Written by Citizen Action of Wisconsin, Kevin Kane
Wednesday, 19 April 2017 16:14
Rep. Duffy outburst reveals fear of government control overrides public good.
ANTIGO, WI - In an emotional outburst at a town hall meeting yesterday in Antigo, Congressman Sean Duffy said much more than he intended about why conservative politicians who control the House of Representatives are reneging on their campaign promise to make health coverage more affordable and accessible.
At the town hall meeting, which was dominated by questions about the unsuccessful attempt to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Dora Gorski asked Duffy to support a single payer health care system to reduce costs and to guarantee health coverage to every American.
Citizen Action of Wisconsin Executive Director Robert Kraig made the following statement in response:
“Congressman Duffy’s outburst unintentionally reveals a dangerously constricted view of government that if fulfilled would eliminate Medicare and BadgerCare, which are single payer systems, and would abolish public schools. By stating this anti-government extremism plainly, Duffy has actually helped explain why the conservative majority in the House of Representatives delivered a health care bill which forces 24 million people off health care and legalizes discrimination against people with pre-existing conditions. The modern conservative drive to radically limit the role of our democracy is incompatible with guaranteeing that everyone in America has somewhere to go to get health care no matter what. Insurance and pharmaceutical corporations are not in the business of securing affordable health care, they are driven by profit imperatives dictated by Wall Street. That’s why insurance companies will deny coverage to sick people and pharmaceutical corporations will price gouge if we let them. It is a simple truth that only “we the people, through the agency of our own democratic government, can guarantee health care to everyone in America.”
Written by Citizen Action of Wisconsin, Robert Kraig
Thursday, 23 March 2017 14:59
Conservative 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.”
Written by Democratic Party of Wisconsin, Brandon Weathersby
Thursday, 23 March 2017 10:44
Millions 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.
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.