While responding to inquiries from WisPolitics on the President’s visit to Wisconsin and his remarks on health care, Sen. Vukmir said, “We were doing fine before Obamacare came, and I would argue we were ahead of the curve.” We couldn’t make this up even if we tried.
Before the Affordable Care Act, Wisconsin had 518,000 uninsured individuals, 2.4 million who could be denied coverage due to a pre-existing condition and had an uninsured rate of 9.4 percent.
That’s not “doing fine” by any stretch of the imagination and it certainly isn’t being “ahead of the curve.”
But since it’s passage, 211,000 people gained coverage and our state’s uninsured rate dropped by over a third – falling to 3.7 percent. Thanks to the declining rate of uninsured Wisconsinites, statewide hospital charity care – free or discounted care for patients with low incomes – decreased my nearly half from 2013 to 2015. Bad debt, which occurs when patients can’t afford to don’t pay their medical bills, took a 34 percent dip. And last year in Wisconsin, over 190,000 people in the individual marketplace received tax credits to help cover their premium costs.
“In what world does D.C. Leah think returning to the days when insurance companies could ride roughshod over Wisconsinites without protections for pre-existing conditions or out-of-pocket caps for coverage, and hundreds of thousands were uninsured is a good thing for our state? It’s just the latest example that Vukmir has the wrong priorities and will do anything to curry favor with Washington’s elite political class,” reacted Democratic Party of Wisconsin spokesman Brandon Weathersby. “Wisconsin deserves better than someone who will sell out Wisconsin families for a photo op with the President.”