Recent actions by President Trump have supporters of the Affordable Care Act worried about the future of access to affordable coverage for thousands of Wisconsinites.
The president this week signed an executive order to end subsidies that help low-income consumers afford coverage under the ACA, also know as Obamacare. The move came just after the state announced individual plans through the federal exchange could see a 36 percent hike in premiums next year.
Alice Thompson of Milwaukee County is among the 215,000 Wisconsin residents who buy their coverage through the exchange, and she said the news this week had her waking up “in horror.”
“I will be paying from $1,100 to $1,200 a month next year, once I sign up…that’s going to be more than my mortgage a month in health insurance,” Thompson said during a call with reporters on Friday.
Thompson and other ACA supporters argued the state should work to expand its Medicaid program and make BadgerCare available to more people, which would help alleviate problems with rising premiums purchased through the federal exchange. Robert Kraig with Citizen Action of Wisconsin pointed to a bill introduced by Democrats earlier this year that would create a BadgerCare public option. Kraig said the bill would protect consumers from the “reckless” executive orders signed by the president that he contends are designed to sabotage the ACA.
Governor Scott Walker and other Republicans have been strongly opposed to proposals to expand the state’s Medicaid programs, while the bill cited by Kraig – which was proposed by Democratic lawmakers – is unlikely to see much support in the Republican-controlled Legislature.
Walker has said the state will look for more flexibility in trying to get insurers to cut costs.