- Associated Press - Friday, October 13, 2017

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - The Latest on health insurance subsidies (all times local):

2:40 p.m.

Republican Senate candidates are being careful not to praise President Donald Trump for ending health insurance subsidies that are driving a projected 36 percent increase in premiums in Wisconsin.

But they’re also not criticizing him either.

Republican state Sen. Leah Vukmir and Delafield businessman Kevin Nicholson are both running for a chance to take on Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin.

Vukmir avoids mentioning Trump in a statement calling the subsidies “unconstitutional and poor policy.”

Nicholson dodged the question of whether he supported Trump’s decision and instead says the move shows “it’s time for Congress to finally deliver conservative health care reforms.”

Baldwin says Trump is sabotaging the health care market and creating chaos for people who purchase insurance through the exchange.


10 a.m.

Democratic U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin is blasting President Donald Trump’s decision to end federal subsidies for health insurance plans sold to low-income people.

That decision is projected to result in premiums for average plans going up 36 percent in Wisconsin.

Baldwin said Friday that Trump is sabotaging the health care market and creating chaos. She is calling for bipartisan action in Congress to lower health care costs and fund the subsidies.

Baldwin is running for re-election next year. Two Republicans challenging her, Kevin Nicholson and state Sen. Leah Vukmir, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

About 91 percent of people who buy insurance through the exchange in Wisconsin receive a subsidy.


8:47 a.m.

Wisconsin health insurance companies assumed there would be no more subsidies for plans sold through the federal exchange, which led to a projected 36 percent increase for the average premiums.

State insurance officials announced the premium increase Thursday, just hours before President Donald Trump said he was immediately ending the federal subsidies.

Deputy Insurance Commissioner J.P. Wieske said Friday that Trump’s announcement does not change the 36 percent increase projection the state made. However, he says if the subsidies remain, it could mean that policy holders would see a refund or lower costs in 2019.

Gov. Scott Walker has been an outspoken opponent of the federal health care law and refused to set up a state-run exchange. He says Wisconsin will look for flexibility under the law to cut costs.

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