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(INDIANAPOLIS) – Health care has been a dividing line between Democrats and Republicans for decades, and Joe Donnelly and Mike Braun are no exception. 

Donnelly voted for the federal health care law in the House. In his first Senate campaign, he emphasized his support for repealing some controversial provisions like the medical device tax or a redefinition of “full-time” work as 30 hours a week. This year, he’s flipped from emphasizing what he views as the law’s weaknesses to its strengths, stressing the law’s guarantee of coverage for preexisting conditions and its ban on lifetime coverage caps. He’s blasting Braun for supporting Republican repeal efforts, charging he’d endanger thousands of Hoosiers who depend on those protections.

Braun says the law was “doomed to fail” from the start — he says it didn’t think through how to control health care costs. But he says Republicans should do what their repeal bills last year didn’t, and pass a plan which covers preexisting conditions and continues a ban on capping benefits. He argues with the economy growing, businesses have no excuse for not sharing the benefits with workers in the form of good health coverage.

Braun says a better health plan would focus on consumer options and encouraging good health choices. He points to  the self-insurance plan he implemented at  his Jasper company, which included health savings accounts and offered full coverage for preventive care, while including coverage for preexisting conditions.

Donnelly accuses the Trump administration of “sabotaging” the law by changing a cost-sharing provision designed to keep your premiums down. He was part of a bipartisan group of 31 senators which crafted a replacement, but couldn’t get it to a vote.

(Photo: only5/Thinkstock)