Tammy Baldwin: Moving America’s health care reform forward

2012-10-10T05:45:00Z Tammy Baldwin: Moving America’s health care reform forwardTAMMY BALDWIN | Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate madison.com

I know on a very personal level how important health care is for Wisconsin families. When I was 9 years old, I was hospitalized with a serious illness for three months. My grandparents were raising me and discovered that coverage for my hospitalization was denied because their policy did not include grandchildren. Once I was completely recovered, my grandparents could not find insurance coverage for me because I had a “pre-existing condition.”

Middle class families should have the peace of mind knowing they will have access to quality, affordable health care, regardless of any pre-existing condition. That is just one of the reasons I fought to pass President Obama’s Affordable Care Act.

It is the right thing to do to allow millions of young people to stay on their parents’ health care coverage until age 26 — an amendment to the bill I was proud to author. Now over 6 million young people have health care as a result of the reforms we fought for.

But my opponent, Tommy Thompson, wants to rip up America’s new health law, repeal health care reform entirely and start over. I believe that is the wrong path forward.

I don’t believe it makes sense to start over because that means allowing insurance companies to deny coverage to Wisconsin children with pre-existing conditions. Thompson’s repeal plan would allow insurance companies to charge women 50 percent more than men for health care coverage and it would strip young people off their parents’ health insurance plans. He would also repeal free preventive care for Wisconsin seniors and open up the prescription drug “doughnut hole,” increasing out-of-pocket costs for seniors.

I believe seniors should continue to have access to free preventive care, as well as affordable access to prescription drugs under Medicare. About 33 million Americans have already benefited from free preventive health care benefits thanks to Obamacare. By 2020, the doughnut hole — or coverage gap in Medicare Part D — will be eliminated.

Since I was raised by my grandparents, I got to see at an early age the value of Medicare to the economic security of Wisconsin families. I understand that Wisconsin seniors paid into their retirement security and they earned it. In Wisconsin, when we make a promise we keep it and these are promises we cannot break and promises I will fight to keep.

My opponent, Tommy Thompson, left Wisconsin for Washington and went to work for President George W. Bush, where he cut a sweetheart deal with drug companies that increased the cost to taxpayers and increased the deficit for future generations. He was the “quarterback” on a plan to make it illegal for the government to negotiate lower prescription drug prices.

Now my opponent said he wants to do away with Medicare and turn it into a voucher plan, forcing seniors to pay more. He supports the Republican plan on Medicare, which would provide billions in new profits for big insurance companies and a voucher for seniors instead of the guaranteed benefit they paid for, sticking them with $6,000 more in out-of-pocket costs.

Now is the time to move forward, making reform work and working together to fix what doesn’t. The last thing Wisconsin families want or need is more political fights in Washington when we should be focused on moving the new health care law forward.

Tammy Baldwin is the Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate and the current member of the House from District 2.

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(2) Comments

  1. CarolASThompson
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    CarolASThompson - October 10, 2012 6:34 pm
    Allowing "millions of young people to stay on their parents’ health care coverage until age 26" is primarily benefit for the well-to-do: In 2011, among adults aged 18 and older, 70.4% of those earning over $90,000 per year had employer-based health insurance, while only 23.6% of those earning less than $36,000 did. And those with low incomes are the least able to afford individual health insurance as well.

    Even more important, the ACA requires that every approved health insurance plan include tyranny over peoples' lifestyles, under the pretexts of "wellness and prevention," and encourages health insurance companies to charge smokers 50% higher premiums. This is based on quackery, fraud, and charlatanism, using defective studies to falsely blame smoking for diseases that are really caused by infection. Charging smokers higher rates is really punishing them for pre-existing conditions.

    And, it would have been both Constituional and less expensive to simply expand existing government programs that already paid for three-fourths of the uncompensated costs of the uninsured. This proves that the individual mandate is really just a subterfuge for oppression, and imposing the beliefs of a corrupt, fanatical cult on everyone.
  2. Lildoctor
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    Lildoctor - October 10, 2012 7:11 am
    How Baldwin can keep putting out these out right lies is beyond me. You can fact check all of this. ObamaCare has taken over $714 Billion from Medicare to pay for the plan she is so proud of. There is no plan that would cost someone $6000 for Medicare. Anyone 55 or over will not be effected by changes in Medicare and those below that can sign up for the same Medicare plan offered now or take another option.
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