre-Existing Conditions From Discrimination By Health Insurance Companies. According to Huffington Post, “During Wednesday’s presidential debate in Denver, Colo., Romney declared that Americans with pre-existing conditions should be protected from discrimination by health insurance companies, repeating an assertion he’s made throughout the presidential campaign. ‘I do have a plan that deals with people with pre-existing conditions. That’s part of my health care plan,’ Romney said.” [Huffington Post, 10/4/12]

Politifact And Huffington Post Pointed Out That Romney’s Plan Only Provided Protections For Those With Pre-Existing Conditions Who Remained Continuously Covered

PolitiFact Rated Romney’s Claim That His Health Care Proposals Included Protections For Pre-Existing Conditions As “Mostly False,” Clarified That “People Would Be Protected From Denial Only If They Have Been Continuously Insured.” According to PolitiFact, “Romney said his health care proposals include protections for pre-existing conditions What he didn’t say at the debate — but which his website states and advisers confirmed after the debate — is that people would be protected from denial only if they have been continuously insured. The health care law, though, offers protections whether people have current coverage or not, so it offers more robust protection. The law also includes a requirement that everyone have insurance or pay a tax penalty. Romney’s plan doesn’t have that requirement. Romney did not mention the qualifier that people have to stay insured to get the protection. That’s a significant omission. We rate his statement Mostly False.” [PolitiFact, 10/5/12]

Huffington Post: Romney’s Plan “Would Do Nothing To Help Those Who Can’t Get Health Insurance In The First Place,” Pointed Out 89 Million Americans Had Gone Without Coverage For At Least One Month between 2004 And 2007

Huffington Post HEADLINE: “Mitt Romney’s Health Care Plan Would Not Prohibit Discrimination Based On Pre-Existing Conditions” [Huffington Post, 6/13/12]

Romney’s Plan “Would Do Nothing To Help Those Who Can’t Get Health Insurance In The First Place.” According to Huffington Post, “Because Romney’s campaign proposal only applies to people with pre-existing conditions who maintain continuous health care coverage, it would do nothing to help those who can’t get health insurance in the first place.” [Huffington Post, 10/4/12]

Huffington Post Pointed Out That Losing Coverage Was Common By Citing A Report Showing That 89 Million Americans Went Without Health Insurance For At Least One Month Between 2004 And 2007. According to Huffington Post, “But losing coverage, if only for a short time, is common: 89 million Americans went without health insurance for at least one month between 2004 and 2007, according to a report published in August by the Commonwealth Fund, a New York-based research institution.” [Huffington Post, 10/4/12]