WisDems: Wisconsin nurse and breast cancer survivor says she cannot support Leah Vukmir

Contact: press@tammybaldwin.com

“It’s upsetting that Leah Vukmir supports letting insurance companies go back to denying coverage to people with pre-existing conditions”

WAUSAU — In a new ad from Tammy Baldwin for Senate, a Wisconsin registered nurse and breast cancer survivor says she cannot support Leah Vukmir given her support for letting insurance companies go back to denying coverage to people with pre-existing conditions.
WATCH: “Both Sides”

“I’ve seen both sides of how our health care system works. I’ve been a nurse for twelve years and I’m also a breast cancer survivor. That means like more than two million Wisconsinites, I have a pre-existing condition,” said Shannon Thielman of Wausau in the ad. “So it’s upsetting that Leah Vukmir supports letting insurance companies go back to denying coverage to people with pre-existing conditions. As a nurse and a cancer survivor, I just cannot support Leah Vukmir.”

Leah Vukmir has campaigned on repealing the Affordable Care Act and gutting pre-existing condition protections, while Tammy Baldwin is leading the fight to protect coverage for Wisconsinites with pre-existing conditions.

Earlier this week, the Baldwin campaign released an ad featuring a Wisconsin mom of a child born with heart defects asking what would happen if Leah Vukmir let insurance companies deny coverage to people with pre-existing conditions. A previous ad, featuring a Wisconsin cancer survivor, highlighted Leah Vukmir’s votes against requiring insurance companies to cover oral chemotherapy. Recently, Wisconsinites from across the state have been speaking out against Leah Vukmir’s votes against requiring insurance companies to cover hearing aids and cochlear implants for deaf children in Wisconsin.

BACKGROUND:

Leah Vukmir supports repealing the ACA and gutting pre-existing condition protections: 

  • Leah Vukmir is campaigning on full repeal“Leah understands why people are upset with Republicans who promised to repeal Obamacare and didn’t deliver. She supports full repeal of Obamacare. Period. And she won’t stop pushing for full repeal in Congress.”
  • Leah Vukmir supports Graham-Cassidy. This plan “would bring preexisting conditions back to the individual market, allowing insurers to charge sick people higher premiums — or deny them coverage outright.”
  • Vice President Pence said in Wisconsin that if Leah Vukmir wins, they will try to pass those repeal plans again: “We made an effort to fully repeal and replace Obamacare. And we’ll continue — with Leah Vukmir in the Senate, we’ll continue to go back to that.” 
  • Leah Vukmir supports the Trump administration’s junk insurance plans, that allow insurance companies to deny customers coverage if they have a pre-existing condition: “Vukmir supports rules recently issued by the Trump administration that aim to chip away at Obamacare by permitting certain types of health plans that don’t meet the law’s requirements.”  

Tammy Baldwin is leading the fight to protect coverage for Wisconsinites with pre-existing conditions:

  • Tammy Baldwin introduced legislation to stop those junk insurance plans:
    • AP“Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., who faces a potentially competitive re-election contest in November, will lead the effort to thwart Trump’s short-term health care plans. She said 1 in 4 of her constituents have pre-existing conditions, ‘and they cannot afford to have the health care they depend on threatened.’ The new plans represent one of many Trump administration moves aimed at weakening Obama’s 2010 law, following Congress’ attempt to repeal it last year ended in an embarrassing Senate defeat.” 
    • Vox“Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) is leading the effort, introducing a resolution to unwind the Trump administration’s expansion of short-term insurance plans. Those plans are not subject to Obamacare’s rules for preexisting conditions or essential health benefits and Democrats dismiss them as ‘junk.’”
    • Washington Examiner“Tammy Baldwin pursues legislation to guarantee pre-existing condition protections. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., announced legislation to block a proposed rule that would expand the duration of short-term plans from 90 days to nearly 12 months.”
  • Leah Vukmir has come out against this legislation to protect people with pre-existing conditions. Rather, Vukmir wants to throw people back into high risk pools, which covered some Wisconsinites, but was also “too expensive for many to afford, left more than half a million state residents uninsured, included a six-month waiting period for coverage of pre-existing conditions and imposed a lifetime coverage cap.”
  • According to a Center for American Progress report, more than 2.4 million Wisconsinites have a pre-existing condition.
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