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Betty Sutton stumps for health care in Lorain campaign appearance

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    Lorain Mayor Chase Ritenauer speaks in support of Betty Sutton, at right, the Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor, in an appearance Friday in Lorain.



LORAIN — Betty Sutton attacked Republican gubernatorial candidate Mike DeWine’s stance on health care and providing health care for those with pre-existing conditions during a campaign stop in Lorain County Friday morning.

Sutton, who is running for lieutenant governor alongside Democratic gubernatorial candidate Rich Cordray, stopped in Lorain for a rally in front of City Hall along with Lorain Mayor Chase Ritenauer and Ohio Senate candidate Sharon Sweda, all Democrats.

“I’m here to talk about the defining issue in the gubernatorial campaign, and that is protecting Ohioans with pre-existing condition,” Sutton said. “Rich Cordray and I have supported protections for Ohioans with pre-existing conditions, while Mike DeWine has fought relentlessly to eliminate those protections.”

Ritenauer said the cost of health care has been the top economic concern for Ohioans. He also said that his constituents in Lorain tell him it’s an important issue to them, as well.

“In his 42 years in politics, Mike DeWine is now somehow just realizing this,” Ritenauer said. “He’s changed course, and if you see where he was eight years ago, running for attorney general to today, it’s a complete 180 on his position for protections for those with pre-existing conditions.”

Sutton said that since his very first day as attorney general, DeWine has “proactively fought to get rid of those protections for pre-existing conditions” when he sued to eliminate the Affordable Care Act. Sutton also said that DeWine “has fought to protect insurance companies from people who have pre-existing conditions.”

Josh Eck, a spokesman for DeWine said Sutton’s claims aren’t true.

“He voted no less than seven times, from what we’ve found, in Congress to support pre-existing conditions,” Eck said. “In 2012, in his capacity as attorney general, he was suing to overturn Obamacare. We have radio clips of him telling the media that he’s against Obamacare because of the individual mandate, the taxes and the problems where people weren’t able to keep their doctors, but he does believe we should cover pre-existing conditions and that Congress should find a compromise to keep that in replacing Obamacare.”

Eck said DeWine has been “for protecting pre-existing conditions his entire career” and “anything to the contrary is just a misguided attempt to deceive the voters.”

Contact Scott Mahoney at (440) 329-7146 or smahoney@chroniclet.com. Follow him on Twitter @SMahoneyCT.

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