Protect Our Care Wisconsin: Will Sen. Johnson stand up for Wisconsinites with pre-existing conditions?

MILWAUKEE, WI – Senate Democrats filed a discharge petition to force a vote on the Protect Pre-Existing Conditions Act, which would undo the Trump administration’s new junk insurance plans that don’t cover people with pre-existing conditions. In response, Protect Our Care Wisconsin state director Joe Zepecki issued the following statement:

“Any senator who votes against this resolution sends a clear message: they don’t support protections for people with pre-existing conditions. Voters made clear they want these protections, but Senate Republicans and President Trump continue to sabotage our health care and let insurance companies discriminate against the millions of Americans with pre-existing conditions, including 2,420,100 Wisconsinites. Trump and Republicans have pushed to let the insurance companies sell these junk plans, which cost more and cover less. If Senator Johnson votes against this resolution, it will be a nightmare for Wisconsin families and will come back to haunt him politically.”

 

The following organizations support the resolution: National Multiple Sclerosis Society, American Heart Association, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Pulmonary Hypertension Association, Mended Little Hearts, Hemophilia Federation of America, Chronic Disease Coalition, American Diabetes Association, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, National Organization for Rare Disorders, WomenHeart: the National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease, Susan G. Komen, Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation, COPD Foundation, Muscular Dystrophy Association, National Hemophilia Foundation, the Arthritis Foundation, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, National Psoriasis Foundation, Alpha-1 Foundation, ALS Association, National Alliance on Mental Illness, Immune Deficiency Foundation, March of Dimes, American Liver Foundation, National Health Council, National Patient Advocate Foundation, Protect Our Care, and the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship.

 

BACKGROUND

President Trump Wants To Gut Crucial Guardrail Protections. If He Gets His Way:

  • Protections for people with pre-existing conditions would be essentially meaningless. The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network said allowing states to waive essential health benefits “could render those protections meaningless” for people with pre-existing conditions.

  • It would be harder for people with pre-existing conditions to get affordable coverage. As Consumers Union stated, allowing states to waive essential health benefits would be “putting meaningful coverage out of reach for many Americans, especially those with chronic and pre existing conditions.”

  • You could pay more for the same coverage. The Trump administration would allow states to adjust the amount of premium tax credits and cost sharing consumers receive to help lower their costs. Without the guardrail to ensure coverage is just as affordable, many consumers could end up paying more for the same care.

  • Insurers would not have to cover essential benefits, like maternity care. Right now, every insurance plan must cover the 10 essential health benefits. Because states could opt out of covering these basic benefits, insurers would likely only offer policies that covered much less than they do now. The Kaiser Family Foundation found that the benefits most likely to no longer be covered would be maternity care, mental health or substance abuse coverage.

  • Insurers could reimpose lifetime and annual limits. Allowing states to opt out of the essential health benefits coverage means that insurance companies could once again put lifetime and annual limits on the amount of care you receive. The Center for American Progress estimates that 20 million people with health coverage through their employer would face lifetime limits on coverage, and 27 million would face annual limits.

As Many As 130 Million Americans Have A Pre-Existing Condition

  • According to an analysis by the Center for American Progress, roughly half of nonelderly Americans, or as many as 130 million people, have a pre-existing condition. This includes:

    • 44 million people who have high blood pressure

    • 45 million people who have behavioral health disorders

    • 44 million people who have high cholesterol

    • 34 million people who have asthma and chronic lung disease

    • 34 million people who have osteoarthritis and other joint disorders

  • 17 million children, 68 million women, and 30 million people aged 55-64 have a pre-existing condition

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