WisDems: Leah Vukmir sided with insurers to block autism coverage

Contact: Brad Bainum, bradb@wisdems.org

Earlier Today: Milwaukee-Area Health Care Professionals Hit Vukmir’s Opposition to Autism Coverage

WAUWATOSA — Today, Wisconsin health care professionals gathered outside of Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin in Wauwatosa to highlight Republican U.S. Senate candidate Leah Vukmir’s record of repeatedly siding with insurance companies over Wisconsinites in need of health care coverage.

At the event, the health care professionals drew attention to Vukmir in 2007 blocking two separate bills that would have required insurance companies to cover Wisconsinites’ autism treatments. First, Vukmir used her position as chair of the Assembly Committee on Health and Healthcare Reform to block and ultimately kill 2007 Assembly 417, a bill to require “health insurance coverage of treatment for autism spectrum disorders,” without so much as holding a hearing a vote or hearing on the measure. Then, Vukmir worked to sabotage 2007 Senate Bill 178, a bipartisan bill that passed the Senate to expand autism treatment coverage, ultimately voting to table and kill it.

Former state Rep. Sandy Pasch, a nurse, and Dr. Brady McIntosh, an emergency room specialist, also hit on Vukmir’s broader record of siding with insurance companies over patients and Vukmir’s support for repealing the Affordable Care Act and gutting its protections for Wisconsinites with pre-existing conditions:

“Vukmir talks about her record as a nurse but she’s always voted against taking care of people […] In 2007, Vukmir blocked two separate bills that would have required insurance companies to cover Wisconsinites’ autism treatments. […] How could anyone, let alone a nurse, oppose expanding coverage for Wisconsinites with autism? It’s shocking. But, then again, this is the same Leah Vukmir who tried to block oral chemo coverage and voted against hearing aid coverage for kids.” –Nurse and former state Rep. Sandy Pasch

“[W]hen I heard people like Leah Vukmir talk about repealing the Affordable Care Act and gutting the law’s protections for people who have pre-existing conditions, I just don’t get it […] We should be expanding health care access and improving affordability, not cutting kids’ health care and returning to the days when insurance companies could jack up prices and price sick patients out of getting covered.” –Dr. Brady McIntosh

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