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GOP Pushes Substandard Health Coverage that Legalizes New Pre-Existing Condition Discrimination PDF Print E-mail
News - Articles for Nation & World
Written by Citizen Action of Wisconsin, Robert Kraig   
Thursday, 23 March 2017 14:59

americanhealthcareactConservative proposals are a back-door way to legalize discrimination, low quality health insurance is a shell game which will endanger the health and financial security of anyone who needs medical care.

STATEWIDE - As House Speaker Paul Ryan attempts to cobble together enough votes to pass the Republican health care plan later today, it has become clear in the late stages of negotiations that Ryan is seeking to hollow out the quality of coverage in order to moderate excessive increases in health premiums that would result from his plan. The result will be a back-door legalization of discrimination against people with pre-existing conditions.

Here is Wisconsin, the emphasis on gutting the quality of insurance is evident in the GOP response to a Citizen Action of Wisconsin research brief released on Tuesday. The Citizen Action research shows a 64 year-old making a modest $26,500 per year would be asked to pay 650% more in health insurance premiums than under the Affordable Care Act. Under the Ryan plan it would cost a moderate income senior on average a completely unaffordable $11,359 per year for health insurance premiums alone in Wisconsin (excluding deductibles and co-pays), and even more in many Wisconsin cities. Read the full research brief here.

It was reported by Wisconsin Public Radio this morning in its story on the Citizen Action research findings that “Republican State Rep. Joe Sanfelippo said he doesn't believe that older adults will have to forgo their health insurance because the new plan encourages the sale of insurance across state lines, which would boost competition and lower the cost of premiums. ‘That's going give people an incentive to remain covered with insurance,’ Sanfelippo said.”

But what Sanfelippo did not make clear is that even if insurance companies rushed to sell more policies across state lines, the resulting cost savings would come from a race to the bottom: while substandard policies approved in states with fewer regulations might have lower premiums, it comes at the cost of much higher deductibles, co-pays, and fewer essential medical services covered. Such health policies would only be cheaper for consumers who did not have to use them. In addition, research has shown that this scheme has utterly failed in all the states that have tried it because of the difficulty of negotiating new deals with health providers in each state.

Similarly, media reports indicate that Paul Ryan is proposing to eliminate the Affordable Care Act requirement that all health insurance policies cover essential health benefits. The plan already eliminates the requirement that policies cover at least 60% of the cost of medical care. While these moves to lower the quality of health insurance might somewhat reduce the sticker shock of the GOP health plan, they will cost people even more when they try to use their health insurance to pay for medical care.

“The schemes by conservative politicians to legalize substandard health insurance policies which charge huge co-pays and fail to cover essential medical services is nothing but a shell game which will leave millions of Americans dangerously underinsured when they need health care the most,” said Robert Kraig, Executive Director of Citizen Action of Wisconsin. “These substandard insurance schemes are especially dangerous for people with serious diseases and chronic conditions, who need quality health insurance which covers all necessary medical care and is affordable to use.”

In addition, repealing essential benefits in the Affordable Care Act or allowing health insurance policies approved by any state to be sold nationally make protections against pre-existing condition discrimination ineffective.

“If health insurance companies can exclude medical services, they will be in a position to game the system by making their policies ineffective for people with the most expensive pre-existing medical conditions,” said Kraig. “What conservative politicians are really doing is finding a backdoor way to re-legalize insurance discrimination against people with pre-existing conditions.”

Last Updated on Saturday, 28 October 2017 15:57
Russ Feingold Supports LegitAction in Stopping GOP's Judicial Coup PDF Print E-mail
News - Articles for Nation & World
Written by Russ Feingold   
Thursday, 23 March 2017 13:02

supreme-courtDemocratic, Independent and Republican senators who still care about the legitimacy of the Supreme Court must filibuster Trump's Gorsuch nomination.

MADISON - Today, right now, our democracy is facing a devastating threat. And it's not only Russia.

Republicans are attempting to complete the cynical political takeover of the Supreme Court that they launched last year when they failed to even give a hearing to Judge Merrick Garland.

potus-merrick-garland-scotusThe legitimacy of the Supreme Court has already taken a severe blow because of the GOP's political games, but if Judge Gorsuch is confirmed, it would lock in a dangerous precedent from which the legitimacy of our highest court may not recover.

neil-gorsuchThe Senate is the only entity now able to prevent this precedent and its resulting slippery slope, but only if senators are willing to fight. Democratic and Independent senators, and any Republicans who still care about the legitimacy of the Supreme Court, must filibuster Gorsuch's nomination.

Sign LegitAction's petition to Democratic and Independent senators now: preserve the legitimacy of the Supreme Court by filibustering the confirmation of Judge Gorsuch.

The legitimacy of the Supreme Court is one of the four key pillars of our country's democracy that is under threat and must be protected. The others are elections determined by voters instead of money, the unrestricted right and access to vote, and protecting the power of the popular vote.

This time, the GOP took the Supreme Court hostage in the last year of a president's term; next it will be the year before midterm elections. It won't be long before it extends to the whole two-year presidential campaign, amounting to three years of any presidential term where a Supreme Court seat cannot be filled.

I have always considered the Supreme Court our country's safety valve. When everything else fails, the Court is there to protect the Constitution and protect our civil rights.

But today, the most important safety valve is the U.S. Senate, specifically those senators with the conviction to fight for the legitimacy of the Supreme Court.

That's why we're going to actually deliver the signatures from this petition to Democratic and Independent senators. Add your voice now and tell Democrats and Independents in the Senate to filibuster Judge Gorsuch.

The GOP's judicial coup spat in the face of our Constitution, and a nomination that locks that in as a precedent cannot be accepted under any circumstances. It is not hypocritical to try to right this wrong. It would be unconstitutional not to.

Thanks for all you're doing during this crucial time.



Last Updated on Friday, 24 March 2017 13:24
GOP Aims to Takeaway Health Care From Their Own Constituents PDF Print E-mail
News - Articles for Nation & World
Written by Democratic Party of Wisconsin, Brandon Weathersby   
Thursday, 23 March 2017 10:44

americanhealthcareactMillions of Americans, including 49,300 in the Fox Valley/Green Bay area and nearly 240,000 statewide in Wisconsin Congressional districts held by Republicans could be harmed by ill conceived American Healthcare Act.

MADISON - Before the Affordable Care Act, millions of Americans lacked access to quality, affordable health insurance, and even those who did have coverage had little protection against insurance company abuses. It seems that Wisconsin's Republican members of Congress want to drag us back to the dark age before President Obama's landmark legislation. 

Tomorrow, the House is expected to vote on the widely-panned Republican Wealthcare bill, led by Rep. Paul Ryan, that kicks 24 million Americans off of their health insurance and forks over huge tax giveaways to insurance companies and the super-wealthy.

For some, the bill isn't bad enough, Rep. Grothman recently introduced an amendment to unfairly kick 26-year-olds off their parent's health care insurance, only allowing them to stay on their parent's plans until age 23. 

For others, like Rep. Sean Duffy, cajoling their colleagues for tomorrow's vote is more important than ensuring health care for those in his district who need it the most. 

Even those who have heard opposition to the proposal from their constituents are choosing to simply ignore them, like Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner and Rep. Mike Gallagher, who both still plan to vote for the Wealthcare bill tomorrow.  

Even Koch-brothers darling and 'repeal and replace' candidate, Sen. Ron Johnson, opposes the House's Wealthcare proposal. Johnson recently told reporters that “skeptical” was an “understatement” in describing his attitude toward the plan.

Last Updated on Saturday, 28 October 2017 15:58
Republicans Introduce ObamaCare Repeal & Replace Plan PDF Print E-mail
News - Articles for Nation & World
Written by Democratic Party of Wisconsin   
Tuesday, 07 March 2017 16:54

ryan-repub-healthcareSpeaker Paul Ryan and House Republicans proudly introduced their health plan last night, and it provides less coverage, higher costs, huge tax giveaways to those at the top. This took six years?

Attorney General Jeff Sessions' Recusal is Not Enough, say WisDems PDF Print E-mail
News - Articles for Nation & World
Written by Democratic Party of Wisconsin, Brandon Weathersby   
Friday, 03 March 2017 14:03

jeff-sessions-sergey-kislyakThe Department of Justice has proven incapable of pursuing an independent investigation into Russia’s connections with the Trump team. We need a real independent investigation.

MADISON - The following is the statement of Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Martha Laning with regards to news reports that Attorney General Jeff Sessions, our top law enforcement officer, may have lied under oath to cover up his own contacts with the Russian government during the campaign:

martha-laning"We now know explosive information both about what happened between Russian officials and the Trump campaign and about the Trump administration's efforts to cover it up. The most disturbing new knowledge is that Attorney General Jeff Sessions may have lied under oath to cover up his own contacts with the Russian government. In his own sworn testimony at his confirmation hearings Sessions denied contact with the Russians. Now, it turns out that Sessions met with the Russian ambassador in person twice.

jeff-sessions-donald-trump"In less than two months of the Trump administration, we've seen two high-ranking officials come under fire for lying about their communications with the Russians. We know top Trump aides were communicating with Russian spies, which is bad enough. We need a full and expedient investigation on possible charges of perjury and treason to uncover whether they were coordinating during the election. We need our Republican friends to join hands with us and commit to support real independent investigations into this matter to answer the questions that won't go away any other way.

"Sessions' recusal is not enough. Donald Trump’s Department of Justice has proven incapable of pursuing an independent investigation into Russia’s connections with the Trump team, and the American people will not stand for it. We've now reached a point where this scandal is bigger than any one individual, there is a pattern of troubling behavior between the current administration that could very well pose a real threat to the strength and vitality of our democracy."

Last Updated on Friday, 03 March 2017 15:57
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