The Republican Governor of Wisconsin, Scott Walker, wants to be re-elected again. So Scott Walker is lying again, just as he has each previous election. This time, he is lying about protecting health insurance coverage for people with pre-existing conditions.
We can protect people with pre-existing conditions in Wisconsin without protecting the failure that is Obamacare. People with pre-existing conditions in Wisconsin are covered today. As long as I am governor, they always will be. pic.twitter.com/haccoPw8Yo
— Scott Walker (@ScottWalker) October 22, 2018
Why is this a lie? Because Scott Walker gave his approval to Wisconsin’s Republican Attorney General to sign on to a lawsuit that would overturn the Affordable Care Act:
Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel is leading a multi-state legal challenge to the Affordable Care Act.
Walker spokeswoman Amy Hasenberg told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that Walker authorized the lawsuit “because it questions the constitutionality of Obamacare.”
Protect Our Care Campaign Director Brad Woodhouse said in a statement that, if successful, the lawsuit “could take health insurance away from 416,600 Wisconsinites, raise premiums, and end the Medicaid expansion, which has been critical for combating the opioid epidemic and keeping rural hospitals afloat.”
Recall that prior to the Affordable Care Act, health insurance companies were able to deny coverage to people with a pre-existing condition, and their definition of a pre-existing condition was rather loose:
In 39 states, listed here , insurers can turn down anyone for virtually any reason. It can be because you have a pre-existing condition, like cancer or diabetes. And pregnancy almost always counts too, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, which represents the state government officials who regulate insurance sold within their borders. So if you’re pregnant and living in one of these 39 states, you’re very likely out of luck in securing individual health coverage. You’ll have to pay for your care out of your own pocket or seek out charitable assistance.
The Affordable Care Act mandated that health insurance companies could no longer deny coverage to people with a pre-existing condition for plans purchased on the Healthcare.gov marketplace, or for Medicaid or CHIP plans.
All Marketplace plans must cover treatment for pre-existing medical conditions.
- No insurance plan can reject you, charge you more, or refuse to pay for essential health benefits for any condition you had before your coverage started.
- Once you’re enrolled, the plan can’t deny you coverage or raise your rates based only on your health.
- Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) also can’t refuse to cover you or charge you more because of your pre-existing condition.
These Healthcare.gov marketplace plans are what Republicans are trying to kill by overturning the Affordable Care Act. Killing these plans and the Act’s mandates would allow health insurance companies to again deny coverage for people with pre-existing conditions on the individual market. It’s that simple.
Scott Walker’s opponent, Tony Evers, has called on Scott Walker to withdraw Wisconsin from the lawsuit to overturn the Affordable Care Act:
“Scott Walker, if you’re watching, I have a challenge for you,” Evers said in an online video. “If you want to protect the millions of Wisconsinites with a pre-existing condition, drop Wisconsin from this lawsuit today because actions speak louder than empty political promises.”
But Scott Walker keeps refusing to withdraw from the lawsuit, instead promising that he will pass his own bill to mandate protections for people with pre-existing conditions. A big problem with this promise, though, is that Walker needs State legislators to pass a bill, and Republican State legislators in Wisconsin do not support a bill that would do what Walker is promising:
But Fitzgerald told reporters Tuesday that there are Republican senators who are probably “not on board” with the idea.
Fitzgerald says some Republicans oppose it because it would be a mandate.
Another big problem is that Scott Walker has never supported a government mandate to protect people with pre-existing conditions before. In fact, just last year, he said if the GOP health care plan was passed, he would allow insurers to raise premiums for Wisconsin residents with pre-existing conditions:
Gov. Scott Walker said Friday that he would consider seeking a waiver to let insurers raise premiums for people with pre-existing medical conditions if the House Republicans’ health care plan becomes law.
Perhaps the biggest problem with Scott Walker’s claim that he would pass a bill to protect pre-existing conditions is that Scott Walker has a history of lying to the people of Wisconsin prior to an election. For example, let’s look at what Scott Walker said and did with regards to a controversial right-to-work proposal that would hurt private sector unions.
In 2012, prior to a recall election, Scott Walker said he was against right-to-work legislation:
Gov. Scott Walker said Friday he would do everything he could to prevent right-to-work legislation from coming to his desk, but he once again refused to say whether he would sign or veto it if it got there.
“I have no interest in pursuing right-to-work legislation in this state,” he told reporters at the state Republican Party’s annual convention.
He reiterated his opposition to right-to-work legislation in 2014 prior to that year’s election:
Also Tuesday, the Republican governor said he would not advocate for so-called right-to-work legislation, but he declined to say whether he would veto such a policy if it made its way to his desk.
“I think it’s pretty clear the Legislature has worked with us hand in hand in the past and I’m making it clear in this campaign, as I’ll make it clear in the next (legislative) session, that that’s not something that’s part of my agenda,” Walker said.
So, what did Scott Walker do after he was re-elected in 2014? You probably guessed it: he signed and passed right-to-work legislation.
Gov. Scott Walker on Monday signed the contentious right-to-work bill at a factory in Brown Deer, making Wisconsin the 25th state with such a law.
The state once had a reputation as a strong supporter of union rights. But Walker first curtailed collective bargaining with Act 10 in 2011 and now adds Wisconsin to the list of Midwestern manufacturing hubs like Michigan and Indiana that has backed right-to-work.
Scott Walker is a liar. Scott Walker has lied before during election campaigns. Scott Walker is lying again.