Senator Baldwin to Vice President Pence: Why Do You Want Washington to Make Wisconsin Families Pay More for Less Care?

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin today called on Vice President Mike Pence to listen to Wisconsinites who would be forced to pay more for less care with the House-passed health care repeal legislation. Vice President Pence is visiting Milwaukee on Saturday to promote the partisan legislation with Governor Walker.

“Working families in Wisconsin, who are already struggling to make ends meet, will be especially hard hit by this partisan legislation. Vice President Pence needs to explain to Wisconsin families why he wants Washington to make them pay more for less care and increase the number of people who are uninsured. If you are struggling with health care costs, this legislation will raise average premiums next year. If you are older, you will pay an age tax, and if you have a pre-existing condition, the guaranteed protections and care that you have today may not be there tomorrow,” said Senator Baldwin. “Greg from Stoddard doesn’t know how he will make ends meet if costs increase for older Wisconsinites. Jim from Appleton told me his family needs strong protections for people with pre-existing conditions so he can rest assured that his daughter with multiple sclerosis can find affordable care. Becky from West Salem is facing skyrocketing prescription drug prices and the last thing she needs is higher health care costs for less coverage. Let’s listen to these Wisconsinites – it’s time to stop the partisan nonsense, take repeal off the table and work in a bipartisan way to improve and strengthen our health care system—not make things worse.”  

For more stories from Wisconsinites across the state, email press@baldwin.senate.gov

On May 24, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated that the House-passed American Health Care Act (AHCA) would cause premiums in the individual market to rise by an average of 20 percent next year. To put CBO’s projected premium increase into perspective, the Century Foundation estimated how much more people in every county could expect to pay in 2018.

According to AARP, the House-passed bill that Vice President Pence is promoting in Wisconsin would impose an “age tax” through the combined effect of allowing insurers to charge older adults five times more than what younger consumers pay for the same insurance and reducing tax credits that help older adults pay for their insurance coverage. The result of these two big changes would be an increase in annual premiums of up to $13,000 for some older Americans, according to the CBO.

In addition, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, one million Wisconsinites who depend on Medicaid—including children, seniors, and people with disabilities—would see their health care threatened because of the House Republicans’ health care repeal bill, which slashes Medicaid funding by 25 percent, and would force states to cut benefits and reduce care through a “per capita cap.” 

Senator Baldwin has been working to improve health care for Wisconsinites and fight skyrocketing prescription drug prices. This week, Senator Baldwin introduced a reform to make health care more affordable for rural and middle-class Wisconsinites. Last month, Senator Baldwin was joined by Senator John McCain (R-AZ) to introduce the FAIR Drug Pricing Act –bipartisan legislation to hold drug corporations accountable for sky-high prescription drug prices.