U.S. Rep. Pocan: Pocan, Moore, Kind demand answers: Will Walker protect Wisconsinites with pre-existing conditions?

Contact: Ron Boehmer 202-225-2906

Latest ACA repeal bill would allow Governor to decide how much insurers can charge people with pre-existing conditions

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Representatives Mark Pocan (WI-02), Gwen Moore (WI-04), and Ron Kind (WI-03) today wrote to Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, asking him whether or not he would allow health insurers to discriminate against patients with pre-existing conditions, effectively blocking their access to affordable coverage.

Under the latest version of the Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson bill, states like Wisconsin could allow insurers to charge patients with pre-existing conditions premiums so high that health insurance would be out of reach for many. Additionally, states would be allowed to determine whether insurance plans sold in the state must provide coverage for services that are considered essential health benefits—services like prescription drug coverage, maternity care, substance abuse treatment, and hospitalization.

“Earlier this year, you failed to provide clarity on whether or not you will continue provisions enacted under the ACA which prohibit discriminating against individuals with pre-existing conditions,” Pocan, Moore, and Kind wrote. “Given the prospects that this legislation may move forward, we request you provide answers to whether you intend to maintain the requirement that insurance companies provide equal coverage for individuals with pre-existing conditions and whether you will ensure that Wisconsinites will continue to have access to essential health benefits.”

Specifically, Pocan, Moore, and Kind asked Walker to answer the following questions:

  1. Will you unequivocally refuse to allow health insurance companies to discriminate against individuals with pre-existing conditions by guaranteeing they are not unfairly priced out of the market?
  2. Will you guarantee that essential health benefits—including benefits that currently exist, such as prescription drug coverage, maternity care, and emergency services—are covered for Wisconsinites?
  3. Under this bill, people with pre-existing conditions may have to pay more for their coverage. If this legislation is signed into law, will you commit to proposing changes to the Wisconsin legislature to ensure that people with pre-existing conditions do not pay more for their care?

The full letter is available here.

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