ICYMI: Cancer Patient at Mayo-Franciscan Tells Walker: ‘They’re Saving My Life’
February 20, 2018

[Madison, Wis.] – In case you missed it, Governor Walker visited Mayo-Franciscan in La Crosse to discuss his Health Care Stability Plan, which will help create stable, patient-centered health care for hard-working families in Wisconsin as Washington fails to act.

Read more from the La Crosse Tribune here or find excerpts below:

Cancer patient at Mayo-Franciscan tells Walker: ‘They’re saving my life’
By Mike Tighe
La Crosse Tribune

Gov. Scott Walker is convinced that he did the right thing when he declined federal Medicaid expansion for Wisconsin, but he’s taking legislative steps to ensure that one of Obamacare’s most vital elements — insurance coverage for pre-existing conditions — remains intact in the Badger State.

“We had hoped Washington, D.C., would take action, but it hasn’t” regarding health care promises Donald Trump and Congress made during the election campaign, Walker said Monday after touring the Cancer Center at Mayo Clinic Health System-Franciscan Healthcare in La Crosse.

“Where Washington has failed, Wisconsin will step up and lead,” Walker said during a press conference to promote his Health Care Stability Plan, which has bipartisan support in the state Legislature and is expected to be voted on as early as today or Wednesday.

During the Mayo-Franciscan tour before the press conference, Walker chatted with Steve Dougherty of Black River Falls, who was undergoing chemotherapy for prostate cancer, and his wife, Jodi. …

Walker’s Health Care Stability Plan addresses three specific needs:

  • Reining in skyrocketing premiums for people in the individual health insurance marketplace under the Affordable Care Act. Most people have coverage through plans at work, where premiums have been increasing around 5 percent, Walker said. But individuals, such as small business owners, their employees and self-employed businesses and farmers, are experiencing hikes of 35 percent and higher, he said. …
  • Making sure coverage for people with pre-existing conditions remains, “no matter what happens in Washington,” he said, apparently referring to some congressional proposals that would allow insurance companies to deny coverage.
  • Trying to make SeniorCare permanent. Under present federal guidelines, the state must reapply every year for a waiver to offer SeniorCare, which provides prescription drug coverage for about 60,000 residents on Medicare who need additional financial assistance for prescriptions. …

Asked whether some of these protections might have been in effect already if he had accepted Medicare expansion, Walker rejected the suggestion, saying it would have been “horrible.”

Walker insisted that his alternate plan kept people from becoming dependent on government programs. Critics have countered that although it broadened BadgerCare for some, the plan kicked tens of thousands off insurance. …