The Problem: The Affordable Care Act, often called Obamacare, dramatically raised prices for health insurance and increased taxes. When Republicans like Senator Ron Johnson and conservative legal foundations pushed to repeal Obamacare or its most harmful provisions, Democrats attempted to scare voters by saying this would also eliminate the most popular provision in Obamacare – the ban on insurance companies denying coverage to people with pre-existing conditions. According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, “Evers campaigned heavily against former Gov. Scott Walker’s authorization to join a federal lawsuit to overturn the federal law, and attributes the issue to his win over Walker,” despite Governor Walker’s support for legislation protecting people with pre-existing health conditions.
The Solution: In 2019 and 2021, Assembly Republicans passed state legislation to protect insurance coverage for people with pre-existing conditions. The bills would have required health insurers to cover pre-existing health conditions and ban them from dropping coverage for those who exceed caps on annual or lifetime coverage amounts. The law would have been triggered if Congress or the courts overturned Obamacare. Governor Evers threatened to veto the Assembly Republican legislation if it reached his desk and the Senate chose not to forward the bills. Assembly Bill 1 in 2019 passed the chamber on a 76-19 vote with 16 Democrats joining Republicans in advancing the bill. In the 2021 session, the vote in the Assembly on AB 34 was unanimous even though Governor Evers again threatened to veto the legislation. It seems that the Governor is more interested in maintaining his ability to scare voters for political advantage than in
solving the problem. In 2023, the legislature and a new Governor should put this concern to rest by passing legislation protecting coverage for people with pre-existing health conditions.