Health Care Reform Provisions Will Kick in Soon
Kids, small businesses and Medicare recipients will benefit
Both GOP gubernatorial candidates oppose the Patient
Protection and Affordable Care Act, which President Obama signed into law on
March 23. On Monday, candidate Mark Neumann even delivered more than 25,000
petitions asking Gov. Jim Doyle to block federal reform in the state.
Republican Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen said he would try to block it under
the next governor after failing to get Doyle’s approval to do so earlier this
year. And U.S. Senate candidate Ron Johnson said his main goal is to repeal the
But is that wise?
After all, many critical health care reform
provisions will kick in before voters head to the polls in November. According
to the Kaiser Family Foundation, reforms that will begin on Sept. 23 include:
credits will be provided to small businesses that provide health insurance for
- Qualified Medicare recipients can receive a $250 rebate to help close the Part D donut hole
- Adult children can stay on their parents’ insurance policy until they turn 26
- Insurers will be prohibited from creating lifetime limits on coverage
- Insurers will be prohibited from dropping policyholders when they get sick
- Insurers will be prohibited from denying coverage to kids under 19 who have
In addition, one more reform will begin on June 21,
when those with pre-existing conditions can join a temporary high-risk pool to
access health insurance coverage.
Do Scott Walker, Neumann, Van Hollen and Johnson
really want to roll back these reforms after Wisconsin
residents begin benefiting from them?
Wisconsinites Has a Pre-existing Condition
The impact of these protections and those to come
will have a widespread impact on Wisconsin.
Take denial of coverage based on pre-existing
conditions, which will be banned outright in 2014.
According to a new study by Families USA, 1.1
million Wisconsin residents under the age of 65 have a pre-existing
condition—cancer or diabetes or even allergies, for example—that could cause
them to be denied health care coverage or charged higher rates if the heath
insurance industry is left to its own devices.
“The number of people who are affected is pretty
astounding,” said Robert Kraig, executive director of Citizen Action of
Wisconsin. “It tells you why so many people are upset about the health
insurance industry’s business model.”
Not surprisingly, the impact is felt most acutely by
baby boomers, aged 55 to 64, since 46% of them have a pre-existing condition.
But these numbers are a conservative estimate, since Families USA identified only those with a diagnosed pre-existing condition. There may be many more people with an undiagnosed condition that could lead them to be dropped from coverage. These individuals are more likely to be ethnic or racial minorities, since they are more likely to not have health insurance coverage that gives them access to quality health care.
In a conference call with reporters, U.S.
Congresswoman Gwen Moore (D-Milwaukee) praised the health care reform bill,
saying it “ends some of the most ludicrous practices of the insurance
industry,” such as defining domestic violence as a pre-existing condition and
providing insurance coverage only to the healthiest consumers.
U.S. Congressman Steve Kagen of Appleton said he considers the health care
reform package to be an important affirmation of civil rights for all
“It’s a civil right that no longer will a health insurance company be allowed to discriminate against any citizen just because of how they were born or because they may become ill through no fault of their own,” Kagen told reporters. “This is a great victory for all citizens. If you’re a citizen you’re now in and we have to hold on to this new right, this new freedom from discrimination.”