Mike Pence came to Milwaukee to stump and attend a fundraiser for Wisconsin State Senator Leah Vukmir, the Republican challenger to U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin. Per Pence, one of the big reasons that the Orange Reich is supporting her is because they want to go back to their multiple attempts and failures to repeal Obamacare.
Wisconsin Democrats jumped on this, pointing out that Vukmir wants to do away with not just Obamacare but all of it, including protections for preexisting conditions.
Vukmir, who claims to be a nurse, denied this and issued a press release pointing to a a news story from CBS News and specifically citing this paragraph:
:no mistake about it: patients with pre-existing conditions should be covered," Vukmir, who supports a full repeal of the ACA, said. "People shouldn't buy in to Tammy Baldwin's lie that taking care of those who need pre-existing coverage and providing all Wisconsinites with more affordable options are mutually exclusive."
Well, alrighty then! We'll just ignore the paragraphs before and after pointing out that the Republicans are only starting to pretend to like healthcare coverage for everyone because they keep getting burned on it.
Instead, let's focus on what Vukmir's proposal is, which is going back to what her good buddy, Scott Walker, has in place before Obamacare, or as we behind the Cheddar Curtain call it, Walkercare. Walkercare is basically a high-risk pool coverage model for people with preexisting conditions.
So how well did that work out? I'm glad you asked!
From the Wisconsin State Journal:
... Critics note Wisconsin’s high-risk pool system was too expensive for many to afford, left more than half a million state residents uninsured, included a six-month waiting period for coverage of pre-existing conditions and imposed a lifetime coverage cap of $2 million.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel went into greater detail what Walkercare was:
HIRSP [Walkercare] covered about 20,000 people at rates that were generally 20% to 30% higher than the overall market.
It was subsidized by a fee on health insurance sold in the state. The fee accounted for roughly 30% of its $160.1 million in revenue in 2012. The balance came from premiums.
Hospitals, doctors and other health care providers also accepted rates that were below those paid by health insurers but a bit above what Medicare pays.
“It had buy-in from everyone,” Catlin said. “And everyone was OK with it.”
HIRSP had a six-month waiting period for people who did not have insurance but no waiting period for people who had exhausted their COBRA benefits from an employer.
It's really no surprise that Vukmir would go along full-heartedly with a plan that would not quite eliminate coverage for preexisting conditions but in reality did make it too expensive for people to afford. It's based on the design concocted by that the ultimate dark money think tank, ALEC.
And whatever ALEC wants, Vukmir will work on getting, since she is on their Board of Directors.
Apparently, the oath of fealty she gave to ALEC is more important to her than the Florence Nightingale Pledge she took as a nurse. I guess to deal with that cognitive dissonance, she chose to be like Nurse Ratched.