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Study Says 1.3 Million Hoosiers Have Preexisting Health Conditions

A new report from health care advocacy group Families USA shows at least one-point-three million people in Indiana have preexisting conditions which currently bar many of them from obtaining health insurance.  9th District Representative Baron Hill joined a Thursday teleconference about the numbers, saying they reinforce his vote for  reform.

Families USA was one of the most vocal backers of the Obama Administration's push for health care reform.  Baron Hill, a member of the Democratic but fiscally conservative Blue Dog Coalition, waited until just before the vote to declare his support, but has since crisscrossed the 9th District explaining why he supports the bill.  The legislation eliminates insurance companies' ability to decline coverage because of a preexisting condition by the year 2014, and makes that provision effective for children and dependents this year.  Families USA Executive Director Ron Pollack said that's important, because preexisting conditions are not limited by age.

"More than one out of six -- 16.9 percent -- of those between the ages of 18 and 24 have a diagnosed preexisting condition," Pollack said.

When asked about the numbers' possible effect on the fall election, Baron Hill pointed out his opponent in November, Orange County Deputy Prosecutor Todd Young, is opposed to the bill...

"As I understand it, Mr. Young, if he's elected, will vote to repeal this health care bill that we passed," Hill said.  "It's an important difference.  I happen to disagree with him, I think this is an important bill."

Families USA's Pollack added the estimate of 1.3 million Hoosiers with preexisting conditions is a conservative one, as more undoubtedly have medical issues which have not yet been diagnosed.

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