January 22, 2018
Contact: Nathan Craft

ICYMI: Governor Walker Proposes Bold Reform to Stabilize Health Care for Hard-Working Wisconsin Families

[Madison, Wis.] – In case you missed it, Governor Scott Walker announced on Sunday a series of reforms to stabilize health care and help address rising costs for hard-working Wisconsin families – bold action as Washington fails to act.

The reforms will be part of the governor’s State of the State address on Wednesday, when he’ll discuss the positive things he’s getting done for the people of Wisconsin and his plans to keep fighting to move our state forward.

Read more from WisPolitics here or find excerpts below:

Walker to propose plan to rein in health care costs for 200,000 Wisconsinites 
January 21, 2017

Gov. Scott Walker will use his State of the State speech to roll out a new plan his administration says could help rein in health care costs for about 200,000 Wisconsinites who buy their coverage through the Affordable Care Act’s individual market.

It’s part of a three-part approach on health care Walker will highlight in his Wednesday speech. He also plans to seek a permanent waiver for the state’s prescription drug program and urge the state Senate to approve an Assembly bill that would protect coverage for those with pre-existing conditions.

In announcing the plan, Walker said he routinely hears from people that they want stability when it comes to health care, not just in the markets, but how it affects their lives. But they’re not getting that from Washington, D.C.

“It’s become clear that their failure to act on this issue is yet another call for us to step up and lead,” Walker said.

That call will be part of Walker’s final State of the State speech before he faces the voters this fall for a third term. …

The vast majority of Wisconsinites get their health insurance through an employer or a state program. But those in the individual market saw their premiums go up an average of 36 percent this year, though government subsidies offset those increases for most people. …

To establish the program, the Legislature would have to approve a bill giving the administration permission to seek the needed federal waiver.

Of the two other pieces in Walker’s health care call, one would need federal approval, while the other would need sign off from the state Senate.

The state created the SeniorCare program in 2002, and the federal government has approved waivers to extend it four times. The most recent one, approved in 2015, is scheduled to expire at the end of 2018.

Walker has previously sought to require those on SeniorCare who qualify for the federal government’s plan to sign up for that program. But the Legislature has rejected those moves, and he said it’s been clear that Wisconsin seniors prefer having the state program rather than Medicare Part D.

The Assembly in June approved AB 365, which would ban a group health plan from excluding those with preexisting conditions or placing coverage limitations related to one. The bill was sent to the Senate’s Insurance, Housing and Trade Committee shortly after Assembly passage. But it has yet to receive a hearing or vote in the Senate committee. …

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