Legislation to Protect WI Health Consumers from Dangerous U.S. Supreme Court Decision

On a media call today (audio here), Citizen Action of Wisconsin joined Senator Kathleen Vinehout and State Representative Melissa Sargent to announce a contingency plan in case the Supreme Court takes health insurance subsidies away from over 183,000 Wisconsinites.

“If Walker and the Legislature fail to take safeguards to prevent this human made disaster, women with breast cancer and men with heart conditions will be forced off their health coverage,” said Robert Kraig, Executive Director of Citizen Action of Wisconsin

The announcement of the Vinehout-Sargent legislation, which creates a state-run marketplace, coincides with U.S. Supreme Court oral arguments on the case of King vs. Burwell. An adverse ruling in the case could take tax subsidies away from over 11 million people in states that did not set up their own federal health insurance marketplace under the provisions of the Affordable Care Act. States that set up their own health insurance marketplaces are not at risk.

If subsidies are stripped Wisconsin health consumers on the federal marketplace will pay on average 350% more for their health coverage. The Urban Institute estimates that 85% of enrollees who lose their subsidies will be forced off health coverage.

"Wisconsin already has a model for a state health marketplace, yet when Walker came to office that progress came to a screeching halt," said State Senator Kathleen Vinehout, Senate sponsor of the state marketplace legislation. "We will can and must build a new marketplace in light of the Supreme Court case, taking advantage of our state authority to guarantee quality and affordable coverage for all Wisconsinites."

“The Affordable Care Act has provides my friends, family, and neighbors across Wisconsin with the security of affordable health care coverage,” said State Representative Melissa Sargent, Assembly sponsor. “Today, we are providing a solution to a possible crisis before it hits Wisconsin consumers. The current Administration cannot sit on their hands when 183,000 people's health coverage is at risk."

“It is political malpractice for Governor Walker not to prepare for a predictable disaster which could strip affordable health coverage from over 183,000 Wisconsinites,” said Robert Kraig, Executive Director of Citizen Action of Wisconsin. “By failing to prepare a Wisconsin health insurance marketplace in the event the Supreme Court makes a damaging decision, Walker is putting at risk the lives and fundamental freedoms of people in every corner of Wisconsin.”

Citizen Action of Wisconsin released county-numbers to document the impact of an adverse U.S. Supreme Court decision. Data for all Wisconsin counties is available HERE.

County-level impact of the end of Healthcare.gov Tax Credits

County

Number of Residents with Tax Credits

Total Annual Federal Funds

Statewide

183,196

$701,277,005

Brown

7,180

$27485918

Dane

11,662

$44,642,245

Douglas

1,554

$5,952,299

Eau Claire

3,532

$13,520,515

Fond du Lac

2,610

$9,992,090

Kenosha

4,744

$18,163,717

La Crosse

3,510

$13,438,696

Manitowoc

2,709

$10,370,501

Marathon

5,633

$21,564,301

Milwaukee

30,454

$116,576,091

Oneida

2,259

$8,647,198

Outagamie

4,999

$19,135,313

Portage

2,955

$11,311,414

Racine

5,150

$19,713,157

Rock

4,279

$16,379,051

Sheboygan

1,540

$5,896,049

Waukesha

8,753

$33,504,696

Winnebago

4,491

$17,192,122

Wood

3,397

$13,004,036



Media Contacts:

Kevin Kane (414) 550-8280, kevin.kane@citizenactionwi.org

Robert Kraig (414) 322-5324 robert.kraig@citizenactionwi.org

 

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  • commented 2015-03-04 12:10:21 -0600
    We need this safety net!