RECAP: Leah Vukmir defended her support to take Wisconsin back to the days when insurance companies wrote the rules by leaning on a partisan, Koch-backed study deriding plans to cover all Wisconsinites.
THE TRUTH: Tammy Baldwin believes we need new ideas on the table to lower costs and expand coverage. That’s why Tammy has championed multiple health care reforms to move us forward, including:
Supporting letting people over 55 buy into Medicare, which would give millions of older Americans an option to purchase a cheaper plan, help reduce costs, and increase competition.
Taking on big pharma by cracking down on drug corporations that jack up the price of prescriptions.
Fighting to allow Medicare to negotiate better prices on prescriptions for seniors, which Washington currently prohibits.
Tammy Baldwin Is Uniquely Situated To Talk About The Health Care Debate: She Endured A Three-Month Hospital Stay When She Was 9 Years Old And Has Been Labeled With A Preexisting Condition Ever Since Baldwin Took Up Health Care As A Signature Issue In 2018 Campaign. “But on her own terms, she is taking up health care as a signature issue, on the backs of Republicans’ failed attempts to repeal Obamacare and the Trump administration’s undermining of the law. […] ‘Her signature issue right now is health care. Every alternative that the Republicans are offering activates progressives, and the independents are like, ‘I’m not sure about this one, gang,’’ Ross said. ‘I think that is a feather in Sen. Baldwin’s cap.’” [Vox, 03/15/2018]
Baldwin “Introduced A Bill To Block Proposed Regulations That Would Undercut The Law’s Protections.” “Baldwin is uniquely situated to talk about the health care debate: She endured a three-month hospital stay when she was 9 years old and has been labeled with a preexisting condition ever since. With the Trump administration waging a quiet campaign to bring back preexisting conditions — even though the ACA’s effort to eliminate such discrimination is one of its most popular achievements — she has introduced a bill to block proposed regulations that would undercut the law’s protections. Baldwin also endorsed Bernie Sanders’s Medicare-for-all plan and various other Democratic proposals to expand Medicare and Medicaid. ‘There are so many parents or foster parents or grandparents who either worry about financial ruin if they get a sick child what they need or they worry: ‘Can we hold off, can we hold off?’’ she told me recently. ‘The administration isn’t looking at the whole picture and is being disingenuous because they’re smart enough to look at the whole picture.’” [Vox, 03/15/2018]
Baldwin Worked With Republicans To Require Price Transparency From Pharmaceutical Companies, And Lower Drug Prices
Baldwin Worked With the Late John McCain To Require Price Transparency From Pharmaceutical Companies. “I think about the example that I just gave you about the high cost of prescription drugs. I hear so many stories from constituents about life-saving or life-extending drugs that are out of reach for them or things like the EpiPen for allergic reactions or insulin going up in price so drastically. Why is that the case? Because nobody has really clamped down on them. They’ve been focused on their own profits, whether it’s in the tax bill or by other means. They know that I’ve joined forces with Arizona Sen. John McCain to rein them in and require that they be transparent. They don’t like it so they’re attacking me.” [Shepherd Express, 05/22/2018]
Baldwin Partnered With the Late John McCain On Legislation To Lower Prescription Drug Prices. “Baldwin didn’t want to weigh in on the controversy, but noted that she and McCain have partnered on three major bills, including one to reduce prescription drug prices and another ‘to confront the high rate of veteran suicides, focusing on the intersection with the opioid epidemic. ‘I sometimes agree and sometimes disagree with John McCain but I feel that he has been such a fierce and independent member of the United States Senate and where I have had an opportunity to partner with him on important efforts, it has been a joy to work with him,’ Baldwin told the Los Angeles Blade on her way to the airport.” [Los Angeles Blade, 05/16/2018]
Baldwin Introduced The Improving Access To Affordable Prescription Drugs Act. “It is morally wrong that in the richest country in the world, at the richest point in our history, millions of Americans don’t take the medicines their doctors prescribe because they can’t afford them. Americans are facing a drug affordability crisis. Even among those with health insurance coverage, nearly one-third struggle to meet out-of-pocket costs, including the skyrocketing costs of critical and lifesaving prescription drugs. This is why it is so important that, today, the ‘Improving Access to Affordable Prescription Drugs Act,’ was introduced by Senators Al Franken (D-Minn.), Bernie Sanders (I-VT.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Tom Udall (D-N. Mex.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), and Cory Booker (D-N.J.).” [Huffington Post, Alex Lawson and Stephanie Connolly, 3/29/2017]
Baldwin Introduced Legislation To Allow People Between The Ages Of 55 And 64 To Buy Medicare. “A group of Senate Democrats today introduced a bill to allow near retirees to buy into Medicare, the federal health insurance program for seniors. People between the ages of 55 and 64 could buy into the program and receive the same benefits as traditional enrollees under the measure sponsored by Debbie Stabenow of Michigan, Sherrod Brown of Ohio, and Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin. ‘People between the ages of 55 and 64 often have more health problems and face higher health care costs but aren’t yet eligible for Medicare,’ Stabenow said in a statement. ‘Our legislation is one way we can work together on a bipartisan basis to lower health care and prescription drug costs.’ The bill follows similar proposals from Democrats to expand access to Medicare. Hillary Clinton during the 2016 presidential campaign proposed a more expansive plan that would allow Americans 50 and older to buy into the program.” [Politico Pro, 8/3/2017]
Baldwin Championed The Provision In The ACA That Allows Young Adults To Stay On Their Parents’ Insurance Plans Until They Are 26 Years Old
Baldwin Cosponsored ACA Amendment Enabling Children To Stay On Parents’ Health Insurance Until Age 26. “Her grandparents almost lost their appeal to have their insurance cover her hospital stay. Later, when her grandparents tried to get her an insurance policy of her own, a pre-existing condition slowed the process, she added. ‘I grew up thinking, no foster parent or grandparent should have to go through this,’ she said. Baldwin said she cosponsored an amendment to the Affordable Care Act that allows children to stay on their parents’ health insurance until age 26.” [Barron News-Shield, 02/21/2018]
2017: Baldwin Co-Sponsored A Bill “That Would Allow Medicare To Negotiate Lower Drug Prices And Allow U.S. Pharmacies To Import Cheaper Drugs From Canada.”
Wisconsin State Journal: “Baldwin Has Advocated Measures Aimed At Curbing The Cost Of Prescription Drugs.” “In the Senate, Baldwin has advocated measures aimed at curbing the cost of prescription drugs. She co-sponsored a Democratic bill last year that would allow Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices and allow U.S. pharmacies to import cheaper drugs from Canada. Another bill Baldwin co-sponsored with Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., aims to curb drug price spikes. Introduced in 2016 in response to an uproar over EpiPen prices, it would force drug makers to tell the federal government why any price increase of more than 10 percent is justified at least a month before the increase.” [Wisconsin State Journal, 08/27/2018]
2017: Baldwin Co-Sponsored A Bill “That Would Allow Medicare To Negotiate Lower Drug Prices And Allow U.S. Pharmacies To Import Cheaper Drugs From Canada.” “In the Senate, Baldwin has advocated measures aimed at curbing the cost of prescription drugs. She co-sponsored a Democratic bill last year that would allow Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices and allow U.S. pharmacies to import cheaper drugs from Canada. Another bill Baldwin co-sponsored with Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., aims to curb drug price spikes.” [Wisconsin State Journal, 08/27/2018]