Citizen Action Weekly: Friday, September 7th

Friday, September 7th

Tammy Baldwin Signs Pledge to Protect Wisconsinites with Pre-existing Conditions

Wednesday evening U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin signed a pledge issued by Citizen Action Wisconsin to protect Wisconsinites with pre-existing conditions. Citizen Action of Wisconsin, which brings together health professionals and patients from across the state, called on U.S. Senate candidates Sen. Tammy Baldwin and State Sen. Leah Vukmir to sign a pledge not to repeal or weaken the provisions of the Affordable Care Act outlawing discrimination against people with health conditions. Approximately 2.4 million Wisconsinites have a health condition that could be designated a “pre-existing condition.”

The pledge, which Sen. Baldwin signed last night at virtual Town Hall meeting from Washington, D.C. before an audience of Wisconsin patients and medical professionals, reads:

“The consumer protection provisions of the Affordable Care Act have expanded access to health care coverage for hundreds of thousands of Wisconsin residents and ended discrimination by health insurers against those with pre-existing conditions.

If honored by the people of Wisconsin with election to the United State Senate, I hereby pledge to support the continuation of consumer protections enjoyed by millions of Americans since passage of the law and will oppose any attempts to re-introduce discrimination against individuals with pre-existing conditions into our health care system.”

The request to sign the pledge was issued to incumbent Senator Baldwin and State Senator Leah Vukmir by Citizen Action on August 16. State Senator Vukmir’s campaign received the pledge and has not yet responded or indicated whether or not she will sign it.

“For democracy to function based on the consent of the people elected officials must make clear where they stand on critical issues facing their constituents,” said Robert Kraig, Executive Director, Citizen Action of Wisconsin. “Given the life and death importance of preventing discrimination against people with pre-existing conditions, and the overwhelming public demand for such protections, the voters have a right to know where their U.S. Senate candidates stand before they go to the polls in November. It is my sincere hope that we will hear the same commitment from State Senator Vukmir that Senator Baldwin has already made to oppose any return to the time when it was legal to deny coverage to people with health conditions.”

“Without the pre-existing condition protections in the Affordable Care Act, I’d be sunk,” said Alice Thompson, a small business owner in South Milwaukee and member of Citizen Action’s Organizing Co-op. “I earn too much to qualify for a subsidy on the marketplace, but without the marketplace I’d be basically uninsurable. And if insurance companies were once again able to charge people like me discriminatory rates, I’d likely be priced out completely!”