- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 14, 2017

MILWAUKEE (AP) - Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker planned to talk with other Republican governors and the White House Tuesday about possible changes to the GOP health care overhaul bill, but he offered few specifics about what those changes might be.

Walker has stopped short of endorsing the bill in its current form, although he has expressed confidence that the bill will look different soon.

“I think there’s no doubt, even this coming week, I think there’ll be changes in the House and possibly in the Senate,” Walker said after speaking to the Rotary Club of Milwaukee.

Walker avoided going into details of what he and others Republican governors would like to see, instead changing the topic to criticize the nation’s current health care system and saying the GOP needed to do something to overhaul it.

“Now is it perfect now? No, there’s room for improvement, sure. But the Affordable Care Act is collapsing,” Walker said.

The Congressional Budget Office has said 14 million people nationwide would lose insurance coverage next year under the Republicans’ health care bill and up to 24 million over 10 years.

The bill is being championed by fellow Wisconsin Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan. Walker, who is chairman of the Republican Governors Association, has been calling for changes to the national law to be modeled after Wisconsin’s health care system.

The pending GOP legislation would use tax credits to help consumers buy health coverage, expand health savings accounts, phase out an expansion of Medicaid and cap that program for the future, end some requirements for health plans under Obama’s law, and scrap a number of taxes.

Walker has argued that Wisconsin could be less affected than other states by the bill since he rejected federal money to expand Medicaid. Instead, Wisconsin took a hybrid approach of tightening income eligibility for Medicaid to only those at the poverty level or below. Those making more than poverty were forced to purchase subsidized insurance through the marketplace.


Associated Press writer Scott Bauer contributed to this report.

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