Local Health Care Advocates Join Protect Our Care to Call for an End to GOP Attacks on Wisconsinites’ Health Care
Mandela Barnes speaks at the Protect Our Care event in Madison, Wisconsin.
MADISON, WISCONSIN – This morning, Protect Our Care’s nationwide bus tour arrived in Madison to call attention to ongoing Republican war on health care care. Former State Representative Mandela Barnes, Madison Mayor Paul Soglin, and State Representative Christine Taylor joined cancer survivor Laura Packard to highlight the actions Republicans are taking to harm Wisconsinites’ care and called on Attorney General Brad Schimel to work instead to protect our care.
“It’s a very scary thought when your government does not want you to be taken care of,” Barnes said about the GOP’s constant attacks on Wisconsinites with pre-existing conditions. “When Governor Scott Walker gets on TV and says he wants to cover pre-existing conditions, he is lying to you.”
Barnes’ comments were echoed by Rep. Taylor and Mayor Soglin, who expressed their outrage with the GOP sabotage agenda.
“We could have saved $200 million and we could have covered 85,000 Wisconsinites,” Rep. Taylor said about the decision to refuse to expand Medicaid. “This governor had the opportunity to cover more and pay less, and he refused to do it.
“I cannot understand for the life of me why we have a governor so intent on taking away care.”
“The Affordable Care Act has been the most critical piece of legislation passed in the last generation,” said Mayor Soglin, who spoke of his frustration with Republicans over their refusal to expand coverage to Wisconsinites and the harm his constituents are unnecessarily facing because of GOP actions.
The stakes of the event were made clear by Packard.
“I’m alive because of the Affordable Care Act,” said Packard. “I’m a stage four cancer survivor and I’m on this tour to defend our attacks against the GOP. President Trump may have blocked me on Twitter, but he can’t stop me and the American people from fighting to protect our care.”
At today’s event, Madison residents, health care advocates, elected officials, and members of Protect Our Care detailed the numbers ways in which Republicans have attacked health care, and how these actions have cut coverage and increased costs for Wisconsinites. Because of the Republican repeal-and-sabotage agenda:
- Wisconsinites will see their premiums rise by an average of 3.5 percent next year. It’s expected that 40 year old Wisconsinites would face paying an extra $1,450 for marketplace coverage in 2019 because of sabotage of the ACA.
- In Wisconsin, out of pocket costs for older people could have increased by as much as $12,249 by 2026 if the House-passed American Health Care Act had become law.
- More than 80,000 Wisconsinites have been denied access to affordable health coverage through Republican state officials’ refusal to expand Medicaid.
- 216,000 Wisconsinites who have obtained health insurance through the ACA marketplace could lose their coverage if a judge sides with Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel, President Trump and the GOP in their lawsuit; and protections for 2.4 million Wisconsinites living with a pre-existing condition would be in jeopardy.
- Hundreds of billions of dollars have been cut from Medicare.
- Dozens of hospitals in rural areas, including Franciscan Skemp Medical Center (2011) in Wisconsin, have closed exacerbating the care and coverage gaps that exist for families in America’s rural communities.
- Attorney General Brad Schimel is a staunch opponent of the Affordable Care Act who has vowed to try to repeal the law. Although he claims to support protections for people with pre-existing conditions, Schimel was one of the first state attorneys general to join lawsuit that would roll back that coverage and eliminate the protections for pre-existing conditions that exist in the ACA. Schimel’s participation in the suit puts the health of the 2.4 million Wisconsinites living with a pre-existing condition at risk and would take us back to the days when insurers routinely denied coverage or charged unaffordable premiums to people with pre-existing conditions, including cancer, asthma, and hypertension.
- Leah Vukmir supports a full repeal of the Affordable Care Act. Vukmir also supports the Trump administration’s lawsuit that could cause as many as 2.4 million Wisconsinites with a pre-existing condition to lose their care, calling it a “necessary step.”
Later today, “Care Force One” will head to Cedar Falls, Iowa. For more information, please visit protectourcarebustour.com.