State Senate Democratic Committee: Senate GOP backs Walker plan to eliminate preexisting condition coverage guarantee

Contact: Jenni Dye, jennid@wisdems.org, 608-260-2417

Roth, Fitzgerald, Marklein, Wanggaard, and LeMahieu on record against health protections for vulnerable residents

MADISON – In a major blow to Wisconsin families, Gov. Walker’s plan to eliminate preexisting condition coverage protections for vulnerable residents has the backing of key Senate Republicans. As Walker pushes to undermine the Affordable Care Act, Senate Republicans including President Roger Roth (R-Appleton), Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau), Finance Member Howard Marklein (R-Spring Green), Caucus Chair Van Wanggaard (R-Racine) and Devin LeMahieu (R-Oostburg) have all gone on record opposing a state-level plan to protect preexisting condition coverage. All five Senators are up for re-election in November.

“Nobody should be denied coverage or forced to pay higher premiums because of an illness or health condition that is out of their control,” said Jenni Dye, SSDC Executive Director. “The fact that Republican politicians would rather side with out-of-state insurance executives rather than vulnerable residents here at home shows how little they care about Wisconsin families.”

A Democratic proposal to strengthen Wisconsin’s preexisting condition coverage laws and prevent insurance companies from deny care or charging higher premiums based on a preexisting condition was voted down by Senate Republicans despite overwhelming public support. Rather than holding down costs and expanding patient protections, Senate Republicans have fought to eliminate the ACA, protect the profits of drug companies, and overturn important patient protections.

“Access to affordable health care is one of the biggest challenges facing Wisconsin families,” added Dye. “Democrats understand how important it is that we protect vulnerable residents, look out for our neighbors and make sure that everyone has access to quality care. Unlike the Republican politicians who would rather cater to wealthy insurance executives and powerful drug companies, Democrats are committed to protecting individuals with preexisting conditions, lowering prescription drug costs, and strengthening BadgerCare. With several key races on the ballot this Fall and Senate Democrats just two seats from a majority, residents will have the ultimate say this November when it comes to protecting their health care.”

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