WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) hosted a virtual roundtable with Wisconsinites to discuss what’s at stake for women’s health, children’s health, young adult coverage and guaranteed protections for people with pre-existing conditions if President Trump and Senate Republicans force through their nominee for the Supreme Court. On November 10, 2020, the Supreme Court will hear arguments in a lawsuit supported by President Trump to overturn the Affordable Care Act completely. If confirmed, Trump’s nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett could participate in the court’s decision.
Baldwin was joined by Wisconsin State Representative Jimmy Anderson (D-Fitchburg), Wisconsin Alliance for Women’s Health Executive Director Sara Finger and Kids Forward Health Policy Engagement Coordinator William Parke-Sutherland.
“We’re facing the worst public health crisis in a generation, and instead of working to make things better, President Trump wants to take people’s health care away with this court pick. Over 178,000 Wisconsinites have been infected with COVID-19, which could now be considered a pre-existing health condition. These people need the guaranteed protections that the Affordable Care Act provides,” said Senator Baldwin. “We’re here today to make it clear that Wisconsinites do not want President Trump to take people’s health care away, in the middle of a deadly pandemic. We don’t want to go back to the days when insurance companies wrote the rules, and could choose to deny people coverage, charge people more, or set annual or lifetime limits on people’s health care.”
Wisconsin State Representative Jimmy Anderson shared his story of being in a car accident in 2010, when a drunk driver took the lives of his parents and brother, and left Jimmy paralyzed from the chest down. Because of the Affordable Care Act, he did not have to worry about hitting a lifetime or annual cap on his care, and could instead focus on his own recovery. “There’s people with disabilities who, if we reinstall those annual caps, will be hitting those annual caps every year and struggling mightily,” said Rep. Anderson. “We need to do everything we can to defend the Affordable Care Act, to build on its legacy, and to make sure that we don’t go back to the bad days of when insurance companies could discriminate and kick people off their health insurance plans.” Listen to Rep. Jimmy Anderson’s remarks at 4:30 in the video.
“Just being a woman was a pre-existing condition before the Affordable Care Act,” said Sara Finger. “Before the Affordable Care Act, only 12 percent of plans that were out there in the individual marketplace offered maternity coverage. The preventative care that is offered with the Affordable Care Act including cancer screenings, domestic violence screenings, breastfeeding support – all of that is offered at a base level without any out-of-pocket costs and that is huge for women and all of our health care needs. The last thing we need right now is to go back to a time when we had this horrendous system working against people at every level, and I refuse to let us go back to that time before the Affordable Care Act.” Listen to Sara Finger’s remarks at 8:35 in the video.
“The ACA provides coverage to about 195,000 Wisconsinites right now, and about 26,000 of those are children or young adults under the age of 25. So all of those people would be at risk if they ACA were overturned,” said William Parke Sutherland. “Requiring preventative care services for children and adults to be delivered free of charge is really important, and it’s especially important during a pandemic. It’s vitally important that we remove as many barriers for children getting the care they need, getting vaccines and getting routine preventative care. The ACA is of vital importance to everyone in the state, regardless of whether they are in the health insurance marketplace, or they are children on their parents’ insurance plans, or are women and other folks needing those essential benefits like maternity care, prescription drug coverage, mental health coverage, and substance abuse coverage, and all of that is at stake if the ACA is overturned.” Listen to William Parke-Sutherland’s remarks at 12:25 in the video.
The full video from today’s roundtable is available for download here.
An online version of this release is available here.