Cirtizen Action Weekly: January 4, 2019

Friday, January 4, 2019

Welcome Noah Reif, Citizen Action’s new Northwestern Wisconsin Co-op Organizer

Noah joins the Citizen Action team after spending the 2018 midterms with For our Future-Wisconsin. They grew up in Beechwood, Wisconsin before attending St. Norbert College and graduating with a Bachelors of Music- Liberal Arts. In 2016, Noah ran for State Assembly District 88 against John Macco, ultimately garnering 11,000 votes. In their free time, Noah is an avid podcast listener and reader, mostly revolving around Wisconsin sports and politics.”

Citizen Action is now hiring a Milwaukee Co-op Organizer

Please view the post here.  Interviews will begin in January!

Wisconsin Republicans introduce junk pre-existing conditions bill that fails to guarantee coverage.

After after losing a Gubernatorial election in part because of the failure of the Gov. Walker and Legislative Republicans to address pre-existing condition discrimination, GOP legislative leadership is eager to change the public’s perception of them on the issue.

This week Legislative Republicans started circulating a new bill (LRB 1110/1), that like its predecessor, fails to guarantee coverage for those with pre-existing conditions and actually makes things worse.

The stated purpose of the bill is to protect people with pre-existing conditions in the event right-wing judges invalidate the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The bill will actually have the opposite effect if it does not include other key features of the ACA such as a large pool of insured people to spread risk and subsidies to make individual market coverage affordable. A BadgerCare Public option would also achieve these purposes.

The pre-existing conditions protections in the ACA only work in the presence of other key reforms: greater affordability through a progressive subsidy system and a large pool of health consumers buying in so that the cost of people with expensive health conditions is spread. An individual mandate would be preferable although the system could function at higher cost to consumers without it.

In states before the passage of the ACA where only insurance regulations such as those proposed in this bill where enacted, it had a catastrophic effect on premiums, making coverage too expensive both for healthy individuals and those with pre-existing conditions alike. This is due to adverse selection, as premiums skyrocket only the sickest people who are highly motivated tend to sign up.

If Wisconsin wants to prevent a catastrophic outcome in the event right-wing judges invalidate the ACA, it must replicate other key features, especially subsidies to make individual market more affordable for working and moderate income families. The best way to do this is to move towards a universal public system by opening up BadgerCare or the State Employee plan so that anyone without good coverage at work can buy-in.

If all of this is not bad enough, the bill appears to allow other insurance industry manipulations which would harm people with pre-existing conditions, such as annual and lifetime limits. It also would appear to allow insurance companies to manipulate what is covered in a way that would effectively make the most expensive treatments hard to access or unavailable altogether.

Please contact your state legislators and urge them to OPPOSE the GOP junk pre-existing condition bill.