Wisconsin Republicans willing to let health insurance premiums skyrocket

This screen grab from the website shows the main web page for the HealthCare.gov. (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services via AP, File)

By Joe Zepecki
June 3, 2022

Among the provisions in the American Rescue Plan signed into law by President Joe Biden last year were advanced premium tax credits for health insurance plans purchased on the Obamacare exchange. The lower premiums that resulted from the enhanced tax credits led to more than 14.5 million Americans purchasing healthcare on the Obamacare exchange in 2021, a record.

Now, as Democrats are pushing to extend the credits, Republicans are once again opposing legislative action that would make healthcare more affordable.

Last year, all three Wisconsin Democrats serving in the U.S. House of Representatives — Mark Pocan, Ron Kind, and Gwen Moore — voted to advance legislation that would extend the credits. All five Wisconsin Republicans in the House — Bryan Steil, Scott Fitzgerald, Glenn Grothman, Tom Tiffany, and Mark Gallagher — voted no.

As the measure awaits action in the U.S. Senate, here’s what the expiration of these tax credits would mean for those purchasing health care on the exchange in Wisconsin, according to health care advocacy organization Protect Our Care:

  • A 30-year-old Wisconsinite earning $20,000 will see a monthly premium hike of $70, a stunning 1750 percent increase, if the tax credits are not extended.
  • A single parent with one child in Wisconsin earning $50,000 will see a monthly premium hike of $164, or a 70 percent increase without continued federal subsidies.
  • A Wisconsin family of four with an annual income of $40,000 will see a monthly premium hike of $138, or a 4600 percent increase without an extension of the American Rescue Plan’s tax credits. 

Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson voted against the American Rescue Plan that lowered healthcare costs last year, and is expected to vote no on extending the tax credits when it comes before the Senate.

With inflation continuing to hit working families hard, only one party is working to ease the burden on pocketbooks by lowering healthcare costs — the Democratic Party.


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