Gov. Scott Walker (Wis.), a Republican who has been one of ObamaCare’s most vocal opponents, signed a bill Tuesday that would shore up the law’s insurance markets.
The bill would authorize the state to apply for a federal waiver to offer a reinsurance program covering 80 percent of medical claims costing between $50,000 and $250,000.
The program would cost $200 million, with the federal government paying 75 percent of the costs, and is meant to lower premiums for everyone else by paying for claims filed by the sickest, most expensive patients.
Estimates from the state say reinsurance would lower health-care premiums for those in the individual market by 13 percent in 2019 and 12 percent in 2020.
“Our Health Care Stability Plan is our solution to Washington’s failure; we want to provide health care stability and lower premiums for Wisconsin,” Walker said.
State Democrats called Walker’s push for stabilization hypocritical. Walker had previously called for the law to be repealed and replaced.
“Today Gov. Scott Walker is trumpeting his election year attempt to disguise just how utterly damaging his years of fighting the Affordable Care Act have been and the toll Republican sabotage on health care has taken on Wisconsin families,” the Democratic Party of Wisconsin said in a statement.
Walker is up for reelection this year, with his seat leaning Republican, according to the Cook Political Report.
Congress has also been working on a bill that would provide states with money to create reinsurance programs, but it’s unclear if it will pass.
Some senators are pushing for it to be included in a long-term spending bill in March.