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Wisconsin Democrats Push Health Care Protection Package

Democrats in the state legislature think Wisconsinites should have health-care coverage regardless of what happens in Washington. (Universal Image Group/Getty Images)
Democrats in the state legislature think Wisconsinites should have health-care coverage regardless of what happens in Washington. (Universal Image Group/Getty Images)
May 24, 2017

MADISON, Wis. - As Republicans in Washington continue to pursue their "repeal and replace" strategy regarding the Affordable Care Act with the introduction of the American Health Care Act, Wisconsin Democrats have introduced a series of bills they call the Wisconsin Health Care Protection Package.

They say the bills are designed to make sure that no matter what happens in Washington, Wisconsinites will have access to affordable health care.

The American Health Care Act allows states to make decisions about things such as pre-existing conditions. Gov. Scott Walker has indicated he's open to dropping some protections.

State Sen. Jon Erpenbach, D-Middleton, said his party isn't willing to risk the opportunities of a healthy life.

"Our families deserve the security of knowing their insurance policy will cover them no matter what happens in life," he said. "Our Wisconsin Health Care Protection plan would safeguard families from being denied access, or charged more for health insurance because of pre-existing conditions."

The package also would help protect Wisconsin families from financial ruin by prohibiting lifetime and annual limits, Erpenbach said, and would help keep out-of-pocket health care costs down by requiring preventive services to be continued at no cost.

"We promote community health and economic security by requiring health-insurance plans to cover essential health benefits," he said, "and to ensure that family-planning patients are covered with state reimbursement because we value health for everyone in all of our communities."

Erpenbach said all Wisconsinites deserve fair access to health care no matter what happens in Washington. According to one estimate, more than 300,000 Wisconsinites would lose their health insurance if the American Health Care Act becomes law.

Bills in the Democrats' package are LRB 1882/LRB 1151, LRB 1881/LRB 1150, LRB 1884/LRB 1199, LRB 3444/LRB 2107 and LRB 2988/LRB 3484. A summary of the bills is online at thewheelerreport.com.

Tim Morrissey, Public News Service - WI