Rep. Petryk: Healthcare Stability Plan Brings Optimism to Wisconsin

Many people living in Wisconsin have watched their healthcare premiums skyrocket over the past few years under the federal “Affordable” Care Act. Those participating in the individual market have seen their premiums go up as much as 44 percent. Governor Walker and the legislature knew it was time to take action to bring our hard-working citizens truly affordable healthcare options through the passage of Act 138, the "Healthcare Stability Plan."

The Healthcare Stability Plan, defined by the Wisconsin Legislative Council, is a $200 million reinsurance program with a purpose of providing stability in the individual health insurance market. This program required federal approval to allow Wisconsin to make changes to the insurance markets not otherwise authorized under the Affordable Care Act. Alaska, Hawaii, Oregon, and even our Minnesota neighbors took action to receive federal approval to make similar changes to their health insurance markets and four more states are currently awaiting approval. It is evident that skyrocketing premiums under the Affordable Care Act are an issue not only in our state, but across our nation.

On July 29, the federal administration approved Wisconsin’s plan to begin lowering premiums for those across the state. Some people have flippantly referred to the savings generated by our Healthcare Stability Plan as "a joke", but I know beyond a doubt that it absolutely is not "a joke" to the many people in the 93rd Assembly District who are finding themselves unable to afford to pay their rising insurance premiums under the failing Affordable Care Act.

Approval of the Healthcare Stability Plan is policy in the right direction for the people of our state to help stabilize the health insurance market and improve access to affordable insurance options, while still working within the parameters set by the federal government. I am proud to have voted in favor of this bill for not only my constituents, but for all Wisconsinites.