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THREE FOR THREE: Vukmir Lies On Pre-Existing Conditions During Debate

By October 20, 2018No Comments

The thing to know about Leah Vukmir is that she’s blocked health care and sided with insurance companies every chance,” says Brad Woodhouse

Washington DC – In response to last night’s third and final Senate debate between Leah Vukmir and Senator Tammy Baldwin, Brad Woodhouse issued the following statement:

“Third verse, same as the first: once again, Leah Vukmir repeated her tired old line about how she’d protect people with pre-existing conditions, which has been called out before. The thing to know about Leah Vukmir is that she’s blocked health care and sided with insurance companies over ordinary Wisconsinites every chance she’s gotten, whether by blocking Medicaid expansion, supporting junk insurance plans that don’t have to cover pre-existing conditions or prescription drugs or maternity care, or by voting against Wisconsin’s smoking ban.”

Additional background:

What Vukmir Said:

“I will fall in front of a truck before I let people go without coverage for pre-existing conditions.” [Wisconsin State Journal, 10/19/18]

What Vukmir Has Done:

Vukmir “Supports Full Repeal Of Obamacare. Period.” “Leah understands why people are upset with Republicans who promised to repeal Obamacare and didn’t deliver. She supports full repeal of Obamacare. Period. And she won’t stop pushing for full repeal in Congress.” [, accessed 6/12/18]

Vice President Pence: ‘We Made An Effort To Fully Repeal And Replace Obamacare And We’ll Continue, With Leah Vukmir In The Senate.” [The Hill, 8/31/18]

Though Leah Vukmir claims she supports protections for people with pre-existing conditions, she has turned her back on Wisconsinites at every opportunity to do so.

  • Vukmir refuses to stand against a lawsuit designed to end protections for people with pre-existing conditions. This summer, the Trump Administration refused to defend against a lawsuit brought by twenty conservative states aimed at overturning the Affordable Care Act and its protections for people with pre-existing conditions. Leah Vukmir refuses to speak against this lawsuit, instead calling it a “necessary step.”
  • Vukmir refuses to take action at the state level against the Trump administration’s junk plan and association plan rules that let insurance companies discriminate against people with pre-existing conditions. This summer, the Trump Administration finalized a junk plan rule and an association plan rule that allow insurance companies to discriminate against people with pre-existing conditions. Experts warn that these moves will only increase the cost of comprehensive care, ultimately making it even harder for people with pre-existing conditions to get the care they need. Twenty-one states have taken or are taking action to limit the harmful effects of these junk plans, but Vukmir refuses to do the same for Wisconsin.

Vukmir Says High Risk Pools Would Be Her ‘Solution’ to Cover People With Pre-existing Conditions if the Affordable Care Act is Repealed. The statement itself acknowledges that she would give insurance companies back the power to deny coverage based on pre-existing conditions. Here are some other problems with high risk pools:

  • High Risk Pools Typically Had Pre-Existing Condition Exclusions And Limited Benefits. [Health Affairs, 3/15/16]
  • High Risk Pools’ Limited Coverage And High Costs Cause People To Remain Uninsured.  [Stateline, 2/16/17] Wisconsin’s previous high risk pool only covered 25,000 people, with estimates showing 2.4 million Wisconsinites live with pre-existing conditions.
  • Premiums For Coverage In High Risk Pools Were As Much As 200 Percent Higher Than The Average Rate But Covered Less Care. [Center for American Progress, 2/16/17]
  • Despite High Premiums, High Risk Pools Could Still Cost The American People Over $90 Billion Annually. [Commonwealth Fund, 3/29/17]

Vukmir Opposed Medicaid Expansion In Wisconsin.

  • Medicaid is not only a lifeline for over one million Wisconsinites, it strengthens our communities and is supported by 74 percent of Americans. Wisconsin has restricted its Medicaid program such that only Residents earning up to 100 percent of the federal poverty line are eligible to enroll in Medicaid. If Wisconsin expanded its program, 119,000 more adults could gain coverage through Medicaid

Vukmir’s Extreme Health Care Record In The State Legislature Is Proof Of What She Would Do On The Federal Level.

  • Vukmir Opposed An Indoor Smoking Ban, Calling It “Anti-Smoking Zealotry.”  [Associated Press, 5/14/09]
  • Vukmir Opposed A Bipartisan Substance Abuse and Mental Health Parity Bill In The State Assembly. [Shepherd Express, 9/29/10]
  • Vukmir Describes Stopping “Healthy Wisconsin,” A Health Plan That Would Have Covered Virtually Every Wisconsinite, As Her Proudest Legislative Achievement. [Milwaukee Magazine, 9/22/16]