Assembly passes pre-existing conditions bill 

By Rose McBride, WJFW

MADISON - Tony Evers wants to see Republicans and Democrats pass bills they both agree on.

He stressed it near the end of his first State of the State Address Tuesday night.

And while we might not see much of that this session, the Wisconsin Assembly showed it wants to protect people with pre-existing conditions, even if Republicans get rid of the Affordable Care Act.

It passed a bill Tuesday forcing insurers to cover them.

Republican leaders amended the bill to eliminate annual and lifetime coverage limits. 

It passed with 16 of the chamber's 35 Democrats voting for it after some spent hours fighting against the bill.

"I think we could do more than that, I think we should also pass an essential health benefits bill that would require that all insurance plans in Wisconsin require basic health benefits like maternity, like the emergency room, like prescription drug coverage," said Rep. Katrina Shankland, (D) Stevens Point.

Tuesday night in his state of the state address, Governor Tony Evers said he told Attorney General Josh Kaul to withdraw from the lawsuit that would end the ACA.

But in December, Republicans passed a lame duck bill that would prohibit Kaul from withdrawing from the lawsuit.

"We're really going to need to review that because if you look at the Minnesota example, they expanded the ACA and it was just a couple years later that Governor Dayton said the ACA was unaffordable to the people of Minnesota," said Sen. Tom Tiffany, (R) Minocqua. 

The pre-existing conditions bill will now head to the senate