Health Coverage for Pre-existing Conditions in Jeopardy

MADISON – As the Trump Administration continues its effort to eliminate the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Wisconsin Republicans are refusing to ensure coverage protections for individuals with pre-existing conditions at the state level. A Democratic proposal to protect Wisconsin families from being denied access to health coverage is stalled in the Senate Committee on Health and Human Services and was recently rejected as an amendment during budget deliberations on the Senate floor.


“For the past eight years, Republicans have made it their mission to undermine the health care marketplace, limit access to coverage and protect the profits of wealthy insurance executives,” said Senate Democratic Leader Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse). “Instead of going back to the days when insurance companies could unfairly discriminate against individuals, we should protect the progress we’ve made and ensure families have the opportunity to access quality and affordable health care coverage. It is disturbing that efforts to strengthen state level protections have been repeatedly blocked by Republican politicians who refuse to help the 2.4 million Wisconsin residents with pre-existing conditions.”


“It’s another reminder that Republicans can’t be trusted when it comes to protecting health care for residents,” said Shilling. “Individuals with pre-existing conditions and Wisconsin families struggling to manage serious illnesses shouldn’t be denied coverage through no fault of their own. When push comes to shove, Republicans have shown they will always side with wealthy insurance executives over the health and well-being of families.”


In February, Democrats introduced Senate Bill 37 (SB 37) that would prohibit insurance companies from increasing costs or denying coverage based on a person’s pre-existing condition. The Senate Committee on Health and Human Services has refused to schedule a hearing for SB 37. Additionally, Republicans rejected Senate Budget amendment 2 that included the same health protections on a party line vote.