FROM THE CANDIDATE
AB1 Fails to Protect Wisconsinites
I have spent years fighting for safe, affordable access to healthcare. Ensuring protections for pre-existing conditions is one of the most important elements in that fight. Today the Assembly is debating AB1, a bill that intends to protect pre-existing conditions if the ACA were to be deemed unlawful.
I’m glad to see that this issue is the first to be taken up this session, but this bill doesn’t do enough. This bill in its current form will not protect vulnerable Wisconsinites if the ACA is repealed. Here’s why:
Simply mandating that insurance companies can’t deny people coverage on the basis of pre-existing conditions doesn’t address the myriad of other ways insurance companies can keep people out. Amendments may be added and the bill may change, but as it stands it fails to address premiums and deductibles, leaving insurance companies the ability to offer plans that are unaffordable. It also fails to address one of the most critical pieces of the ACA, which is ensuring that all plans cover essential health benefits.
Before the Affordable Care Act, women had to pay a higher premium for maternity care, and oftentimes there was a window of time between when the maternity coverage was purchased and when it would take effect, essentially eliminating any chance of purchasing the plan in the months before a woman planned to become pregnant, and certainly eliminating the chance for coverage if purchased while she was pregnant. Without ensuring that Essential Health Benefits are covered, what else might insurance companies approach this way? Diabetes? Cancer? Mental illness?
This bill is a band-aid solution for a serious, complex problem. In the Assembly, I’ll always stand up for comprehensive protection for the over 800,000 Wisconsinites living with pre-existing conditions.