Even as Wisconsin Republicans like Scott Walker, Paul Ryan and Sean Duffy are putting up roadblocks to affordable healthcare access, Wisconsinites are feeling some of the benefits of the Affordable Care Act.

For the first time, because of the health care law, insurance companies will be prohibited from denying health coverage for the up to 129 million Americans – including up to 2,489,000 Wisconsinites – with pre-existing conditions such as cancer, asthma, or diabetes. Insurance companies will also no longer be able to charge higher premiums based on health status or history. Since 2010, the Affordable Care Act has prohibited insurance companies from denying coverage to the up to 17 million children with pre-existing conditions – including up to 310,000 in Wisconsin. This protection is extended to adults beginning in January 2014.

Helping middle class families and American small businesses take advantage of the benefits of the health care law should be a top priority for lawmakers in Washington.  Yet instead of working to fix the law, Republicans like Paul Ryan and Sean Duffy have voted to repeal the health care law more than 40 times, even shutting down the government to prevent new benefits like ending discrimination based on pre-existing conditions. 

“The good news for Wisconsinites is that the Affordable Care Act is already making sure they can’t be discriminated against based on pre-existing conditions, that women can’t be charged more for healthcare simply because they are women, and that basic preventive care is covered by healthcare plans,” Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Mike Tate said Thursday. “The bad news is Scott Walker, Paul Ryan and Sean Duffy so badly want to score political points with the Tea Party that they are willing to overturn these commonsense reforms and deny healthcare coverage to tens of thousands of Wisconsinites.”