As I travel throughout the 93rd Assembly District, one of the main issues that continues to come up is coverage of pre-existing medical conditions.  I know western Wisconsin supports ensuring people can continue to have access to insurance regardless of pre-existing conditions that they may have. That is why I co-authored and voted to pass Assembly Bill 34, the preexisting Conditions Guaranteed Coverage Act.

AB 34 codifies insurance companies cannot deny coverage to individuals because they have a pre-existing health condition, refuse to cover services to treat a pre-existing condition, or charge a higher premium based on a person’s health history. This legislation ensures, regardless of what happens on the federal level regarding insurance, that right here in Wisconsin our citizens will have this protection.

Also, to help keep prescription drug costs down, the Assembly passed legislation that requires pharmacy benefit managers to be licensed with the state. This bill regulates the middle-man to ensure that unfair business practices do not drive up our local pharmacy’s costs — which will have a direct impact on customers. In addition, this legislation will prohibit these managers from penalizing pharmacists for disclosing generic or lower-cost alternatives to their patients.

Finally, to help speed up and expand access to the COVID-19 vaccine, I voted for legislation to give dentists the ability to administer the COVID-19 and flu vaccines. Dentists will need to complete a training program to qualify, but they will now be able to help expand access to the vaccine in our area to ensure that we are getting out our supplies to folks as quickly as possible.

Keeping your health care accessible and affordable continues to be one of my top priorities this session as we all look toward recovering from this pandemic.

Warren Petryk  represents Wisconsin Assembly District 93, which includes Pepin County and most of Pierce County. Contact him at 608-266-0660 or rep.petryk@legis.wisconsin.gov.

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