If the American Health Care Act passes as it is written now, it would allow states to get a waiver so they can allow insurance companies to charge more to customers with pre-existing conditions.

So, if you are suffering from cancer, asthma, high blood pressure, or another condition, you could pay much higher premiums for health insurance under the GOP plan, if your state chooses this waiver. 

“It’s in the bill as it stands…those provisions are in there, protecting seniors, the pre-existing conditions,  and also to protect people of lower income, they have protections within the bill,” the Republican Party of Brown County chairwoman Marian Krumberger said.

However, an amendment made by a New Jersey Republican lawmaker would allow states to apply for waivers from the Health and Human Services Department, giving the green light to insurance companies to charge more to the elderly, as well as those with pre-existing conditions. 

“You now segregate people by their conditions, so you legally can say you can be in this pile over here, and we can charge you more money and we can deny you coverage and not treat you the same as x, y, z person over here,” Rebecca Derenne, organizer with the Northeast Cooperative of Citizen Action of Wisconsin, said. 

Governor Scott Walker is in support of the plan.

“Well I think pre-existing conditions is a given, that’s something that we have to do, I think you wanna do that but you also want to balance that off, make sure it’s done in a way that everyday citizens can have access to affordable health care,” Walker said after the House passed the bill on Thursday. 

For many in Wisconsin, the future of healthcare could dramatically change, but the way Governor Walker will approach it is met with both support and worry. 

“He actually protected a lot of the Medicare and Medicaid dollars, the Medicaid dollars that came in to Wisconsin, he did everything he could and when he chose not to sign onto the Obamacare program, it actually protected a lot of people in Wisconsin,” Krumberger said.

“Governor Walker really isn’t a friend to providing healthcare coverage to everyone, we’ve turned down Medicaid dollars before, I guess in Wisconsin, I don’t think it’s going to work very well,” Derenne said. 
Lawmakers have added a provision to the bill that would spread out $8 billion to soften out-of-pocket costs for pre-existing condition insurance customers across all the states that choose the waiver.