State News

Walker hesitant to show support for Obamacare replacement

Gov. Scott Walker, chair of the Republican Governors Association, talked to other Republican governors this week who are worried about aspects of the Assembly health care overhaul bill.

Image By: Leah Voskuil

Though failing to say whether he supports the bill or not, Gov. Scott Walker expressed concern over certain aspects of the recent federal health care overhaul bill Wednesday.

Walker said the plan’s lack of a price tag was one of his main concerns. He called the bill, introduced by House Speaker Paul Ryan, a “work in progress” according to the Associated Press.

The federal health care bill that would replace the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, proposed $500 million to expand Medicaid. President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence have announced support for Ryan’s proposal.

Ryan said this bill is the only proposal in Congress that advances the Republican’s long-held promise to repeal and replace Obamacare.

“I, personally, want to know what the cost is,” Walker told reporters Wednesday. “At some point before the members of the House or the Senate are asked to vote, at a minimum they should not only have the [costs] back but they should have some time to digest it.”

Walker is a close acquaintance with Ryan. His reluctance to support the health care bill indicates the divided feelings many Republican governors hold.

Other Republican governors are worried that millions of people could lose their health insurance or require that states pay to keep these people covered under the new plan.

Walker said many of the governors discussed working towards “maximum flexibility” with the proposal while on a telephone call Tuesday night, according to the Associated Press. The governors agreed that Congress is making progress by at least moving to repeal the current law.

The governor said he hopes the federal bill will be modeled after what he did in Wisconsin, where he reduced the number of people on the program to include people only at or below the poverty level. He also expanded it to include childless adults who previously had been on a waiting list for coverage. 

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