Vukmir Defends Opposing Coverage For Hearing-Impaired Kids

Sep 18, 2018

For Immediate Release
Tuesday, September 18, 2018
Contact: Brad Bainum, bradb@wisdems.org

Vukmir Defends Opposing Coverage For Hearing-Impaired Kids

Vukmir standing by her decision to vote with powerful insurance companies over Wisconsin kids and their families

MADISON — Republican U.S. Senate candidate Leah Vukmir is defending her opposition to a bipartisan effort to “help deaf children hear,” in response to an event yesterday drawing attention to her vote against expanding insurance coverage for hearing-impaired Wisconsin kids.

“It’s disgraceful that Leah Vukmir is defending her opposition to expanding coverage for hearing-impaired kids — especially after last week standing by her two votes against providing coverage for Wisconsinites with cancer in need of oral chemotherapy,” said Brad Bainum, DPW spokesperson for the 2018 Senate race. “But it’s true to form: Vukmir has a long record of siding with powerful corporate special interests and against the Wisconsinites that she was supposed to represent.”

In 2009, Vukmir fought against requiring insurance companies to cover hearings aids and cochlear implants for hearing-impaired Wisconsinites under the age of 18. Before the bill was signed into law, some Wisconsinites were forced to pay out-of-pocket for cochlear implants, which can cost as much as $100,000

Vukmir’s reasoning for opposing the measure echoed that of insurance industry interests that lobbied against the bill. Vukmir claimed that it was simply too expensive to require insurance companies to cover kids’ cochlear implants and hearing aids, and argued that it would drive up costs.

Throughout her career, Vukmir has consistently sided with corporate special interests — going so far as to literally legislate ALEC’s agenda. And Vukmir has been a particularly strong advocate for insurance companies, going out of her way — and even against her Republican colleagues — to let insurance companies deny coverage to Wisconsinites in need. In 2014, Vukmir was the only Wisconsin senator to twice oppose forcing insurance companies to cover Wisconsinites’ oral chemotherapy treatments. 

In other words, it’s no surprise that Vukmir is campaigning on gutting protections for Wisconsinites with pre-existing conditions and taking us back to the days when predatory, profit-driven insurance companies could write their own rules and jack up prices on Wisconsinites with pre-existing conditions.