More health reforms take effectThursday marked the start of several health reforms making coverage easier to get and harder to lose. A labor group calls it a good first step, but says Medicare for all is a better solution.
By: Shamane Mills, Wisconsin Public Radio, Superior Telegram
Thursday marked the start of several health reforms making coverage easier to get and harder to lose. A labor group calls it a good first step, but says Medicare for all is a better solution.
The hard fought battle to enact national health reform was like “plowing through clay ground.” says South Central Federation of Labor President Jim Cavanaugh. The union supports reform, but calls it a “first step.” Cavanaugh says the labor movement’s ultimate goal is a “much stronger and more universal health care system.”
The new law prohibits insurers from denying coverage to children with pre-existing conditions. One of them is the 6-year old son of Tracy Wirtanen of Appleton. She says he he has a genetic condition that causes tumors to grow. Wirtanen says her family is happy that he can no longer be denied insurance coverage for a pre-existing condition, “and we’re also happy that there’s no cap.”
The cap she refers to was a limit on lifetime health benefits. Another part of the law allows parents to carry children up to age 26 on their policy. State Sen. Jon Erpenbach of Middleton says this is very important. He says he doesn’t know of any college students that graduate with money in their pocket.
“They’re in debt; they’re looking for a job. If something were to happen to them such as cancer, such as a broken leg you can add thousands of dollars on that debt.”
Some health insurers across the nation have raised premiums, blaming the increase on health reform requirements. However, Wisconsin’s insurance commissioner says there has been little rate fluctuation on the mandated changes.